A Prison Diary
On July 19, 2001, following a conviction for perjury, international bestselling author Jeffrey Archer was sentenced to four years in prison. Prisoner FF8282, as Archer is now known, spent the first three weeks in the notorious HMP Belmarsh, a high-security prison in South London, home to murderers, terrorists and some of Britain's most violent criminals.
On the last day of the trial, his mother dies, and the world's press accompany him to the funeral. On returning to prison, he's placed on the lifer's wing, where a cellmate sells his story to the tabloids. Prisoners and guards routinely line up outside his cell to ask for his autograph, to write letters, and to seek advice on their appeals.
For twenty-two days, Archer was locked in a cell with a murderer and a drug baron. He decided to use that time to write an hour-by-hour diary, detailing the worst three weeks of his life.
When A Prison Diary was published in England, it was condemned by the prison authorities, and praised by the critics.
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A prison diaryUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Best-selling novelist Archer (Sons of Fortune; The Eleventh Commandment) presents his diary of the 22 days he spent in 2001 in HMP Belmarsh, a London prison to which he was sent after a perjury ... Read full review
This book is great if only for the fact that you get to read about a distinguished old author and member of the British House of Lords who has been tossed into a maximum security prison for perjury. Don’t get too excited though – the cellmates are, for the most part, respectful and treat him like the nice old man on the block. Nevertheless, Archer keeps a pretty interesting diary throughout his stay in prison. This volume is only the first in a series of three that chronicle his entire stay in prison. It has been a couple years since I read this book, but I loved this as well as the sequels: Purgatory, and Heaven. It is a rare opportunity to see the hour-by-hour activities of a real inmate in a prison. Archer outlines not only his own struggle with the legal system, but also the stories of the inmates around him. It is not the most captivating book I have ever read, but this volume covers the first three weeks of his stay in prison in such detail and with such attention to the stories of his inmates, which highlights Archer’s storytelling talents, that I still remember it several years later as being one of the better books that I read while in high school. Not great, but notable.
3.5 / 5 stars