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A Prison Diary 3 ( Heaven )
Pan Books
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Day 115 Saturday 10th November 2001 6.38am It's all an act. I am hopelessly unhappy, dejected and broken. I smile when I am at my lowest, I laugh when I see no humour, I help others when I need help myself. I am alone. If I were to show any sign, even for a moment, of what I'm going through, I would have to read the details in some tabloid the following day. Everything I do is only a phone call away from a friendly journalist with an open cheque book. I don't know where I have found the strength to maintain this facade and never break down in anyone's presence. The final volume of Jeffrey Archer's prison diaries covers the period of his transfer from Wayland to his eventual release on parole in July 2003. It includes a shocking account of the traumatic time he spent in the notorious Lincoln jail and the events that led to his incarceration there -- it also throws light on a system that is close to breaking point. Told with humour, compassion and honesty, it closes with a thought-provoking manifesto that should be applauded by the Establishment and prison population alike.

Editorial Review :

Praise for Jeffrey Archer:

"The books form the most detailed and illuminating account of life spent under lock and key since Dostoyevsky."
---Mail on Sunday (UK)

"Compelling reading. . . . Archer knows how to tell a story. He exposes real problems in the penal system."
---Houston Chronicle on A Prison Diary

"A tale that is not only important but true."
---The Washington Post on A Prison Diary

"The finest thing that he's ever written . . . so clear and crisp is the prose, a vivid and almost 'live' account that bubbles with Dickensian detail and a Shavian sense of outrage…. Riveting."
---Independent on Sunday (UK) on A Prison Diary

"Surprisingly effective . . . a devastating critique . . . written simply and directly."
---Sunday Times (UK) on A Prison Diary

"False Impression…may be a worthy successor to the still bestselling The Da Vinci Code….Sail along from one high crime to the next."
---Liz Smith, The New York Post

"Archer's usual plot twists and fast pace make for an enjoyable page-turner."
---Library Journal (starred review) on False Impression

Publishers Weekly
In 2001, bestselling novelist Archer (Sons of Fortune; etc.) was sentenced to four years' imprisonment for perjury. Volume one of his diaries detailed his first 22 days at a facility for violent offenders; volume two described his move to a place mostly populated by drug offenders and armed robbers. Volume three opens on Day 89, as Archer arrives at North Sea Camp, an "open" prison for well-behaved lifers and convicts nearing parole. As hospital orderly, Archer has certain perks-a private room with bath-and a full work schedule, essential for staving off prison's big challenge: boredom. Being a writer helps; he fills the hours writing his diary and interviewing fellow inmates. There's a whole lot of tedious "what I ate for breakfast"-type entries which make a strong case for how dull prison life really is. There's no discussion anywhere of Archer's crime and little talk of British Conservative politics; the focus stays on daily prison life. Archer's fiction fans will read this volume just to see him home free; for prison reform advocates, the entire series may open doors to Archer's other work. Agent, Jonathan Lloyd. (July) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.


Kirkus Reviews

Prisoner number FF8282 completes his jailhouse trilogy (A Prison Diary, 2003, Purgatory, 2004). Following the pattern of earlier incarcerated writers such as Cervantes, Raleigh, Wilde and Hitler, Archer is now out and free. In this final volume, the diary of the former member of the House of Lords shows him captive for most of the time in a minimum security facility, a place Her Majesty's Prisoners (HMP) never "escape" from, though they may, sometimes, "abscond." A feature of the open prison, for those deserving, is town leave. Even then, though, there's still the stultifying bureaucracy he finds so tedious as the days pass and inmates come and go. Drug testing is a signal event, while noise and naughty language still offend his ever helpful lordship, still noble despite the inequities heaped upon him. He signs a "Change of Labour Request" as "The R T Hon The Lord Archer of Weston-Super-Mare," and the request is denied. Archer spends time editing and reediting another potboiler (Sons of Fortune, 2003) and hosting a Sunday tea club for older felons. He gets a sinecure as hospital orderly but is still beleaguered by a hostile press and spying inmates. Home Secretary David Blunkett remains deaf to his entreaties, and Mr. Justice Potts, who sentenced him (for perjury), continues to embody unbridled malevolence. Wife Mary remains stalwart, however, and Archer continues to appreciate good art, particularly a modern illustration for The Wind in the Willows depicting Toad in jail. Withal, he must endure "the prisoner's biggest enemy, boredom," a sensation of which he manages to convey quite effectively. Thus his "tariff" passes, from day 89 (15 October 2001) through day 457 (18 October 2002),when Archer, put back into a more secure prison, abandons his journal until day 725 (21 July 2003), when he's released. The R T Hon Lord is once more at large. We can only hope he reamains "on the out," never to serve again.

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About the Author :

Jeffrey Archer was educated at Oxford University. He has served five years in Britain's House of Commons, fourteen years in the House of Lords and two in Her majesty's prisons, which spawned three volumes of highly acclaimed Prison Diaries. All of his novels and short story collections--including Kane and Abel, Sons of Fortune, and False Impression--have been international bestsellers. Archer is married with two children and lives in London and Cambridge.