Streetwise: Stories From An Irish Prison Paperback – 12 Aug 2004
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About the Author
Neville Thompson was born in Dublin, where he still lives, and is a writer and part-time prison teacher. He is the author of three novels: Jackie Loves Johnser OK?, Two Birds/One Stoned and Have Ye No Homes To Go To?
Top Customer Reviews
How admirable, you say?
Naw, Nev's no goody-two-boots. Insert joke about "captive audience." Pause for laughter. Ultimate Discovery: "[T]here is a great wealth of talented, entertaining people in prison."
Ten inmates, none of whom had never attended a writing workshop before, set episodes from their lives to paper. They then suggested that all proceeds from the resulting collection, Streetwise, be donated to Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children and three other children's hospitals.
Now that is admirable.
Streetwise's best piece is "Fast Cars" by "Chang." (A movie-lovin' dimwit at the local shop once said 'Hey, you know what? You look like this guy, Jackie Chang!' The name stuck.) Chang accidentally stole his parents' car at the age of eight. That episode, understandably, earned him lots of attention. By the age of fifteen, our first-person narrator has robbed bicycles, mopeds, Fords... even a Ferrari. Hey, why dream small? This is faction, a mix of fact and fiction. The only rule: "Write the story that you want to tell."
And that story is told with character. There's detail, both on Chang's thefts and on their consequences. "Fast Cars" is a very interesting piece, on par with professional True Crime tomes on Critical Mick's shelf.
Other selections provide glimpses into the proverbial life of crime. "Pedro" illustrates youthful drug addiction and the violent robberies necessary to fuel it. "Mucka" relates a vivid story of foster care abuse. These are Irish versions of well-worn social arguments, and sometimes they include a treat. "Not So Funny Now," J.Read more ›
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