TWO GENTLEMEN TO SEE YOU, SIR The Autobiography of a Villain

Author: Carasov (Victor)
Year: 1971
Publisher: Gollancz
Edition Details: 1st Edn.
Book Condition: NrF/Vg+
ISBN: 0575005971
Price: 6.00
Hardback. With a Foreword by Michael Young.The author was born in Glasgow in 1904. His was not a happy home - his Russian father and Irish mother were frequently at loggerheads and he was boarded out in infancy. While still a child he stole a bicycle an was sent to a reform school for 5yrs. This spell in a converted ship on the river Clyde, under terrible conditions of discipline, was to mar his whole life. It prevented any proper schooling and encouraged intense feelings of hostility to those around him. It was his temper that caused his discharge from the army, where he served following his time at reform school, and it was the uncontrollable violence of his reaction to any slight, real or imagined, that prevented him from holding down a job, and so led to his life of crime. The author spent much more of his life in prison than out of it - in the early days for petty thieving, and later for more ambitious jewel thefts and for robbery with violence. Several times he became a patient at mental hospitals in an effort to find a way to control his vitriolic outbursts. His record reads like a tour of all the major jails in the British Isles - he was one of the few who escaped from Dartmoor and remain free for any length of time. His book is a terrible indictment of the prison system. Even for one not handicapped with a violent temper there was very little hope that an ex-prisoner would be able to earn a living by honest means, and for someone with difficulties of personality it was all but impossible at the time. A book written without rancour and with a good deal of humour and self-knowledge. The author makes neither excuses nor apologies but allows the facts to speak for themselves. In 1964, during a long sentence at Parkhurst, he was given the chance to transfer to Blundeston Open Prison. It was this better treatment, and the opportunities for a slightly more civilised life that led to his release on parole. Many episodes in his life were colourful, but his inside picture of our prison system is one that cannot fail to horrify the reader. An important social document. 191pp. 8vo. h/back. Nr. F. in Vg+ pcdw. A tad musty.


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