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.


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?)