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on 9 December 2015
This book should be compulsory reading for everyone from teenagers who are starting to drift into a life of petty crime up o the Home Secretary. It was an utterly compelling read of an ordinary man with a fantastic life who made one huge mistake in having a drink and then driving home. The result of this was the death of a cyclist, a crime for which he was given a prison sentence.

The book goes on to describe the reality of prison and the conditions there. For anyone who thinks prison is a holiday camp, think again. Squalid conditions that wouldn't be out of place in a Charles Dickens novel are the reality of life in many older prisons. The book describes a lack of foresight in educating those unfortunate enough to be detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure, the misuse of drugs, the total disarray of an over burdened system.

I couldn't put this book down and want only to echo many of the other reviews given which can't be bettered.
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on 31 December 2013
John has written a true, heart rendering biography of the emotional and physical consequences afflicted due to choices he made that were both criminal and devastating.
From the start of the book I was gripped and engrossed. I couldn't and didn't want to put it down. John's choice of the action that he took that fateful night caused devastation to everyone that was associated to the family that John had never known and also to everyone that he loved and cared for, including himself.
His book shows how any life can be changed or taken away in the blink of an eye.
He shares his personal feelings due to the consequences of his actions and the experiences that he encountered whilst being punished for what ultimately was a devastating criminal act that caused loss of a life and resulted in him serving 4 years in a variety of England's prisons.
Not only does his account give a true insight at life and regime in some of the UK 's prisons, but it also tells of true compassion and forgiveness, and a desire to try and make a difference.
Reading this book causes you to be torn with your own emotions.
It also inspires and highlights the need to try to intercept and help young people break the cycle that they are falling into due to circumstances and peer pressure and prevent a life of crime and prison sentences.
It also highlights the lack and desperate need for a variety of rehabilitation programs, changes to clamping down on the easiness and readily availability of drugs, including changing the severity of the consequences for people who either smuggle or use. It highlights the need for separation of the prisoners who enter as drug users from those who are not, to prevent easily influenced and pressured first timers, youngsters and more becoming users to get them through and thus also starting a dark downward slope to a continued life of crime to then fund the habit they have gained. It shows the need for more funding to enable support from courses and such to help with rehabilitation, education and also in preparing for life outside. It also shows the use that offenders can be to help discourage others to choose the life of crime and the need for this to be supported correctly.
Firstly I would like to thank the family that were devastatingly effected due to John's actions for being able to forgive him, which in turn has enabled him to write this inspiring, truthful account of his time and has also enabled him to try to intercept, help, guide and enlighten youngsters to alter the potential path they are starting to follow. Which hopefully can maybe save other lives being devastated in the future due to change now.
I would definitely recommend this book.
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VINE VOICEon 19 April 2014
This account is worth everyone reading whether or not you are involved with the prison service. John Hoskison is a "normal" bloke who makes a bad error of judgement over drinking and driving, then was unlucky with a cyclist and stupidly drove away. For this he is given a three year custodial sentence. Throughout this book we live this experience with him.
Nothing has prepared him for the prison system and he takes a long time to deal with his situation. Eventually he can see the end of his sentence, so he begins to write about his experience, his feelings of shock and gradual awareness of the unfamiliar community.
There is the occasional sentence that doesn't ring true (eg sitting in a holding cell with a group of prisoners and recognising that one of them is wearing an Armani suit which seems unlikely even for a fashion expert) but most of the book seems very genuine. It also appears to be part of an important healing process for JH which I would support in every way. Another confusion is him losing concept of what is going on outside as he mentions many times that he has a radio, so I wondered why he didn't use it more!
I found the most startling revelation was that JH had to desensitise himself to the drug taking and violence to be able to survive. Assuming that other prisoners deal with prison in the same way then it is hardly surprising that they come out and cannot take a normal role in society. As ever, there are no easy answers but here there is an interesting analysis of the problems.
I have a limited knowledge of the prison system and have seen that some elements have improved in the last 20 years, eg more structured support inside and on release and the virtual eradication of slopping out. Unfortunately there are also many areas which are worse - drugs, violence, self harm are all up.
The book is published by Amazon. I was amazed by the number of errors which should have been taken out by decent proof reading. It doesn't take away from the story but should have been simple to sort out.
Not without mistakes... But then who is?? Read this book and you may understand something of the consequences.
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on 18 December 2015
It is now two months since I read this book. I read it and could not put it down, so that's all good. BUT it has stayed with me. This story is you and I - make no mistake. There but for....just one drink......dazzled by the on-coming lights and - one man on a bicycle is dead - and one woman a widow. This is so immediate and so relevant that I guarantee that it will alter your views with regard to drink driving. By that I don't mean the laws laid down by the government; I mean YOU. It will make you think 100% more carefully about, quite frankly, even having one drink, let alone one too many. The author is emotionally crushed by the events that took place that night. The hit and run. The panic. The justified custodial sentence. The loss of face in a world of high profile professional golf. AND to top it off a widow who was prepared to forgive him and go to court to testify to HIS GOOD CHARACTER!! His time in jail is hellish tough for sure but it's perhaps his emotional destruction and subsequent reconstruction that is so impactful. While in jail Mr Hoskison put his time to good use to benefit others; a role which he has continued with long after his release. He comes across as a thoroughly decent and contrite person. It was an accident that could so easily have been the reader; and that is what will freak you out with each chapter! A really good read that will stay with you. Oh and bye the way, it is also very well written too! ATB
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on 25 August 2014
Since I finished this book, I realise I will never really finish with it. What it's like to kill another person, the regret, the pain caused by one act springing from one false turn in life, is brought clearly into focus by the author who is here telling his own story. His consequent imprisonment, the story of the days which must be got through by someone who has up to this point never met career criminals and the dark side of humanity, what must that be like? How it feels to be separated from your small, beloved son, your parents and the woman you love, the guilt about this disruption to all their lives, you can find all described graphically here, but much more too. It would be a cold person who would not be moved to tears by John's prison journey, the lives and endurances of those he met in jail, the times that one kind word nearly caused him to disintegrate. The hug from his visiting mother must be one of the most memorable hugs in literature. In the end, this is a story of redemption, of renewal, I urge you, read this book, it will bring you closer to what really matters in all our lives, having people to love and to love us back. Without such love, all life is a prison.
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on 5 March 2014
If, like me, you have read reports of the luxurious existence of prisoners, then be ready for a shock. This book was gripping; I read it over a couple of days, devoting any spare moments, and it has completely changed my perception and depressed me quite a lot. We are becoming used to spineless behaviour in public life from those who are paid, and trusted, to do the right thing even if it means standing up to be counted, but the level of apathetic behaviour from those in charge of prisons is mind boggling.

