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Doing the Minimum: A Prison Memoir

ISBN: 9780998597317
Publisher: D.S. Brown Publishing
Publication Date: 2017-04-17
Number of pages: 570
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  • Regular price $27.98

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Imagine taking a white, college educated professional from the suburbs and throwing him into a crazy prison dystopia, where insanity passes for normalcy. Doing the Minimum is a hilarious romp through bowels of minimum security prison in Kansas. Through this real-life experience, the author takes shots at the justice system, the prison administration, the guards, other inmates, religious charlatans, and society as a whole. While excoriating his oppressors, he also takes care to point out the good where he sees it. This gritty and sometimes funny work straddles a crazy line between benevolent and vulgar, revealing a sort of schizophrenia in the narrative. In fact, the writer may have struck a perfect balance where he’s too spiritual for the secularists and too gritty for the evangelicals. With that being said, this is not an inspirational story. This work strives to cut through the lies and the sensationalism to deliver some honest truth about life in an American prison. The work vehemently attacks the zeitgeist of mass incarceration and the profiteering by private corporations on the incarceration of American citizens. The Structure: Short journal entries weave together hundreds of strands that combine to represent the fabric of the author’s prison experience. These entries are arranged categorically and cover topics like the colorful inmates, the crazy guards, the awful food at the chow hall, communal bathrooms, religion and philosophy, sports, prison tech, and prison hustling. With a sardonic style, he also exposes the sex, drugs, violence, and mayhem inherent in prison. The Tone: The author is dry humored, cynical, and sarcastic with a streak of optimism that seems quixotic and maybe contradictory to the rest of his personality. Any reader that likes geek and gallows humor will enjoy the esoteric references and the ironic use of clichés to mock the situation. His misadventures include eating green hot dogs, catching a prison lawn mower on fire, being confused for a male stripper, and sharting himself. Plus, so much more. Through the experience, Mr. Brown learns to laugh instead of crying at the pure absurdity of prison. Throughout his time as a prisoner, he was never bored.

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