- 7,99 €
Description de l’éditeur
In Education of a Felon, the reigning champion of prison novelists finally tells his own story. The son of an alcoholic stagehand father and a Busby Berkeley chorus girl, Bunker was--at seventeen--the youngest inmate ever in San Quentin. His hard-won experiences on L.A.'s meanest streets and in and out of prison gave him the material to write some of the grittiest and most affecting novels of our time.
From smoking a joint in the gas chamber to leaving fingerprints on a knife connected to a serial kiler, from Hollywood's steamy undersde to swimming in the Neptune pool at San Simeon, Bunker delivers a memoir as colorful as any of his novels and as compelling as the life he's lead.
In this picaresque, harrowing, humorous yet deeply sad excursion through his dark-starred youth, Bunker (No Beast So Fierce, etc.)--arguably the most renowned convict writer in America--serves as both participant in and witness to the mid-century carnival of L.A. crime immortalized by James Ellroy. The bright, mischievous product of a Depression-era broken home, Bunker was raised in a worsening succession of institutions. In this account, he initially explores how the violence he experienced in these places directed him toward criminality, culminating in a stretch in San Quentin at age 17. These experiences instilled in Bunker the Convict Code, which boils down to: Don't ever snitch, and respond to all threats with uncompromised ferocity. This ferocity made him notorious among his jailers and peers. Bunker details experiences among pimps, prostitutes, gamblers, thieves and L.A.'s nascent gang and drug culture, plus flirtations with affluent society, in the person of a benefactor, Louise Wallis, a producer's wife for whom he worked as a chauffeur and who nurtured his literary dreams. He captures the kaleidoscope of postwar California's underworld with a disturbing seductiveness reminiscent of Ellroy. Bunker ultimately returned to prison for two long periods due to relatively minor infractions; he describes the dangers of California prisons, greatly worsened in the 1960s by racial polarization. Though out of prison now for 25 years, Bunker remembers the experience well: these chapters, as in his novels, present a uniquely searing portrait of life behind bars. Although the memoir ends abruptly with the 1974 acceptance for publication by W.W. Norton of one of Bunker's novels, it remains a thought-provoking and richly re-created tale of a career criminal.