PDF/EPUB Jim Quillen Æ Æ Alcatraz from Inside The Hard Years 1942 1952 Kindle

Each day we saw the outside world in all its splendour and each day that view served as a reminder that we had wasted and ruined our lives Jim Quillen AZ586 a runaway problem child and petty thief was jailed several times before his twentieth birthday In August 1942 after escaping from San Quentin he was arrested on the run and sentenced to forty five years in prison and later transferred to AlcatrazThis is the true story of life inside America's most notorious prison from terrifying times in solitary confinement to daily encounters with 'the Birdman' and what really happened during the desperate and deadly 1946 escape attempt

10 thoughts on “Alcatraz from Inside The Hard Years 1942 1952

  1. says:

    Not quite up to my expectations I thought there would be a lot detail on Jim Quillen’s Alcatraz experience so you would get to know what it is like being incarcerated on the Rock There is an interesting chapter that concerns the Birdman of Alcatraz Robert StroudThe author goes over his early life and the trouble he gets into that would lead him to reform school plus San Quentin and Salt Lake City jail before ending up in the infamous Alcatraz There are about 8 chapters of the 25 in the book solely on the 1946 Battle at Alcatraz which is extremely bloody and violent but to be honest it was all a bit confusing I read the Kindle version and there is a floor plan in the picture section so keep this handy when reading this as it will aid you He also goes over the 14 total escape attempts in the appendix It is great how Jim made a success of his life after Alcatraz It does give some insight into life there and how the prisoners were treated but not quite as detailed as expected

  2. says:

    Inside Alcatraz My Time On The Rock – Jim QuillenI have always been fascinated by Alcatraz and have been dying to go there for years My brother went there last year and bought back loads of information When I saw this book I though ‘I must read this I need to know ’ This book is GREAT I loved knowing how he got into trouble what sparked it all off Not only that when you look up the prisoners in Alcatraz you only find out the outside version This book contains lots and lots of inside information about the work shops what the cells were like the people in there to name a few The main part of this book is all to do with the siege that took place in there it was great to hear an inside story although there is no way he could know all this information without being told some of it It was fascinating to find out his role in it but also what the 3 men who wanted to escape were like I cannot imagine being in a situation where you cannot move and fear for your life for 3 days however this is what these men went through because of the others All the different squads and techniques to get these prisoners must have been a horrific encounter I didn’t realise that there had been so many escape attempts from Alcatraz most of which resulted in death or until recently where they thought that a few men may have managed to make it to land I couldn’t put this book down at the weekend it really had me gripped I just wanted to know Not only does this book divulge this life prior to crime but also what happened when he got out He was lucky enough to have people trust him despite his past Anyone who wants to know about Alcatraz or even just to get into the head of a criminal this is the book for you Everything was written and divulged really well 5 stars

  3. says:

    This book was an inspirational tale of freedom and how it can only truly be appreciated when it is taken away I did find that when the breakouts were being described that there were too many places being described wings and corridors which kind of lost me and I found it hard to follow what was going on I also think that a lot was not explained the author constantly said Alcatraz was awful and people would rather die than be imprisoned there but a lot of the reasons why this would be were not really explained I expected examples and anecdotes instead it was very generalised

  4. says:

    Jim's story is very interesting and I really wanted to finish the book but the quality of the writing made it nearly impossible to concentrateThe narrative was void of any emotion and very repetitive There was too much focus on insignificant details and overall it read like a witness statement all fact and no feeling

  5. says:

