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Summary

A jaw-dropping account of life as a prison officer in one of the country's most notorious jails. 

Neil ‘Sam’ Samworth spent 11 years working as a prison officer in HMP Manchester, aka Strangeways. A tough Yorkshireman with a soft heart, Sam had to deal with it all - gangsters and gangbangers, terrorists and psychopaths, addicts and the mentally ill. Men who should not be locked up and men who should never be let out. 

Strangeways is a shocking and at times darkly funny account of life in a high-security prison. Sam tackles cell fires and self-harmers and goes head to head with some of the most dangerous men in the country. He averts a Christmas Day riot after turkey is taken off the menu and replaced by fish curry and stands up to officers who abuse their position. He describes being attacked by prisoners and reveals the problems caused by radicalisation and the drugs flooding our prisons. 

As staffing cuts saw Britain’s prison system descend into crisis, the stress of the job - the suicides, the inhumanity of the system and one assault too many - left Sam suffering from PTSD. This raw, searingly honest memoir is a testament to the men and women of the prison service and the incredibly difficult job we ask them to do.

©2018 Neil Samworth (P)2018 W. F. Howes Ltd

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Great story, well worth a listen.

When it started and the author began reading, I thought god this is going to be a train wreck. Accent aside, he really isn't a book narrator. When the proper narrator took over I breathed a sigh of relief.
It's a good chronicle of Sam's life as a screw and how it ultimately affected him and his family.
My only criticism of the narrator is the lack of a pause between the last sentence and introducing the next chapter.

Well worth a listen or a read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Eye-opening

A riveting account of life as a prison officer. well written and well read, with occasional touches of humour in what is very gritty story. It has enlightened me on the prison service. Being a wimp, I found the section on prisoners who self-harm a bit difficult, but it is important to hear it.

I found suggestions on how to improve the prison service particularly interesting. it was also nice to hear the author's actual voice at the beginning and at the end of the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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100% Solid

This is real. The total reverse of what the media tell us about prison. Very well narrated.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Adam Davies

Good insight into the prison system and what the officers actually go through. Being an officer is basically being a serving prisoner as they witness and have to deal with everything. A good book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent book

Very interesting read. The guy doing the narration deserves an oscar for his performance too, very well done!

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A fantastic insight into the prison service

loved this book. could not wait until my next listed. really highlights the struggles within the prison service.

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I was not disappointed

It turned out to be a really great listen. It did all the things a good book does to you. It made me cringe, it made me smile, it made me feel sad, it made me feel angry. I really enjoy the book and the narrator was perfect for the job.
A fascinating book and a great insight to life as a prison guard.

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Well Done Sam I am Very Proud of You.

As I am related to Sam some may consider this to be bias but I have known Sam all my life and whilst I am actually his cousin I have always looked at Sam as being my brother and after losing my actual big brother he now ( like it or not ) is my big brother and any who know me know I could not give a higher compliment !!

The above being said I can assure anyone that Sam is very honest, sincere but above that compassionate & considerate to all so if you are interested or intrigued about what life is like either being in or working in a prison then this is for you and because Sam is actually narrating it himself it gives it that personal touch that is very rare.

Fraser.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful