P.M. Bradshaw, August 6, 2015 (view all comments by P.M. Bradshaw)
Three and half stars. An interesting read into a situation and a society most of us will never experience. Sometimes sad, sometimes infuriating, sometimes funny, this is an interesting read. This list of characters gets a little long, and the stories get a little tedious by the end, but overall, a fun little book!
Cliffie H-B, August 1, 2014 (view all comments by Cliffie H-B)
A self-serving diatribe by a selfish egomaniac. Yes, I did finish the book - to see if Ms. Kerman would ever take responsibility for her actions. She didn't - she thinks that she is far too wonderful to accept any blame for the disruption and heartache her actions caused. I have lost friends and family members due to drug abuse problems, and there is nothing about Ms. Kerman's involvement in drug trafficking that is OK. Don't give this woman a dime of your hard-earned money.
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hipmamadpx, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by hipmamadpx)
I picked up this book as background reading for a work project, and ended up loving it. It's a very compelling personal narrative that integrates staggering facts about the prison system, and particularly female incarceration. You can't help but become an advocate for prison reform after reading it. I gave the book 4 stars only because the writing gets a bit repetitive a few times and isn't the kind of singing prose you find in Louise Erdrich and the like, but it shines in its own right. I'm grateful for people like Piper Kerman who recognize an extraordinary experience for what it is, and then share it with the rest of us. Eye opening, heartbreaking, funny, inspiring.
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odijooonpurpose, June 5, 2011 (view all comments by odijooonpurpose)
Great memoir looking at humanity. Humanizes the experience of prison & turns prisoners into real people. Ms. Kerman's experiences point to many of the issues within our prison system (why do we lock up so many nonviolent drug offenders, for example) without beating you on the head with it.
I found myself engrossed, & eager for her release.
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"Kerman's book is a fascinating look down the rabbit hole that is prison… Unforgettable."
by USA Today,
"Orange transcends the memoir genre's usual self-centeredness to explore how human beings can always surprise you. You'd expect bad behavior in prison. But it's the moments of joy, friendship and kindness that the author experienced that make Orange so moving and lovely…You sense [Kerman] wrote Orange to make readers think not about her but her fellow inmates. And, boy, does she succeed."
by Los Angeles Times,
"In Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison, Kerman puts us inside, from the first strip search...to the prison-issue unwashed underwear to the cucumbers and raw cauliflower that count as salad.... This book is impossible to put down because she could be you. Or your best friend. Or your daughter."
by Boston Globe,
"Kerman neither sentimentalizes nor lectures. She keeps the details of her despair to a minimum along with her discussion of the outrages of the penal system, concentrating instead on descriptions of her direct experiences, both harrowing and hilarious, and the personalities of the women who shared them with her."
With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money ten years ago. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187-424--one of the millions of women who disappear down the rabbit hole of the American penal system. From her first strip search to her final release, Kerman learns to navigate this strange world with its strictly enforced codes of behavior and arbitrary rules, where the uneasy relationship between prisoner and jailer is constantly and unpredictably recalibrated. She meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with small tokens of generosity, hard words of wisdom, and simple acts of acceptance. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Kerman's story offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison--why it is we lock so many away and what happens to them when they're there.
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