Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison

Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison

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Orange Is the New Black 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 493 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was so disappointed with this book, I couldn't even finish it. Kerman took absolutely no responsibility for what she did. She offered no explanations besides, wow it's exciting to get involved with a lesbian lover and drug smuggling ring right after college. Um- no it's not. She glosses over her involvement, implied she did nothing wrong, and acted like it's so easy to get away from that life. Just hop on a plane to San Fran and get a new boyfriend! I thought it would get better once her prison sentence started, but I was wrong. There was nothing interesting here. Kerman comes across as an elitist snob who taught the prisoners how to read! She saved them with her college education! Listening to her moan about the indignities of prison was more than I could bear, especially when it seemed like she was going to detail Martha Stewart's stay there. That was enough for me.
VLB72 More than 1 year ago
The author really builds up a terrifying, fear-for-your life-behind-bars story when it seems like the worst that happened was she had her feelings hurt. I've watched documentaries on life in women's prison that were truly terrifying (watch the first episode of the A&E show "Beyond Scared Straight" to see what I was expecting). This book reiterates the cushy life of a Federal prison I had already pictured - nothing out of the ordinary that this author suggests. The author also never owns up to deserving this sentence and had the full support of friends and family. She was embarrassed by all the support she received, which I found insulting considering the number of women who have no one! By the middle of the book, I found the author to come across as superior and unhumbled by her situation, constantly referring to her New York lifestyle of wine and expensive dinners, so I stopped reading.
scorch800 More than 1 year ago
The book was OK, but i feel anyone that has been in a white collar prison could have written it. I kept waiting for something "prison like" to happen to her. She made it sound like everyone was so nice, helpful supportive, they even gave parties. I want to go there!! EVERY member of her family was supportive of her too. Nothing negative was said. EVER. The gaurds yelled but were generally nice. She got a transfer of jobs from the head CO when another CO said something mean to her. Come on, its prison!! I felt the story was boring, and i continued to wait for something interesting to happen to her and it never did. Disappointing read.
crazylilcuban More than 1 year ago
I've been curious about this book for a few months, since stumbling across it one day at the bookstore. I'm definitely glad I finally read it; it's a great story and an interesting look at women's prisons from the view of someone who spent some time in one. Orange is the New Black is the story of Piper Kerman, who is sentenced to 15 months in a federal minimum-security prison for a 10-year old drug offense -- carrying a suitcase of drug money for an ex-girlfriend. Piper isn't exactly someone I was prepared to feel a lot of sympathy towards; she was in a position of privilege (relative to her fellow inmates), having had access to a great lawyer, the support of family and friends, etc. But I ended the book thinking that her story is a great (and important) example of the absurdity of the war on drugs and mandatory minimum sentencing, and so many of the other problems with our criminal justice system. I liked the honesty of her storytelling, and that she was able to portray so well the humanity, friendships, and humor of the women she encountered behind bars. The stories of pedicures, special dinners, birthday surprises, welcoming parties, etc. brought an entirely deeper level of understanding of the women that were imprisoned along with her. Factual research strewn throughout the book's pages also takes this from simply being a memoir of Kerman's stay in Danbury to a source for information on policies and realities of the federal detention system. As someone with an outsider's point of view as well as an insider's view, Piper is able to show the reader just how broken the system is and how little it prepares women for life on the outside. Definitely a recommended read for anyone who is interested in criminal justice and prisons, but also an interesting book in general for anyone else.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix, I had to read the book. Reading Pipers story, in her own words was pretty intense. It was interesting to see how she tried to fit in, but still stay disconnected at first. It was heartwarming to see her friendship with her roommate blossom. I felt for her family on the outside, especially Larry. He showed what a great guy he was all through the ordeal. I would recommend this book to anyone, and also the series on Netflix. It is well done.
twonotrump More than 1 year ago
this book is a rip off. the lady is a drug smuggler and gets sent to jail. she's in jail the same time martha stewart is being sentenced so I guess she got the idea that she could use this fact to write a book and make a buck. NOT WORTH READING I WANT MY MONEY BACK
Mary Beth Ochss More than 1 year ago
save your money
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book and the author's honesty. I have a couple of friends in jail or prison and so much of what they have shared with me is very similar to what Piper Kerman says of her experience. Great insight into a world many don't experience. Also a good look at our justice system.
