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Locked Up In La Mesa [Kindle Edition]

Steve Peterson , Eldon Asp
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

In the freewheeling '70s, La Mesa Penitentiary was a prison unlike any other, a colorful little pueblo on the east side of Tijuana that was home to the worst criminals imaginable—and their entire families. Everything was controlled by the inmates, and the world they created was a bizarre reflection of the one they'd left behind:

There was a bustling business district complete with stores and restaurants, a prison laundry staffed by transvestite hookers and a babysitting service run by a schizophrenic murderer. Weekend fiestas brought drunken partiers to the prison, along with masked wrestlers and strolling mariachis. La Mesa at the time was both a deadly powder keg and a nonstop party, a temple of vice where the inmates had better guns than the guards—a place where anything could happen.

"Locked Up In La Mesa" is the true story of Steve Peterson, a young California surfer dude caught smuggling pot in the hills outside Tijuana. In thirty-four short stories of black humor and bittersweet humanity, Steve, together with writer Eldon Asp, recalls his hilarious adventures and scary close calls inside the most notorious prison in Mexico...

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Growing up, STEVE PETERSON dreamed of becoming a cowboy, a sailor, a fisherman and a smuggler. All of these dreams came true, and then some.

His greatest joy is being a father of six, with six grandkids and counting...


ELDON ASP is a writer of various scripts and stories, mostly involving characters who are very excited about their horrible plans. LOCKED UP IN LA MESA is his first book.

His next one is EASY STREET.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1703 KB
  • Print Length: 229 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: DIRT CITY PRESS (August 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005FT9YOE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,859 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast moving account of life in a 70's Mexican prison. August 11, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book started off bold and stayed true. An honest account with no sugar coating of a wanna-be drug runner who was caught with his co conspirators. The Mexican prison system at the time was a lawless collection of the crooked watching the caught and the author recalls it well. I was impressed with two things: the author being a stand up guy and how the story flows from capture onward, warts and all.
Definitely a worthwhile read!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All I can say is, I want more!!! July 31, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved this book! I barely ate or slept till I finished it, and then I wanted to reread it. The characters came alive with Asp and Peterson's colorful vignettes of life in a Mexican prison. I just wish there was a volume #2!! I was scared, exhilarated and amused from page to page. Fun reading until it dawns on you this is Reality for Real.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting September 21, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A riveting, compelling read. This vivid description of man's darkest hours would make an excellent screen play. Hard to believe there are still such places existing on this continent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed it. August 7, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found this book to be a fast paced and interesting look into a Mexican prison back in the 1970's. I found myself "cracking up" laughing at times as the author found the humor in some of the situations. I also cringed at times when he went into the detail about horrors of this prison in La Mesa. Very interesting that the inside of the prison was like a small pueblo with a marketplace.
I really wish that Steve Peterson would write a follow-up book about his life after he got out of that horrible place.
He is a great story teller and I am sure that his life adventures did not end when he left the prison.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in reading about prisons and what goes on inside of some of them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, quick read September 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This story really flowed. From the very beginning when the "great plan" went horribly wrong through the first lock up and Steve's noble sacrifice for his friends and on through the almost full year he spent in La Mesa, this was a story that few could imagine living.

This is not a great literary work, but rather stories the guy sitting next to in a bar might tell you over a couple of beers---just like Steve asks you to imagine hearing them. It is described as a series of "short stories." However, they are in a pretty told in a pretty straight timeline making it an easy read in one sitting. The characters were realistic despite how unreal the whole situation seems. I must say one of my favorite vignettes was when Steve's brother came to visit and was flirting with one of the "laundry ladies."

There was a humor that came through at times. It was scary, nasty, and violent by turns, but maybe the resilience of youth and the hindsight that comes with the wisdom of age made it easier for the author to paint a picture that was not all bleak. The vendors, the families, the fiestas, alongside rampant drug use and the almost overlooked violence---it had to have been like falling down the rabbit hole. I enjoyed reading this book and would enjoy reading more of La Mesa as seen through this man's eyes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glued to this book! August 10, 2011
Whoa, this is better than an episode of "Locked Up Abroad"! It's crazy that these things actually happen (and still to this day)! It's even crazier that this guy lived to tell them. The stories are scary, but so interesting, I salute Steve for telling his story and Eldon for writing it so well. Ok, back to the book!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOCKED UP IN LA MESA September 1, 2011
By babsz
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What a fascinating book! Some of the stories made me laugh, some made me tear up, and some made me cringe! Great read, would definitely recommend it to anyone!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a Must Read July 25, 2011
I don't want to spoil it for you, so I'm not going to tell you anything except that this is an awesome book, and you will probably really dig it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
Very incitful. The narrative was as I were there. Very descriptive.

Extremely captivating through all parts of the story. Hooked
Published 3 months ago by Jason Nelson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Easy to read and exciting as well
This was a real page Turner.
A good look at foreign provision life
Published 4 months ago by ReneeJ
1.0 out of 5 stars Not very good
it does not tell you very much about the person just a lot of jumbled up stories with no connection
Published 8 months ago by quinto
1.0 out of 5 stars Thoughts of la mesa
Eldon, you need to become a better story teller. This book jumps all over the like your making it up as you go along. Steve in my eyes you were a doper . Read more
Published 9 months ago by Aida B Cook
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
the chapters aren't long and the stories told are interesting enough to keep going until the end. a good, quick read.
Published 10 months ago by B
3.0 out of 5 stars Stories from a Mexican Prison
Amazing stories from a world I know nothing about. Shocking and fascinating, funny and sad at the same time. Read more
Published 12 months ago by kitelover
3.0 out of 5 stars So So
This book was fairly well written . The chapters are short but the story does flow. I was initially very impressed and then I realized the writer has sugar coated alot of his... Read more
Published 13 months ago by bailey48
4.0 out of 5 stars Locked up in La Mesa
Being reasonably familiar with Tijuana after spending some time in the Navy stationed quite close, visiting it often, and hearing stories about the prison there, this let me see... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Bob Verrinder
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible stories
This book had the most fascinating stories. I loved the way the author told his stories. He made the outlandish believable. He demonstrated his will for survival. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Phylpalacios
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising!
I downloaded this on a whim -it was free and had good reviews! I was very surprised how much I liked it . It was thought provoking and difficult to put down
Published 15 months ago by Lisa k
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