In 2003, fresh out of NYU, Daniel Genis was working in publishing. But he was also hiding a serious heroin addiction that led him into debt and burglary. After he was arrested for robbing people at knifepoint in 2003, Daniel Genis was sentenced to 12 years (10 with good behavior), surviving the decade by reading 1,046 books, weightlifting, having philosophical discussions with various inmates, encountering violence on a daily basis, working at a serious of prison jobs, and in general observing an existence for which nothing in his life had prepared him.
[Genis] devotes a chapter to Rikers itself, because it’s Rikers; the rest of the book is organized into facets of prison life and its inhabitants, with a level of detail that’s staggering ... Genis’ identity as a white Jewish man informs his experience. While sometimes shocking, this memoir is also highly entertaining and should find wide readership.
[Genis] examines his past, drug addiction, the robberies that landed him in jail in New York, and his 10-year prison sentence with a detachment that is resonant of the type of anthropological thinking and lack of visible emotion he found necessary for survival ... Genis’s is an intense memoir with descriptions of sex and violent crime; it won’t be for everyone, but is important for readers trying to understand the effect of imprisonment on individuals and society.