My brother recently went on a holiday to a few locations in America – one of them being San Fransisco. This inevitably meant a trip to Alcatraz Island and a huge amount of jealousy on my end. So, waving the suggestions of my friends to request souvenirs of clothes and duty-free alcohol I humbly asked for a really good book from and about Alcatraz.
Imagine my happy expression when not only was I given TWO books but Alcatraz #1259 was signed to me by the author. Well, tickle me pink. Sometimes it really is the little things. I decided to read this one first.
I’ll never know why I get so interested by books, documentaries, movies etc. about this place and this book was no exception.
William G. Baker – inmate #1259 – tells his story of his time spent on the infamous island. The jail conditions, which by his own admission, were pretty comfortable. The time spent with his buddies entertaining themselves day-to-day. The mischief and roughousing they orchestrated to taunt the prison guards for their own amusement.
Sometimes you have to stop and remind yourself that you aren’t in fact reading a novel, this was someones life. Unbelievable as that may be. However, apart from his experience in Alcatraz, Baker also tells some spin-off stories about his life before prison, his childhood and how he came to land himself in Alcatraz in the first place. In and out of various jails, he always speaks of the Island as his favorite.
With a brief chapter on his life post-prison, his return to Alcatraz in 2013 and small collection of pictures his tale is wrapped up nicely and its hard to believe the sweet 80-year-old man in the photos is the same rascally 20-something-year old throughout the book.
Being a book of facts there’s not a whole lot more I can tell you, for it would defeat the purpose of you reading the book for yourself. Which you really should. Let me know what you think…
And William G. Baker – thank you for my book 🙂