TheEsthete More than 1 year ago
I am almost done with this book and have really enjoyed, telling a lot of my friends and coworkers about it too. That's a mark of an interesting story and great narrator, I think. Kerman, as a white, college educated women in her early thirties, speaks in a voice I can relate to, but with incredible sympathy and clarity. Her respect for her fellow prisoners is evident, and in many ways this is more a story about them and the prison system at large than about one woman. The only critique I have is the editing- details, points, or narratives are often repeated throughout chapters, almost as if someone different edited each one without knowing what was already explained at another point in the book. That said, this is well worth a read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was kind of dragged after awhile. She is a good writer..she captured how she really felt. I did watch the series as well, which made me buy the book. I don't normally watch a show or a movie before reading the book..but i was so addicted to the show and then I found out it was based on a memoir. So curiousity struck...and personally it was disappointing. The show was enticing, fun, and dramatic...the book had its moments. Granted not everything is how it really is in the book but I just thought that this was pretty far from the book. It was quite shocking at how different it was, just my opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She babbles and whines a bit. I skipped pages upon pages. While she had some valid points on preparing prisoners for re-entry to the real world, she has trouble grasping that her actions no matter how minor and long ago still have ramifications despite how unpleasant she finds those consequences to be. I would like to point out her enabling of other prisoners. She had the oprtunity to teach but instead enabled by cheating for and doing the work for others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
...the TV show is the other. The Kerman book is interesting, but not as well written as the TV series. Kerman's book is all about Kerman. While she talks about how much her fellow prisoners came to mean to her, they never mean much to us. She doesn't develop their characters, skips rapidly from one to the other. Jenji Kohan's series was fiction, so she had much more latitude to make her characters interesting and eccentric. She combined some of Kerman's characters, modified some, totally created others. There is no one faintly similar to PornStache in the book, for example. The characters had much more depth than in the book. But, fiction is fiction, nonfiction is limited by its facts. The book is a fast read, and a look into a world most of us cannot imagine. Read it, but don't expect to get to know Crazy Eyes, or anyone else.
Butterflies74 More than 1 year ago
Disappointing. Her 'ideal' prison experience seems unrealistic. The only fight she had was over lettuce at the prison salad bar. Come on, really?? I thought Kerman could have used the opportunity to focus on how many prisoners are much less fortunate than herself. She did sprinkle a few lines about how other women would probably return to their criminal lives because they had nothing else to fall back on. I just thought the book was too much about Piper Kerman, and I think Piper Kerman really likes talking about Piper Kerman. The result is a book about an upper middle class white woman who gets caught doing something illegal. She never seems to be truly regretful. She never seems humbled by the experience- in fact she spends most of her time in prison running laps and doing yoga. Is this punishment?? Facts about the prison system, statistics and other true bits of info would have gone a long way here.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book had was boring. The character took no responsibility for how she ended up there. Not sure how it became a best seller. Anyone could have done a better job and she got paid to write this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nothing happens. I waited, read the entire book . So let down..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Boring. I heard great reviews about the the Netflix series so thought I would read the book. I don't plan on finishing it. She made it sound like her experience was a sorority house adventure. Done and done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was soooo disappointed in this "memoir". If this tale is true, no wonder our prisons are full. Its like one long sleepover...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The characters in this book are well described and very interesting. They are what kept the pages turning. An interesting and valuable view of our criminal justice system.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very well written and insightful. For anyone that works in the prison system it gives you an idea of how the inmates view the system. A must read for anyone working in a prison.
BillBarryInNewHampshire More than 1 year ago
Piper Kerman's experiences were clearly documented in this eye-opening dissertation of Danbury Federal Prison. I laughed and, yes sometimes I cried, following her time in an obsolete, ineffective penal system here in the US. This is well written and I would be honored someday to have the opportunity to meet "Kermit" and Larry7. Ms. Kerman, thank you for sharing your experiences with us. Bill Barry, New Hampshire
ohiogirlAR More than 1 year ago
This book was a huge disappointment. It was so boring to me. I don't know why the prison Kerman was in was so lenient. It read as if she was in a college dorm. Yet she complained about what the prison lacked. Seriously? Prison is suppose to be a punishment. Kerman thinks it's suppose to be an educational rehabilitation institution. I got news for you, Kerman. You have to pay for that. We don't want our tax money to be wasted on criminals giving them freebies.. You did your crime. You did your time...................GET OVER IT !!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was a drug runner. Got caught. Went to jail. Whined A LOT. Was released early. Making a lot of money writing about her exploits.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
not at all interesting
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Piper spends a lot of time whining and comlainimg while declaring she takes responsibility for her crimes. She whines that prison garb doesn't fit her, the soles of her shoes are too thin, that the food is not to her liking, on and on. Worse she sneers at the guards--if they enforce the rules they are showing no compassion oe are mean. If they don't go by the rules they are lazy. She complains they show no respect for the inmates while she makes fun of their looks and calls them Dirty Pigs. She highly resents being transported to another prison in handcuffs and ankle restraints--evidently forgetting she is one of the many convicted felons being guarded by just a couple guards. She is outraged that armed uniformed marshalls storm a known drug house because small children were there. Obviousy the cops should have knocked politely and explained they were there to arrest the dealers. Clearly she missed the special treatment she got at the five-star hotels when she was transporting all that drug money all around the world. Grow uo and accept you were happy to do the crime--so do the time without complainimg. And then you can move on because you're acting like a self-responsible person.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was waiting for this book to get better but did not. I can count the number of books I started and didn't finish on one hand and this is one of them. She made prison sound like a country club. Blah, blah,blah, "everone was so nice and supportive" blah,blah,blah. Who cares?