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November 26, 2005

Education of a Felon

I just finished reading Edward Bunker's memoir, Education of a Felon (St. Martin's Press, New York, 2000). Bunker, you may recall, is the career criminal and ex-convict who went straight in his forties and subsequently had a successful career as a novelist, screenwriter, actor and producer. He died this past July at age 67, and you can read his obituaries here.

Fascinated by his obits, I ordered (and read, which does not always follow) a couple of his novels (Animal Factory: A Novel and Dog Eat Dog). Curiously, I preferred his memoir to his fiction, though his novels were quite good. His real life story is as colorful as any of the plotlines in his fiction and has the added benefit of being true. The best bits of his novels were often the prison scenes and there are plenty of them in his memoir.

If you have an interest in the criminal mind and understanding life behind bars, I don't think you can find a better introduction than Bunker. Highly recommended.

November 26, 2005 at 03:38 PM | Permalink

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