Shakespeare Saved My Life
Shakespeare Saved My Life Ten Years in Solitary With the Bard By Bates, Laura Book Club Kit - 2013

This is a fascinating book with a lot of interesting things to ponder, but there is a dark cloud over the entire book. While the author bonds with Larry, and is impressed with his insight into Shakespeare, the fact is that he murdered a 19 year old college student and later stabbed a prison guard. There are a lot of important topics throughout the book: education programs to prevent recidivism, early intervention to keep young adults from committing crimes, and the ethics of life sentences for juvenile offenders. The book does a good job of showing how prisoners respond to the power of Shakespeare, especially monologues about revenge, imprisonment, and insanity. However, not nearly enough time is spent thinking about the prisoners’ victims or the victims’ families.

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