Inside Alcatraz: My Time on the Rock - Jim Quillen
I was inspired to read this book after taking a tour of Alcatraz whilst visiting San Francisco and found it gripping! I couldn't put it down. I found Alcatraz a fascinating place to visit, full of mythical aura and mystery and this book really brings to life the daily life and conditions for the inmates.
Written by Jim Quillen, (prisoner AZ586), who was sentenced to forty-five years after previously escaping from San Quentin prison where he'd been serving eighteen months for armed robbery, this book recounts his ten years served at America's most notorious prison. You feel like you are living every minute of Jim Quillen's life with him, and it feels like it is written in a very honest way. It tells the full backstory to his upbringing and how numerous silly teenage pranks and bad decisions ultimately set him on a road to breaking the law, getting arrested and doing time.
It captures and details daily life in the prison, solitary confinement, encounters with 'the Birdman of Alcatraz' and the famous 1946 escape attempt which led to the forty-six hour Battle of Alcatraz riot.
If you've visited Alcatraz then this book goes to further enhance that unique eye-opening experience. Equally too, if you are fascinated by the mystery and legend of the place, this book is a must read.