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The Prison House Paperback – 1 Dec 2009

3.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (1 Dec. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099548631
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099548638
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,781,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for "The Football Factory" "Leagues ahead of much contemporary fiction." -- "New Statesman" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

A contemporary Midnight Express.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have read all of John King's novels and did not believe he would be able to better Human Punk, but with The Prison House he has stepped up a gear. This is a classic novel that is full of experimentation and captivating prose, where words are juggled and their meaning manipulated and sometimes even warped. The Prison House is William Burroughs on speed with a flavour of Bukowski and the power of Eminem and The Clash.
The Prison House tells the story of one man's incarceration in a foreign prison, for a crime which remains unspecified until the final pages of the novel. This creates an uncertainty in the reader that means our judgement of the narrator Jimmy is suspended. This is an interesting device as it stops the reader either totally liking or disliking him. We are never sure about Jimmy until the end of the book.
The prison is called Seven Towers and the novel is broken into seven sections, and follows Jimmy from the shock of his arrival, his time on C Block, his transfer to the notorious B wing, and finally a choice he has to make, whether he sells his soul for a reduced sentence or maintains his principles when he is moved to a work farm in the country.
Jimmy takes refuge in imagination and the book comes into its own in these passages as we are treated to flights of memory and fancy, childhood stories mingling with colourful and funny road trips across America and India. Whether Jimmy is driving in a car with Mary Anne or living near the River Ganges there is a subtext that elevates the work, a constant switching of pace and mood.
The idea of reading a prison novel might seem daunting but this book is unique and easily moves from the terrible and mundane procedures of prison life to the sheer joy of being alive and having hope.
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Format: Paperback
The Prison House is an excellent read, however some may become irratated (as I was) with King's writing style. All to often a chapter will build to a gripping climax only for the story to suddenly veer off on a tangent, King over doing the escapism and leaving the reader slightly confused as to how the main character's numerous flashbacks and fantasies actually fit in with the storyline.
That said, King paints a vivid picture of life in a foreign prison and parts of the book are certainly not for the easily offended. I enjoyed reading The Prison House and would have given it a higher rating but for the writing style.
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By A Customer on 30 April 2005
Format: Paperback
This is an incredible book. King brings across the true harsh reality of prison life. At the same time there is a great deal of humour and humanity in his writing. I read this book on holiday and plan to reread it soon.
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Format: Paperback
John King is undoubtedly the finest contempory writer of my generation. he exploded on to the scene with the Fottball Factory and hasn't looked back ever since. I'd not got round to reading The Prison House as I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy King's style when reading a prison book. It is, however, a masterpiece. it's terrifically written, which maganed to fuse together realism, surrealism and escapism (in the thinking sense.) His first person voice is exceptional, although I wasn't sure that present tense was the right way to go. I was proven wrong. This is a wonderful tale of a mans journey through life in a foregn prison, although where that is, no one knows... think i do! A must read. A real genious author.
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By A Customer on 6 Aug. 2004
Format: Paperback
Loved the Football Factory etc - but this one left me confused. Some amazingly dark and hellish descriptions of prison life were unfortunately interspersed with too many rambling 'philosophical' musings.
Anyone else read this? I have a question - where is the novel set? I thought it might be Italy or North Africa - any clues?
G
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Format: Paperback
I have read all of John King's books and I rate him as one of the best British writers around today, but I was very unsure about this book when I first started reading it as it is a real departure from his earlier books. The style seems a lot harder to read and does not seem to flow as much. Also the story is a lot darker than his other novels and lacks a lot of the humour. But saying all this, once I got about a 3rd of the way into the book I really got into the story and by the end I had enjoyed it.
Overall not his best but still worth a read if you have read his other books.
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