An Impressive Debut

Rating: ★★★★★

The Blurb

9781947893252_Ebook Cover, Crimes, Lippert 800wideLippert was thrown into the bowels of the Michigan Department of Corrections as a seventeen-year-old adolescent. He remained entrenched in a world of malfeasance for the next forty years. With astonishing honesty, he reveals the raw details of what a life of incarceration looks like from the inside. His observations of human behavior and his stellar ability to tell a story reveal the courage and resilience of a man who has survived horrifying and savage injustice. These are stories of miscreants and corrupt institutions. They are tales of men who have made poor choices and suffered grave consequences.

His tales of the criminal counterculture are sometimes tragic, but often humorous and redemptive. Through it all, he displays a sly sense of humor and the quiet wisdom of a man who is, ultimately, a survivor. Lippert’s journey has been one of an unrequited longing for freedom. This book is a resonant journey through the geography of a resilient soul.

My Review

Phil Lippert is a man who has lived a most unconventional life. Thrown into prison at the age of seventeen, Lippert, who served a forty-year stretch, has viewed the world from a position most people only know from fictionalized Hollywood treatments.

His collection of short stories offers readers a glimpse inside that world. Though mostly fiction, these tales contain a thread of truth concerning human nature. Lippert’s style is laidback and easygoing. He knows how to tell a story that holds the reader spellbound, waiting for something like redemption for these characters that might otherwise seem unworthy.

He narrates as Dude, an inmate who collects stories of life as lived by others. Some are humorous and hopeful. Others fall into a darker place where hope falters before it has a chance to find its own legs.

My favorite is the heartbreaking “Good Night, Ruby Slippers” with its darker shades mingled with streaks of light. “A Canticle for Frank” reads like a cold-war thriller mixed with prison intrigue. “My Summer Vacation” tells the story of a young bank robber. Each piece introduces unforgettable characters that often seem both familiar and other-worldly.

This is a solid collection from a promising writer with plenty to say. It’s one I’ll likely return to from time to time.

Author Interview on the Voice of Indie Podcast

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8 thoughts on “An Impressive Debut

  1. robertawrites235681907

    This is very interesting. My son has just written his final school year thesis on the American correctional system which is the harshest in the world. In no other democratic systems that I can think of is a life sentence really for life and does a young adolescent come out of jail an old person. I am not judging your system, just commenting on this fact.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Beem Weeks Post author

      Thank you for your comments, Roberta. The correctional system is indeed harsh and without forgiveness or mercy. Many see it as strictly punishment, rather than, well, correction. Much of society clamors for harsh treatment of those who run afoul of the law. Yet, they tend to forget many will be released back into society, some full of anger, feeling their own need for “revenge” of some sort. Correction, by way of programs designed to offer the inmate skills and such, are a much better option in the long run. This cuts down on the recidivism rate. As for those who go in young and come out old, that depends on the person. Those who choose to better themselves (even without the aid of the state) have a better chance at becoming productive members of society.

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  2. Pingback: An Impressive Debut — The Indie Spot! – North’s World

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