Review on Jeffery Archer "A Prison Diary"

Essay by TjieCollege, Undergraduate April 2006

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Jeffery Archer, "A Prison Dairy" Volume 1 HELL, is a real life experience about his life in "Belmarsh" a maximum security prison. Archer was a member of the British House of Lords before he was sentenced to four years of prison. During the four years, he had a lot to deal with, including the death of his mother. Ironically, it is because of Justice Potts, who sentenced him to four years in prison for perjury, that Archer has produced one of his best works. This memoir was penned during his first three weeks in prison. Through his anecdotes detailing the worst three weeks of his life, Archer hopes to give a personal account of his grievances, and above all, to expose the glaring failings of the British penal system.

The style of writing in this book is highly appropriate; it is very vividly a dairy. Archer does not see the need to temper his language.

"No you stupid old f***er" (pg57), Archer uses this language to further justify the hard time he is having in prison and about the people in there. He is facing difficulties coping with the new surroundings in prison. He also seems to have trouble associating himself with the prison wardens and his cell mates and last but not least because he is going through a power struggle within himself unable to cope with the psychological battle inside. This is how he solicits pity from the readers. It also shows how he has matured throughout the course of his short period in "Bellmarsh".

He is also unable to cope with the caustic surroundings of the prison and life in it. Archer complains about almost everything in prison, that the "pillows are army rejects" (pg39), that the harsh surroundings of the prison is making...