As a gun-wielding bank robber, Noel 'Razor' Smith was top of the criminal tree, enjoying the excitement and benefits of a dangerous and adrenalin-filled career. But he'd also spent the greater part of his adult life in prison, an environment where respect and basic survival were guaranteed only to those prepared to use the most brutal violence. In his new book, Smith takes the story on from his highly acclaimed memoir "A Few Kind Words and a Loaded Gun", and describes how he came to realize that the game wasn't worth the candle. In his mid-forties he applied to enter Grendon, then the only prison in Britain offering intense therapeutic treatment to hardened criminals. He went from a brutal high-security prison, HMP Whitemoor, to an institution where he was encouraged to investigate just why his life had been given over to violence and crime. Smith paints an unforgettable portrait of the hardened and severely damaged inmates of Grendon, many of them guilty of famous crimes, and their attempts to turn round their lives. And in particular his own arduous five-year journey to re-enter society as a straight citizen.
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A unique insight into how someone goes about changing the vile and destructive habits of a lifetime. A gripping read (Will Self The Times)
Provocative, funny and thoughtful (Observer)
It's saddening, angering and informative stuff (Metro)
I can't put it down. Smith's accounts of life beyond the windowless walls [of prison] ... are chilling beyond belief (Mark Ellen Word)
Noel 'Razor' Smith was born in London in 1960. He has fifty-eight criminal convictions and has spent the greater portion of his adult life in prison. Whilst in prison he taught himself to read and write, gained an Honours Diploma from The London School of Journalism and an A-Level in Law. He has been awarded a number of Koestler awards for his writing and has contributed articles to the Independent, the Guardian, Punch, the Big Issue, the New Statesman and the New Law Journal.
He was released from prison in 2010 after serving 11 years of a life-sentence for armed robbery, the last few years at Grendon being the subject of this memoir. He is the previous author of the highly acclaimed A Few Kind Words and a Loaded Gun (Penguin, 2005).
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Book Description Penguin, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 400 pages. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0141019522