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Showing 1-10 of 46 reviews(5 star)show all reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2011
This is non fiction and I have to say the author has gone to great lengths to gather the resources and material. There are photos, sketches, architectural plans and designs, blueprints and original letters of Alcatraz, the inmates and the officers that worked there. It is def. a must read for history buffs. It is almost eery reading the private letters of some of the most infamous criminals that have been detained on that island. Even though the kindle edition shows the pictures in black and white they are clear, readable and of great quality.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2008
Michael Esslinger does it again with this excellent work of personal letters and documents culled from files of various alcatraz inmates. We get a close up peek at what was actually written by convicts and what they recieved from their family members. I really dug the design of the book.
They are all here; Stroud,Capone, Kelly,Karpis and all the rest. Alcatraz afficionados will need this one in your library. I'm glad it's in mine.

Mario Gomes
Myalcaponemuseum
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2008
Excellent!

I thought Mr. Esslinger's book on "Alcatraz" was unbeatable. However, this also is a must have. I loved it. No one else could do a better job.
Gave me an insight to what the prisoners were thinking and a lot of the hardships they hard to endure. Excellent! Excellent!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2013
There is something special about reading personal letters. It often provides much more insight than stories or epitaphs from family and friends.

While I am not an Alcatraz enthusiast and haven't read loads of books on this subject, I found the book to contain quite a bit of information(~312 pages) compiled in an engaging collection of history and biographies. The photographs and letters are fantastic and looked great on my kindle reader(gen4).

I picked this book up while it was free and I am so glad that I did, but this book is highly recommended, even at the full price of $7.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2013
This was a book that was offered free one day so I thought I would take a chance. Boy was I glad that I did! I never really knew the history of Alcatraz, just what I had seen in the movies. This book not only gives a difinitive history of "The Rock", but the stories of the inmates were amazing. You really see that these were real people with real lives. Also, there are pictures of actual documents and letters. I really enjoyed this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2014
I learned more about Alcatraz in this one book than any other. A very in-depth look at the operations of Alcatraz from an inmate perspective. Find out the details of the attempted escapes as well as the "Battle of Alcatraz". No matter the genre you read, true crime or some such works, you'll love this one. There is no other like Alcatraz, and the story is itself is unique
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2014
The book arrived in pristine condition - very satisfied with the resale vendor.

The book itself is fantastic. The author went to great lengths to compile the actual letters and then have them transcribed. The contents are priceless - a representation of what the inmate and guards/staff thought in their own words.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2013
I picked this up because I do not know much about Alcatraz and thought reading the letters of prisoners might be an interesting way of learning more. This book went way beyond my expectations! There are several chapters leading into the letters themselves that give the history of the island. I appreciated this as I know a little bit about it, but not more than the basics. This introduction talks about the island before it was the prison and how it became the prison. They really give you insight into the prison and gives you the background to make the letters make sense.

Each chapter is a different prisoner and their letters. If the prisoner is famous or not, the author explains a bit about the person, why they were in prison and the type of letters this person sent or received. Knowing what the prisoner was in for, how long their sentence was, how long they had been in prison prior to being sent to Alcatraz helped put the letters in context. Within the chapter the author puts a copy of the original letter, then it is transcribed so you can read it. I liked seeing the original letters ever if they were too small on the page to really read them. It was the handwriting and just seeing the ink on paper that struck me.

This is one of the best books I've read and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in history, Alcatraz, or human emotion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2014
The printed copy of this book is already excellent, but the e-book has lots of new material featuring letters that Whitey Bulger sent to the author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2014
Very interesting to see the way they lived in the prison. I have visited Alcatraz and find it amazing. The history behind it is amazing.
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