Monday, April 27, 2009

Prison Break!

I fell off the blog wagon again. I have made some progress on some fiction (more on that in a different post), and wasn't too inspired to write about the latest books I've been reading.

I'm on the road, and yesterday I was at the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. It is an influential and now derelict prison that was open from the 1810s to 1971. I have a couple story ideas percolating, using the place as a setting. But now I'm wondering, what good crime novels (or stories) have been set in prisons. I never read Shawshank Redemption. Edward Bunker's No Beast So Fierce discusses prison life, but most of the novel takes place on the outside. A good portion of Highsmith's The Glass Cell is set in prison. I'll have to figure out what else.

4 comments:

Bill Crider said...

Green River Rising by Tim Willocks, and anything by Malcolm Braly.

Doug Levin said...

Thanks, Bill. I know about Braly's On the Yard, but haven't read it. I'll look for Willocks. Maybe Count of Monte Cristo, too (though I never read it, just saw the TV adaptation in the 1970s). Almost seems, though, that there should be a richer sub-genre. Here's an idea: a cozy set in a prison!

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Oh, and here I thought we were going to talk about the end of PRISON BREAK, the pretty interesting and somewhat innovative (in the first season at least)but now over show on FOX.

I loe the idea of a cozy set in a prison. And it could be done. Let's say--a woman, unfairly convicted, gets sent to the federal pen. (Where are women sent? I should know this.)

Along the lines of Hart's War (which is truly good, by John Katzenbach and takes place in a prison camp, does that count? And do not go by the movie, which is completley different), our heroine must solve a crime within the walls of the prison, and in doing so, proves her own innocence. I love it.

Oh--maybe she was an English teacher. So call it Life Sentence.

Isn't this kind of a good idea???

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Or--Explanation Point. (Would anyone understand that? Or just think it was wrong?)