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Education of a Felon 1st (first) edition Text Only Paperback – 2001

4.3 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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"My Father, the Pornographer" by Fang Lizhi
A son tries to understand his late father, by reading the 400-plus novels left to him in his father's will. Check out "My Father, the Pornographer".
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • ASIN: B004XM2GE4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I'm a huge fan of Bunker's fictional work. _Dog Eat Dog_ is among the the most powerful works of fiction (irrespective of genre) I've ever read.
_Felon_ is relatively comprehensive, describing Bunker's troubled youth and adulthood in a series of increasingly tough institutions; it details his experiences as a student, parolee, fugitive, prisoner and author.
I had two minor bones to pick: in this day and age, a Father effectively abandoning his child to the arms of an institution seems nearly incomprehensible. Perhaps I didn't understand the true motivation, but wished there had been a more suitable explanation for his father's willingness to pawn off his increasingly troubled child to any home that would have him.
I also wished that the book had covered more of Bunker's life in the last twenty-odd years. There was no explanation of Bunker encountering Tarantino or similar events that would seem to be interesting and unique. The book effectively ends with Bunker still in prison, being notified that one of his novels has been accepted by Norton for publication.
Nonetheless, I devoured the entire book in a rush and would recommend it highly. It is a worthwhile description of a complex (if atypical) life.
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Format: Hardcover
Bunker's definitely a felon, a bad person who has hurt others
throughout his life. But he can write, and he opens a window to a ruthless underground jungle few of us ever see. I sure wouldn't want him as a friend (few have escaped that role unscathed) but the books are compelling. Somewhat reminiscent of Bukowski's self-justifying assault on convention: highly entertaining if taken in the right spirit.
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Format: Paperback
I was impressed by Mr. Bunker's writing skill. Apparently he is the only living author who knows the difference between "trusty" and "trustee".
Some of the writing is self-serving, which is to be expected, but the story as a whole is interesting, intelligent, and informational. I personally resented Mr. Bunker's constant insistence that he was a criminal because the "system" had made him one. He was a criminal because he failed to control his impulses--unless it was in his interest to do so. Even if his upbringing did not include such lessons, his experiences should have taught him that certain actions have certain consequences and it would be a good idea not to keep repeating them.
This was my first in-depth look into a life of crime that I thought was believable. All in all, Mr. Bunker is to be commended for giving readers the opportunity to see inside jails, prisons, reformatories, etc. and the people who inhabit them.
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Format: Paperback
Ya know, sometimes---to paraphrase the Lucrezia Borgia of our time, Hilary Clinton---it takes a jailhouse to raise a writer.

Just ask Eddie Bunker, who serves up a crackling, earthy, deadpan honest and infuriatingly good read in "Education of a Felon", which just goes to show that if our man Eddie had been born on a beach in Tunis about two thousand years ago, he would probably have been St. Augustine.

No, seriously: stay with me for a second. I'm not just trying to get a rise outta ya.

But first, let's get all the turkey and trimmings out of the way: "Education" is a rippingly good true-crime read about a kid born and raised in the seamier shadow of Hollywood, a few years after they sheared "Land" off the famous hillside sign.

Bunker is a kid whose chorus girl mother left his alcoholic stagehand father, a kid who made the rounds of every boarding school, military school, and afternoon-orphange in town, a kid who wanted to get out there---you know, out there, Man, on the drive, around the town, in a loud, lavish 52 Chrysler, with a hot blonde bombshell on his arm, doing the town. A kid who made one stupid move after another, engaged in petty crime, and ultimately spent the bulk of his life in one p*ss-reeking cell after another in San Quentin.

Eddie Bunker might not have been born to be bad, but he sure grew that way.

Now: because American society languishes, for the most part, in the suburbs, and because most reasonably-heeled American men go from cradle to corpse without running afoul of the law, there is a mystifying tendency in America to glorify, to idealize, to ennoble the badman.
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Format: Paperback
Edward Bunker's memoirs of his crimes and incarceration are fascinating and frustrating. Bunker always had a choice and he always opted for the self-destructive, violent world of the career criminal. I do not understand how some reviews can refer to his early years as "impoverished." His family was not poor and ever after his parent's divorce, his father sacrificed to send him to good private schools. Bunker was apparently one of those social anomolies whose lack of emotional restraint destined him to a life in which immediate gratification and the bravery of brutality were the primary values. He was bright, he informs of this over and over, and a voracious reader. But his intellect could not balance his inordinate anger. He doesn't delve into the deep roots of his rage,just a perfunctory mention of his parents's breakup. His morality is one of self justification and convenience. But he is as honest about himself as a man of limited insight can be and admits to be being a thug and a thief without apology. He is reckless and has a lust for life and adventure which captivates us with its sheer vitality. Bunker pays the price for his outlaw lifestyle, 18 years in the hellish world of California's toughest prisons. He survives incinerating passions and medival punishments through a combination of luck and tenacity. His literary talents are the only thing he has ever really committed to and worked at and, in the end, they reward him and us with the record of a strange and fascinating life.
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