I could write pages, but the one fact that kept coming back to me was that if drugs are rife in prisons, what chance does any prisoner have? How difficult is it to have a cast iron system in place to stop drugs being brought in, and why is there not a stand made when they are found? The terrifying escalation of violence in the prison system due to drug taking and dependency is graphically told in this poignant story. Please read this - we all need to.
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on 22 March 2014
A good book about a successful pro-golfer makes one mistake and ends up in prison. Prisoners seem to be left to rot in dirty and degrading conditions. There is no effective induction, no advice from most staff who keep away, no attempt at rehab for any inmate or for the many drug users, only 5 mins of hot water for the whole block in the morning, and other depressing and petty antics. As a sportsman, he does his very best to make the most of his time but even he struggles to survive in a system that clearly does not care at all about the inmates. Other prisoners have written about their time inside and describe the same degrading conditions. Sadly, the accounts do show that prisons are still deliberately vile places and have not improved over the years of the differing authors. Prison seems to force people to continue in a life of crime and no-one should be suprised at that. If dogs were treated like prisoners, then the public would be outraged. Time for change.
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on 6 April 2012
John Hoskison's book about his experience in prison is powerful, moving and disturbing. A golf professional who knocked a cyclist off his bike one evening after drinking too much, he gets a two year sentence, which he believes he deserves. He's not the kind of prisoner most people might think of when asked to describe a criminal. As a result it's a powerful and disturbing insight into prison life in the late 1990s.

Two things make the book special. The first is the way it's written. Clearly someone who can manage words as well as golf clubs, the author brings some alarming incidents from prison experience to life. Secondly, he is searingly honest about himself and his own difficulties. He comes across as likeable and caring without being in the slightest egotistical. It's difficult not to think that someone like him should never be in prison, although at no point in the book does he say that, and he does say that he learnt a lot from his experiences.

What he learns however is about himself. It isn't the result of the prison system, which he portrays as inefficient, uncaring and at times corrupt. It's definitely an inditement of how prison is failing and how the home secretary at the time simply pandered to press perceptions about prisoners. This is a book well worth reading.
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on 25 March 2013
I had a golf lesson from John recently which was so good I decided to get his book. Whilst searching for his golf swing book on Amazon I came across 'Inside', looked at the preview, and was so gripped I bought it right then. It was eye opening, riveting and engrossing, I simply couldn't put it down (and I'm not a big reader). This is an amazing book about life, and how suddenly things can change, and about how easy we take what we have for granted. Brilliantly written, honest and without self pity. It is warming to read the strength and compassion that some people have in forgiveness. It's about how easy we judge people who aren't as fortunate as us in early life. Perhaps the most amazing part about the book is that 'but for the grace of God . . . . '. What is less certain is how many of us have coped in the way John did. Great stuff mate.
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on 15 October 2013
I found my ideas on prison and inmates totally changed after reading this book. It is very graphic and well written. I really felt for him when he couldn't sleep because of the noise of other inmates' radios. I hate loud music and the boom boom! He was very lucky to escape unscathed and in my opinion should not have been sent down at all. My views of Prison Officers has changed as well. I always thought they were there to assist the prisoners and to help them to rehabilitate prior to leaving. If John's experience is the norm, that is not what happens at all. I would recommend this to readers who want to know the reality of prison and if it helps some people to not offend in the first place, that would be great. Really made me think.
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