Death Row Breakout - Edward Bunker

Death Row Breakout

By Edward Bunker

  • Release Date: 2011-11-01
  • Genre: Short Stories
Our rating: 5/5 stars

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Six stories from the papers of one of America’s finest crime authors

Roger doesn’t mean for the preacher and his wife to die. Released less than a year earlier from San Quentin, he’s trying to make a living the only way he knows how: theft. His latest heist goes perfectly until his car breaks down. Sirens are closing in when an old black preacher stops to give him a lift. The police at the roadblock kill the elderly couple, but in the eyes of the law it’s Roger’s fault. And he will die in the gas chamber at San Quentin—unless he can break out first. Roger’s incredible story anchors this collection of short fiction by Edward Bunker, who knew better than anyone what it means to be a criminal, inside and outside of prison. In these stories, which were unpublished at the time of his death in 2005, he shows again the talent that made him such a remarkable writer.
“Edward Bunker is a true original of American letters. His books are criminal classics: novels about criminals, written by an ex-criminal, from the unregenerately criminal viewpoint.” —James Ellroy “At 40 Eddie Bunker was a hardened criminal with a substantial prison record. Twenty-five years later, he was hailed by his peers as America's greatest living crime writer.” —The Independent “I don’t know if any politicians read Bunker. But they should.” —The Guardian

Edward Bunker (1933–2005) spent many years in prison before he found success as a novelist. Born in Los Angeles, he accumulated enough terms in juvenile hall that he was finally jailed, becoming at seventeen the youngest-ever inmate at San Quentin State Prison. He began writing during that period, inspired by his proximity to the famous death-row inmate and author Caryl Chessman. Incarcerated off and on throughout the next two decades, Bunker was still in jail when his first book, No Beast So Fierce, was published in 1973. Paroled eighteen months later, he gave up crime permanently, and spent the rest of his life writing novels, many of which drew on his experiences in prison. Also an actor, his most well-known role was Mr. Blue, one of the bank robbers in Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. Bunker died in 2005.
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  • I knew this author personally.

    By Sillicacher
    First off, my relationship with Mr. Bunker, is a result of me being an RN. That said, I must not violate the nurse patient relationship, even after his death. Mr. Bunker was a unique individual who through the life of hard knocks, never blamed anyone but himself in both books and in person. I found inspiration, dedication, and genuine repentance in his heart. He continually told me what a great person I was but when I tried to express that he was a great person as well, he said, "no, I'm a man who finally realized that crime and prison was not a path for me, so I found a better way." He found that better way and made those he met, know that it is possible to change. One day as I walked into the cubicle he was waiting in, he reached down and took out his first book and signed it for me. He said "here is a little something to entertain you, and it did". Thereafter he gave me three other signed books and i read them all! Maybe not as quick as I should, but he taught me a great deal. I am a better person for knowing him and HIGHLY recommend reading ALL of his books. Maybe if Mr. Bunker's books were more available to juveniles and beginners in the life of crime, we'd have less incarcerated folks and more criminals ending their life of crime before it becomes a three strike prison sentence. I only wish I'd had more time to get to know this magnificent man longer, I'm sorry he's gone. However his life will live on in his children, wife, and his books. Leah, BSN,RN

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