In 1961, at the age of nineteen, young, black, eighth-grade dropout, Wilbert Rideau, despaired of the dead-end and small-town future his life held for him. He set out to rob the local bank and in an ill-concieved out and bungled robbery he murdered the bank teller - a young, white female. He was arrested and gave a full confession at the local police station while angry mobs chanted 'kill that nigger' outside. From this beginning, where we meet Rideau, newly sentenced to death row, he starts on an extraordinary journey. One that begins in the most violent prison in America, where brutality, years spent in solitary confinement, sexual slavery and local politics govern and confine many in ways that bars alone cannot.The ending to this compelling book is like nothing you will have read before, full of breathtaking suspense and gripping, gritty realism, a heartbreaking, emotionally wrought and magical ending to Rideau's prison life is skilfully and vigorously evoked.This is a powerful and inspirational memoir unlike any other, one that is sure to question our expectations of prisoners and the role of jails in rehabilitating them .

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