Books
Edward Bunker

No Beast So Fierce

An ex-con struggles to adjust to life outside prison walls in “one of the great crime novels of the past 30 years” (James Ellroy).
After eight years spent locked up, Max has gotten very good at being a prisoner. He knows the guards, the inmates, and how to survive. But the parole board has decided that he has sufficiently reformed, and it’s time for him to say goodbye. When Max reaches the outside world, he finds that freedom doesn’t make anything easier.
Based on his own experiences in prison, Edward Bunker first drafted No Beast So Fierce in the 1950s, while incarcerated in San Quentin State Prison. He spent the next two decades in and out of jail, writing essays for various magazines and working on the novel, which was finally published in 1973. Eighteen months later, the book was used as evidence that he was fit to leave jail. He received parole, and spent the rest of his life a free man.
Rooted in real-life experiences and hailed by Quentin Tarantino—who cast Bunker in his film Reservoir Dogs—as “the best first person crime novel I have ever read,” No Beast So Fierce is a gritty and compelling read like no other.
345 printed pages
Original publication
2011

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