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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting insight - interesting characters, 9 Aug 2014
By 
Janie U (Kings Cliffe, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Good Prison Guide (Paperback)
I've got a limited experience of the prison system and visit my local HMP regularly but have never been in custody. My understanding is that books written by serving prisoners are banned from prison libraries so I was curious to read this one to see if that rule was justified with this book.
Charlie Bronson (or Charles Salvador as he has recently changed his name to) has made himself into a curiosity and this book is an opportunity to look at his experiences in particular establishments from his eyes. He's been in the system for much of the last 50 years and the overwhelming positive from this book is that a lot of what he experienced would not happen in the current system and the more modern jails - although it should be noted that there are always massive limitations on where/how Charlie will be held and prison is never a soft option. Over the last half century prison conditions have improved - there is still a lot of media coverage and poor conditions but that should be viewed against society's increased expectations.
As I'm reading I can't help but smile at his audacity. He expects respect from everyone around him yet is very selective about those that he respects. Consideration must be given to his psychological condition but, presented in a book, his views are very amusing.
For over half the book CB describes the prisons in which he has been held. He's done his research and this section is filled with interesting facts sitting alongside his usually violent antics. The last third of the book is filled with all sorts of bits and pieces (eg, details of celebrities in jail and legal notes from CB's lawyers). This is all quite confused and the book at a whole would have been better without it. Interesting book overall though.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not really a guide as such, but a great read anyway!, 7 Sep 2009
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This review is from: The Good Prison Guide (Paperback)
Charlie Bronson, "Britain's most violent prisoner" and definitely the fittest 56 year old man ever, he does on average 2,500 press ups a day! And his feats of strength are amazing, this man has punched through bulletproof glass, and yes he's had witnesses! He has spent around 34 years in prison, 30 of them in solitary confinement.

So this man would know everything about prison, the problem is he doesn't really give us much info on how to survive prison. Instead there is an A-Z of every prison he visits and he tells us some of the things he did in the prison and gives it a rating out of 10.

The back of the book suggests Bronson will tell us how to make vintage prison hooch and how to tame prison wildlife. These things are only mentioned fleetingly though, before going back to his reminicences of how he fought prison wardens on a daily basis.

The worst part of this book would be Bronson's "history lessons" on some of the prisons, he would say something like "In 1860 John Doe was hanged here, he was a family man who grew up in London..." and these "lessons" can be around four pages long, it's not really helping us as a guide to prison.

Nevertheless it's a great book that will make you laugh, Bronson's stories are funny and his pictures are amusing too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bronson, 5 Feb 2014
This review is from: The Good Prison Guide (Paperback)
Brilliant book, Charlie is moved regularly around the prisons of the British Isles he has sampled all that prison life has to offer, taking in both the historic and pre-historic buildings that comprise Britain's infamous prison system. Read about Charlie's special taming techniques for prison wildlife such as spiders, rats and cockroaches, creatures that may be your only friends on long stretches in solitary. Also Charlie shows how to plan and prepare for marriage inside what can be seen as a less than romantic setting. With over 80,000 people (and rising) currently residing at Her Majesty's pleasure, Charlie Bronson's "Good Prison Guide" is essential for young offenders and 'old lags' alike. Make sure you don't get nicked without it. recommend this good
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very pleased., 12 April 2013
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This review is from: The Good Prison Guide (Paperback)
Very Good Book. Good Read. Full of fact About UK Prisons and the way they are run Very Pleased With My Order.
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20 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 4 Mar 2004
This review is from: The Good Prison Guide (Hardcover)
Full of self pity from Bronson, this is still an interesting view into the UK prison system. Slightly irritating are his written attacks on the prison officers and the contempt he holds them in. If you can't do the time, don't do the crime. Even with these bouts it still makes a good read though its best to read it in short sessions
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Good Prison Guide., 6 Jan 2013
By 
T. Gussmann (East Midlands. England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Good Prison Guide (Paperback)
As the title suggest it is a guide of the UK's H.M.P's and it is a good read especially 'funny' were Charles cartoons and
comments about his time at the various establishments.

A good read and I would recommend it to others. a genuine no frills description of our prison system.
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The Good Prison Guide
The Good Prison Guide by Stephen Richards (Paperback - 23 Dec 2006)
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