    Inside Alcatraz is the first book I have awarded five stars to in 2015 and I am doing so because it is one of the best books I have ever read I feel as if I have lived every minute of Jim Quillen's life with him after reading this book He is a truly remarkable man and one I am full of respect for after reading this book I have read a lot of True Crime books over the years and anybody else who reads this genre will tell you there's far bad books than good This one is incredible and I encourage everybody to pick it up and read itJim comes across as a very grounded humble man in the opening telling us all about his somewhat troubled upbringing With an alcoholic mother and a father who at times struggled to cope Jim found himself sent to various homes before as a teenager running away from home than once and getting into a bit of trouble In the beginning it was normal teenage stuff but some poor decisions led to Jim breaking the law one too many times and he was soon sent to a reformatory school many escape attempts later resulting in a small sentence becoming much longer and Jim was a free man Recognising that next time he would be sent to San Quentin he made the decision to join the US Marines in the hope that would put him on the straight and narrow and allow him to better himself Unfortunately those in charge found out about his criminal record and he then in his own words 'fell into the depths of depression' This in turn led to him committing armed robbery finding himself in San Quentin before he escaped yet again as a fugitive he felt he had nothing to lose and a cross country chase soon found him captured by the FBI and sent to Alcatraz Even without Alcatraz this book is eventful it taking some 100 pages before we reach the notorious jail but it was once I reached the chapters surrounding Alcatraz that the book gripped me even to say the tales detailed within are shocking would be an understatement Jim says that 'Alcatraz was designed and built to be a maximum security and minimum privilege facility In reality it went far beyond this and became a prison where the sole purpose was to degrade deprive humiliate and break the inmates physically mentally and spiritually if possible In many cases it was remarkably successful' He goes on to discuss the prison's inception how prisoners are introduced to life at Alcatraz and its many rules and regulations and also what the prison officers were like Jim then says that 'whilst it is true this prison houses violent men many of whom had killed during the commission of their crimes they were still human beings a fact that seemed to be forgotten once incarcerated at Alcatraz' He then goes into a lot detail about his time in the prison from the early years through to the world famous Battle of Alcatraz there was an almost cinematic quality to these chapters and it felt almost like a film There are many tales I enjoyed reading in this book some shocked me some made me laugh but really it's best for readers to discover them for themselves rather than me reel them off here It's important to note that Jim does highlight the positives for example the guards that did help and the guards that carried out their job to the best of their abilities rather than simply being critical of the whole system Often there's the question of how much is true when a criminal writes a book about a prison yet the history of Alcatraz is well documented and so there's not much to question here Some people are obviously born criminals but some are victims of circumstance Jim is one such person We are all responsible for our own decisions and Jim holds his hands up and admits to all of his mistakes never glossing over anything or passing the blame onto somebody else unless that blame was deserved which it is a couple of times in the book He's very honest all the way through and very evaluative about what led him to make those choices and how they changed him as a person In fact when talking about his thought processes at the time of his crimes he was actually thinking that if he was caught he would hold his hands up and blame nobody but himself I did wonder then why he would prefer to escape from prison and be on the run living as a criminal rather than serve 12 months in San Quentin to think all of what he experienced wouldn't have happened had his desire for freedom not been so strong You could also say though that the life he went on to live after Alcatraz would also not have happened It really is so much than a book about Alcatraz and I have a million and one thoughts running around in my head that I'm struggling to put into words It's also a story of times gone by the kind of policing described in this book is now surely a thing of the past It's an absolutely compelling read and one that has consumed me over these past two days The fact he managed to turn his life around and find happiness with a wife and children even becoming a tour guide when Alcatraz became a tourist destination is quite remarkable and it is the final chapter about him leaving prison and his life after that which was one of my favourites Some might say a criminal is a criminal let them rot but in his latter years at the jail the hard work is evident and it's a shame that a man who appeared in this book as quite clever led the life he did but if this book shows anything it's that no prisoner is beyond rehabilitation Sadly Jim passed away some time ago but his legacy lives on and his story is definitely worth reading for True Crime fans or readers of nonfiction in general It's certainly one of the best I have ever read in the genre and I very much enjoyed it

  6. says:

    I've always loved memoir and stories of struggle plus Alcatraz has always intrigued me so this book was a no brainer for me That said this book is less of an expose of the prison as the cover and blurb seem to suggest than one man's turn to criminal activities and eventual rehabilitation In real terms I'd wager it's only in Alcatraz a third of the book Quillen's style is very dry; it comes off as a witness statement and I had difficulty visualising some of the escape attempts tunnels and crevices etc That said there is something very compelling about the story and the way Quillen tells it especially the doomed escape attempt that had authorities use all their available firepower on them even prisoners caught in the crossfire which just beggars belief It will stay with me So I'm glad I read it just took a little longer than usual

  7. says:

    I read this in 48 hours and enjoyed every minute I have always been fascinated by prisons and crime so this ticked every box for me Each chapter I had to close the book and just spend time considering some of the shocking things I had just read Crazy and entertaining Would recommend

  8. says:

    When I was in high school our family took a boat out to Alcatraz for a tour while visiting San Francisco After the tour we were walking out and my dad friendly guy that he is stopped to talk to a man with ice blue eyes who was standing behind a table selling this book about a former prisoner of Alcatraz Turns out the mug shot on the cover had the same ice blue eyes Eerie They talked a little about his autobiography and experience inside Alcatraz and my dad asked him what advice he would give us kids so we never had to see the inside of a place like that Jim talked about making good friends staying in school etc My dad thanked him bought his book and as we were walking away I'll never forget the guy looked at me with those ice blue eyes said Be good and then winked at me Creepy It was a long time ago but I remember finding the account depressing bc he had such a bad childhood and also interesting how he turned his life around I like what another reviewer said The life of Jim Quillen proves that no man is beyond rehabilitation regardless of how far he has fallen from the norms of the society This book opened my eyes and lessened my own hard views on convicted criminals I think an individual is a prisoner of his own thoughts and personal circumstances Quillen came from a dysfunctional family which contributed negatively to his development This is well illustrated by the story of Jim Quillen

  9. says:

    An interesting account of one man's time in one of the most notorious prisons in the Western world Jim Quillen's recounting of the events of the infamous escape attempt of 1946 is particularly important as it attempts to redress the balance somewhat with an inmate's view of the events that happened which of course differ very much from the accepted view peddled by the authorities Yes of course Jim is always going to see the affair through the eyes of an inmate it would be very difficult not to but it does supply a certain amount of balance to the overall story of those events and allows the prisoners held in Alcatraz a certain voice that hadn't been readily available beforeUltimately this is an easy going read not too demanding the writing style is simple and uncomplicated Personally I would have liked to have read a little bit about his post criminal life and the ending seems a bit rushed as a result But Jim's rehabilitation does reveal a humanity rarely seen in books of this kind and I have to admit a certain amount of joy at reading about the way he turned his life around The book also acts as a prime example of how criminal rehabilitation is a goal any civilised society should aspire to rather than the senseless idea of punishment for it's own sake as revenge and nothing else

  10. says:

    Following a crime spree in the 1940s that resulted in multiple charges of robbery one of kidnapping James Quillen was sentenced to 45 years in prison and was sent to the infamous Alcatraz view spoilerThis book gave us an excellent inside look at Alcatraz and I felt like I lived each moment with Quillen I loved his happy ending of getting married settling down and even getting a pardon from President Carter Highly recommend for anyone who is interested in Alcatraz or true crime hide spoiler