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Hard Time: A Brit in America's Toughest Jail Paperback – 5 Aug 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 248 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing (5 Aug. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845966511
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845966515
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.2 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (248 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Hard Time makes Shawshank look like a holiday camp -- News of the World September 26, 2010

A searing indictment of the controversial penal tactics of Sheriff Joe Arpaio - who revels in the title of 'America's Toughest Sheriff' -- BBC News August 22, 2010

A tale of brutality and a lesson in behind-bars etiquette -- Manchester Evening News August 3, 2010

A gripping account of Attwood's time among lethal gangsters -- City AM July 22, 2010

Attwood's hair-raising and oddly hilarious account of his two years in the county jail is a reminder of the conditions that caused the deaths of numerous prisoners -- Phoenix New Times, August 26, 2010

Book Description

The extraordinary account of how a well-educated young Englishman survived 26 months in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's harsh US jail system

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Having read the blog over many years ordering this book was a natural. Needless to say it delivered everything that the Jail Journal promised and more. It is at once harrowing, sad, jaw dropping and funny....not in the laugh out loud way, but in the absurdity of it all way. My son was lucky enough to meet Shaun at one of his school talks and he was shaken by the experience that Shaun has lived through and it really gave him a perspective that no amount of parental lecturing could. He is now reading my copy and whilst this may be a very adult story, the brutal honesty and refreshing way that Shaun relates his story will do more to help keep my son (and me, not that i need it) on the straight and narrow than i could have ever hoped for. Should be required reading for every young man about to confront the challenges and temptations that life has to offer.
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Format: Paperback
I met Shaun Attwood at a signing in Crawley Waterstone's and his story really made me prick my ears up. I bought the book and once I'd started reading I could not stop. He sucks you in from the very first line. It is at times a very very uncomfortable read when he describes the conditions and the other inmates and especially the food!!!

It is also at times very very funny and at others terribly sad. Attwood never whinges or whines and not once does he say 'why me?'At all times he is aware that he has done wrong and there is never a part where you think that he feels exempt from punishment. It is the CONDITIONS that he takes issue with and rightly so!!!

I loved this book & I would recommend it to anyone.
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Format: Paperback
We recently had a presentation by Shaun Attwood, and i thought what he had experienced was fascinating.

I decided to purchase his book. In the first day of me getting it i couldnt stop reading it, i dont normally read loads of books but this book got me gripped from the start.

I would defiantly read it, especially if you have met the guy.

10/10
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Format: Paperback
I feel this is a must read for Americans. It is the story of an American tragedy, our justice system, as told by a British man incarcerated in Maricopa County, Arizona. There are so few voices out there speaking the truth about life inside, who inmates really are, what happens to them and why we need to wake up and find new solutions for rehabilitation. I found Shaun's blog, jonsjailjournal, after my own son was incarcerated. The shock of the situation was so great, the helplessness so profound, I went searching online for anyone or anything I could find about what jail and prison really is like. I could not stop reading. We began to correspond, and what he was telling me I knew was the truth, so I saw the journey that the book relates unfold. I became a volunteer in our local jail (pre-sentence incarceration) to see for myself and try to become part of the solution. The book is honest as it gets, and raw, unintentionally hilarious at times because the situations it documents are so unbelievable. I very nervously handed a copy of the book over to a very conservative Christian friend, worried she'd be so offended, and when she handed me the book back her comment was, "I will never be the same again after reading this book".
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Format: Paperback
I started reading Hard Time on Saturday afternoon, had a break and carried on reading in bed with just a reading lamp on. It did scare me. It really hurt to read how much Shaun and the other inmates were suffering at the hands of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. I never imagined that such a level of mental and physical institutional torture is allowed to happen in America. After I finished the book at about 2 am, I turned off the light and had a little weep. Then I got up and sat outside while ruminating on some of the philosphies Shaun turned to towards the end of the book, and there it was clear as a bell, I am in control of so many things in my life - little things I take for granted. I started to see - for the first time, thanks to Hard Time - that in fact I have a tremendous amount of control over issues. It's the issue of letting go I had the problem with, but seeing it in a different light altogether post reading Hard Time has really significantly changed me for the better.
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Format: Paperback
Hi Shaun,
Just finished reading your book and I have to say, it is one amazing story! I absolutely loved it from beginning to end. I am really looking forward to reading the rest of your amazing journey.

Keep up the good work!

P.S. You have been the topic of many a conversation since coming into Stoke Newington School, and I know that your coming in has had a positive impact on a lot of our children.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was an eye opener to the reality of the appalling American prison system. The book was honest, well written and highlighted everything that is unjust about the penal system in America. Other than Peter Earley (Hot House, Inside Leavenworth) I have never been so moved by a book about the injustice of so called justice in America. Being banned from America says it all Shaun. Lucky you. I look forward to reading the other books by this good writer/man. Jeff Poff, Vincent Simmonds, Brendan Dassey and Steven Avery are just a few suffering the terrible injustices of a system in the Land of the Free.
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