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review On the Yard · PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ↠ A major American novel and arguably the finest work of literature ever to emerge from a US prison On the Yard is a book of penetrating psychological realism in which Malcolm Braly paints an unforgettable picture of the complex and frightening world of the penitentiary At its center are the vA major American novel and arguably the finest work of literature ever to emerge from a US prison On the Yard is a book of penetrating psychological realism in which Malcolm Braly paints an unforgettable picture of the complex and frightening world of the peni. On the Yard is a story about the downfall of a prison kingpin who controls a number of illegal enterprises in San uentin prison It was written in the 1960's before our current Prison Industrial Complex started building like Donald Trump in his Atlantic City heyday with the result being that America routinely houses over a million souls in its prisons There are hints in 'On the Yard' though of the times to come and already San uentin is overcrowded and most prisoners share small cells that were built with barely enough space for one manMalcolm Braley was imminently ualified to write such a novel having been incarcerated in San uentin and several other prisons for most of his youth till about age forty One can tell when reading this book that the author knows his subject wellBraley's book is extremely nuanced and contains a wide variety of characters and presents them in a way that shows their humanity and the remarkable adaptations prisoners use to adjust to life insideIt rises above the average prison novel though not simply through its characterization; it surpasses most in the genre because it explores issues like the use and abuse of power both among guards and prisoners and the system in general Likewise it does not paint a black and white world ie prisoners bad correction employees good In Braley's world which was the real prison world of the early 1960's even pedophiles are capable of heroic behavior and not all guards are vicious rednecks itching for a chance to beat down an inmate for even the tiniest infraction There is a natural us against them conflict going on but when it comes to inmate guard relations most people wind up getting what they give outPrison is about change as well and new fish come and old reprobates leave until their next stretch Along with change comes unpredictability and some inmates trying hard to avoid trouble inadvertently wind up in serious trouble just like someone wandering into a bad neighborhood might end up in a dire life or death struggle And because all prisoners are attempting to eke out the best lives possible in an environment not designed to promote one's well being a lot of strange things occur Things that would seem uite odd that is to someone on the outside but which are taken as a matter of course in the twisted world of the prisonAn interesting facet of the novel is that it was written before a time when race relations and gangs were a serious prison issue This was to change radically in the later years of the 1960's and is now taken for granted as part and parcel of prison life In Braley's San uentin prison relationships were forged on mutual need affinity or hostility based on real or supposed breaches in the harsh prison etiuette One's race was far less of an issue than one's behavior and gangs based on ethnicity and street affiliations either did not exist or played a small role in prison lifeBraley was released in 1965 at age 40 and never returned to prison He had written three unpublished books before finishing this one sub rosa while on parole It was published after his parole finished An acclaimed memoir of his actual criminal and prison life followed False Starts and I've added this book to my voluminous to be read list Braley married and had children and never returned to prison He died in a car crash in 1980 at the age of 54 Braley should serve as an inspiration to all the fledgling and wannabe writers here on Goodreads He began an early criminal career after years spent in foster care and homes for unwanted children and received his education mainly from prison libraries Think of him reading his ass off in a place where the din was louder than a ball bearing factory and keep hope alive

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D desperate for some kind of redemption At once brutal and tender clear eyed and rueful On the Yard presents the penitentiary not as an exotic location an exception to everyday reality but as an ordinary place one every reader will recognize American to the co. Again a blurb for a book overstates its significance or power; this was a good story of a genre I enjoy prison stories why I have no idea The writing was decent but not amazing and the characters were kind of dull my opinion There really wasn't any new story line that I haven't seen before and the rather startling lack of racial tension that actually exists in the prison system especially California at least two Hispanic rivals blacks and whites I think watered it down a bit There are better and in fact funnier fictional pieces as well as really good memoirs Also a couple of characters are introduced and then seem to simply vanish And there were underlying hints of misogyny that made me feel uneasy Overall however I liked the story as well as finding out about this little known author

Malcolm Braly é 0 review

On the YardTentiary At its center are the violently intertwined stories of Chilly Willy in trouble with the law from his earliest years and now the head of the prison's flourishing black market in drugs and sex and of Paul wracked with guilt for the murder of his wife an. On the Yard like a boxer who finds his rhythm in the later rounds starts off on shaky footing but really comes through in the end In his introduction to Braly's novel Jonathan Lethem compares the narrative's shifting point of view to both an audition process and to the hesitation cuts of a suicide Fortunately this process isn't indefinite and the work isn't killed by its early attempts Grimy realism mixes with hopeless dreams behind the walls None of it feels contrived and while a couple aspects seem outrageous they don't undermine the story's impact This ain't no Shawshank Redemption so if you're looking for a triumph of the spirit move on On the Yard is a novel about people imprisoned by than just bars and bricks; they are trapped by love duty rage addiction and madness They are serving life sentences as human beings That than anything is the Big Bitch no one gets out alive