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You Got Nothing Coming Paperback – 30 Jun 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi (30 Jun. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055216271X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552162715
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,179,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Lerner's white-collar Everyman perspective may force readers to truly see the cruel inequities of our current system . . . hard to put down, even harder to forget." (Kirkus Reviews)

"A magnetic memoir and a compelling addition to the contemporary reporting of life in the American penal system and one man's place in it." (Waterstones Books Quarterly)

"A considerable achievement . . . Forthrightly pulls back the curtain on a brutal system of punitive penal warehousing." (The Washington Post)

"A grim and vivid account of life inside the unnamed dehumanising Nevada jail which was Lerner's home between 1998 and 2002, and the events leading up to his imprisonment there . . . A Hardyesque tale of spiralling inevitability towards disaster . . . The mix of characters is extraordinarily rich." (Observer)

"He tells his tale, leading up to why he committed murder in the first place, with extraordinary humour, a raw tension and an ear for dialogue straight from God." (Independent)

Book Description

The staggering memoir of a middle-class, middle-aged man who fell into the inferno of the American prison system, and what he had to do to survive

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Jimmy Lerner's journey from a corporate office to a claustrophobic prison cell with a giant neo-Nazi cellmate just staggers the imagination. Especially because this is a true story. The author kept me up most the night worrying, wondering (and hoping) how this nightmare would end.
Incredibly,the narrative voice has such a light, playful touch, despite the horrors happening all around.
This is a rare gem of a book, a nonfiction memoir that reads like the best of all novels!!!
I can't wait for the sequel!!!
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Format: Paperback
This book is simply unputdownable. The wonderful array of colourful, brutal,weird and downright frightening characters is a better cast than any Hollywood prison drama.
Lerner manages to find humanity and even humour in a system where men are both brutal and brutalised.His fascinating journey from terrified new 'fish' to experienced lag using business management strategies for his own survival will keep you gripped from the first page to the last.
What we want now is a sequel showing how Lerner spent the remainder of his time in prison and, if he is now on the outside, how does he adapt to his freedom.
Trust me, after reading this you'll make sure you live your life on the straight and narrow! The best book I'v read this year.
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Format: Paperback
Jimmy had a normal, middle-aged, middle class life - he drank too much - but otherwise was a normal solid citizen. Through circumstances Jimmy, could not have envisaged, he found himself dragged out of his normal life and incarcerated with a bunch of psychotic, aggressive and drug addicted murderers, rapists, thieves and other various misfits.
Fortunately Jimmy (who is Jewish) is befriended by a huge Nazi, called Kansas, who protects him from some of the intimidation and extreme violence that he sees whilst inside. Jimmy is also assisted by his engaging personality and his ability to help other prisoners out in many ways, from reading for the illiterate, to giving them legal advice.
Jimmy is an engaging character with a cynical wit and an ability to laugh at himself. His story is highly entertaining, not without emotion and always containing humour.
Some of the characters in the jail seem to revel in the life inside. For some it is the only place where they feel as though they are important or they have a routine. Conversely, normal people who read this book will ensure they live law abiding lives henceforth.
I get through a few books (I have a long tube ride to work) and this is one of the most entertaining I have read in the last couple of years. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a shattering, harrowing, hilarious account of one man - Everyman's - fall from Corporate heights into the hell of an American prison. A married, middle-class, frail, bespectacled man, the delightfully cheeky author is forced to share a tiny concrete cage with a Nazi gangleader dubbed "Kansas."
The author's metamorphosis from a newcomer, a "Fish" to a seasoned veteran of the asylum where the patients run the madhouse, is a scary, horrific, surreal and sensational tale that will keep you on the edge until the very end.
This is the best book I have had the pleasure of reading in quite some time!!!!
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Format: Paperback
Stark, scary and hilarious, this is the blistering account of one man's descent into the belly of the beast and how he somehow survived. Lerner's humour in the face of the horror confronting him is outrageously funny, but he never loses sight of the madness and injustice of the penal system. The charcter sketches are priceless: sociopaths and losers, sadistic guards and deranged inmates are given such life that they transcend cliche.
This is probably among the finest ever books, fact or fiction, about life in 'The Big House', and never fails to inspire, entertain and outrage.
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By A Customer on 21 May 2003
Format: Paperback
..ok being a 16 year old girl, a book about a prision in the US, with brutal descriptions of male cruelty, did not seem appealing.
However been the open minded person I am I gave it a try. And man was I pleased I did.
This book is filled from begining to end with humour which, at times, made me cry. Sitting on my school bus laughing to myself, I was engrossed in the book. A witty, honest description which a lot of us (thankfully) have had no experience of.
A book that takes you away to another world...but makes you feel glad to be back. Take my advice, read this book, and enjoy!
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Format: Paperback
While I have no doubt that Lerner's prison experiences are accurately documented in the first four fifths of the book, it's extremely difficult to believe the final chapter - the story of how he actually ended up in prison in the first place. I lent the book to several friends who reported back similarly. The description of prison experience is a lucid present tense, however the past tense description leading up to the murder just doesn't seem believable. It's too dramatic and there's a feeling that a certain degree of creative license has been applied. Also, it begs the question, how could such an educated man be so stupid as to trust the man he had nick named "Monster."

Veracity aside, Lerner's prose is gripping and entertaining and there's plenty of decent humour thrown in making for an accessible read. There's slightly too much superiority on the part of the Author and he clearly has a chip on his shoulder as regards ethnicity, but on the whole this is an unusual and entertaining book. You'll be calling friends Road Dawgs, Woods, and Righteous Cons for weeks.
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