A Bit of a Stretch: The Diaries of a Prisoner (Hardback)
  • A Bit of a Stretch: The Diaries of a Prisoner (Hardback)
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A Bit of a Stretch: The Diaries of a Prisoner (Hardback)

(author)
£16.99
Hardback 336 Pages / Published: 06/02/2020
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Waterstones Says

Both a colourful and entertaining memoir and a powerful denunciation of a prison system under intolerable strain, Atkins’s eye-opening account of his five year jail term in HMP Wandsworth is a riveting window into a bizarre, frequently terrifying world. Laced with mordant humour and indignant polemic, A Bit of a Stretch is an unvarnished view of life behind bars.

'Funny, shocking and powerful.' - The Secret Barrister

'Fabulous. A must-read insight into why prison doesn't work.' - Jon Snow

Where can a tin of tuna buy you clean clothes? Where is it easier to get 'spice' than paracetamol? Where does self-harm barely raise an eyebrow?

Welcome to Her Majesty's Prison Service. Like most people, documentary-maker Chris Atkins didn't spend much time thinking about prisons. But after becoming embroiled in a dodgy scheme to fund his latest film, he was sent down for five years. His new home would be HMP Wandsworth, one of the largest and most dysfunctional prisons in Europe.

With a cast of characters ranging from wily drug dealers to senior officials bent on endless reform, this powerful memoir uncovers the horrifying reality behind the locked gates. Filled with dark humour and shocking stories, A Bit of a Stretch reveals why our creaking prison system is sorely costing us all.

Publisher: Atlantic Books
ISBN: 9781838950156
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 600 g
Dimensions: 231 x 157 x 32 mm
Edition: Main


MEDIA REVIEWS

‘A surreal, darkly funny, at times horrifying but always humane account of what it’s like to be locked up on a dysfunctional institution in which 50% of prisoners are functionally illiterate, mental ill health is rife and it’s easier to obtain spice than paracetamol.’ - The Observer

'Highly readable and though provoking account of a failing institution in dire need of a radical overhaul' - The Daily Mail

'...filth, fraud and zombie prisoners - crusading and humorous memoirs' - The Times

'One of that rare breed, a middle-class liberal who has seen the true horror of our penal system.' - The Sunday Times

'Funny, shocking and powerful.' - The Secret Barrister 

'Heartbreaking and hilarious.' - Christie Watson - bestselling author of The Language of Kindness

'Gripping, warm and empathetic. Atkins exposes the shocking gap between what politicians claim about prison and the humiliating reality. You'll roar with laughter before turning to deep despair.' - Isabel Hardman - author of Why We Get the Wrong Politicians

'Powerful and highly readable.' - Peter Dawson - Director of the Prison Reform Trust and former prison governor

'Fabulous. Candid, funny and never self-pitying, this is a must-read insight into why prison simply doesn't work.' - Jon Snow - presenter, Channel 4 News

'Absolutely extraordinary. Heartbreaking without being self-pitying, shocking without being gratuitous and, of course, very, very funny.' - John Niven

'Shocking, funny, and very moving' - Mark Thomas

'Honest and authentic. Atkins perfectly captures the madness, hope and despair of prison. Please read this.' - Professor David Wilson - founding Director of the Centre for Applied Criminology at Birmingham City University and former prison governor

'An important, urgent and entertaining memoir. It made me laugh, cry my eyes out and think hard, not only about forgiveness, but about love and life in general. An essential read.' - Sathnam Sanghera - bestselling author of The Boy with the Topknot

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Nick, Waterstones Altrincham

“A devastatingly honest account of life inside.”

When documentary maker Chris Atkins was sent down for unwittingly becoming involved a dodgy financial scheme, he was sent to the notorious Wandsworth prison. This account of his time inside, related in diary form, is... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 19

“Wonderfully entertaining”

I really enjoyed this book. Its mad really that more people dont write about their experiences in jail or make something good come out of a bad situation. I hope Chris takes his show on the road as it were and can... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 17

“Such an important and entertaining read”

Thanks to Atlantic Books and NetGalley for an advance e-copy of this title.
This is the ‘This Is Going to Hurt’ of the prison world, and I hope it achieves as much recognition and success as that title. I was already... More

Hardback edition
2 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 14

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