A Crowbar in the Buddhist Garden Winner City of Victoria Butler Book PrizeStephen Reid has grown old in prison and seen than his share of its solitude its vicious cycles and its subculture relationships He has participated in

  • Title: A Crowbar in the Buddhist Garden
  • Author: StephenReid
  • ISBN: 9781927068038
  • Page: 353
  • Format: Paperback
  • Winner 2013 City of Victoria Butler Book PrizeStephen Reid has grown old in prison and seen than his share of its solitude, its vicious cycles, and its subculture relationships He has participated in the economics of contraband, the incredible escapes, the intimacies of torture, the miscarriages of justice, and witnessed the innocent souls whose childhood destinies Winner 2013 City of Victoria Butler Book PrizeStephen Reid has grown old in prison and seen than his share of its solitude, its vicious cycles, and its subculture relationships He has participated in the economics of contraband, the incredible escapes, the intimacies of torture, the miscarriages of justice, and witnessed the innocent souls whose childhood destinies doomed them to prison life He has learned that everything is bearable, that the painful separation of family, children, and friend is tolerable, and that sorrow must be kept close, buried in a secret garden of the self, if one is to survive and give the ones who love you hope Each of the essays in this collection is a recognition of how Reid s imprisonment has shaped his life Some describe his fractured boyhood and the escalation in crimes that led to his imprisonment, while others detail the seductive rush and notoriety of the criminal life.

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      Published :2018-05-12T03:53:37+00:00

    One thought on “A Crowbar in the Buddhist Garden”

    1. "For most of the men in our group, serving time kindles a singular construct; for them the world is the thing they stand on. But between these shelves, amongst living books, the shape of your world can shift a thousand times, once for each title, or be changed forever in a single page. In its own way, the prison library is more dangerous than the big yard" (p. 44). Stephen Reid has lived a life stranger than fiction, so his memoir can't help but be interesting, but the real luxury here is his st [...]

    2. The biblical story of the Garden of Eden still permeates in our society, whether we believe in the Bible or not. We subconsciously believe we live in Paradise and perhaps we do. We do have snakes and thistles and thorns and whatnots that could get us easily in trouble with whatever authority figure that watches over us and we could easily be expelled from the garden. Then what? Stephen Reid's A Crowbar in the Buddhist Garden is a dispatch from the 'Land of Nod.' Prologue (The Beachcomber) Page 9 [...]

    3. Stephen Reid is a professional criminal who has spent a disproportionate amount of time behind bars.Still, he has managed to keep his mind alert and interested, and the reader quickly gets the impression that he is not a bad man at all; that the crowbar in the Buddhist garden is for opening the mind, dislodging old concepts rather than for breaking the windows.This is writing from an experience, not about it. p71

    4. The summary on the cover says:"Stephen Reid has grown old in prison and seen more than his share of its solitude, its vicious cycles, and its subculture relationships. He has participated in the economics of contraband, the incredible escapes, the miscarriages of justice, and witnessed innocent souls doomed by their childhood destinies to prison life. He has learned that everything—the painful separation of family, children, and friends—is bearable, and that sorrow must be kept close, buried [...]

    5. Of all the prison books I have read and I have read plenty in my thirty years as a corrections professional, this is the best and most literate book of the bunch. Told from the point-of-view of the author, it is very powerfully written taking the reader along through the thrill and terror of crime and addiction and incarceration over a several decades long journey. The language is expansive yet poetic. Every chapter has the ring of truth. Wonderful book that brings dignity to the old term of con [...]

    6. I loved this little book! It changed my opinion on whether prisoners should be allowed to vote. I now think- yes! A couple of chapters/essays were less interesting but at least they were short. I love the part where he buries the crowbar and says "like some other things in life it could no longer be returned- It no longer fit". This is how he felt when trying to go back to a safe, normal family life after his drug and crime filled life. Great writer.

    7. The title of this book grabbed my attentionright now!My favourite quotes: "A light breeze trembles the leaves, and their shadows on the sidewalk become like little fishes kissing."I can see that!! "The voice of the addict whispers, "Come this way, it will be different this time. Just this once, what you seek will be here." Ad, from the Latin "toward" or "yes" and dict from the Latin "say". Addicts just say yes." "These voices come out of the dungeons and the labour camps and the penal colonies. [...]

    8. This is a difficult story to read, one of a talented man trying to fight his drug addiction. Stephen Reid had a tough childhood. When he was only eleven years old, a pedophile physician injected him with morphine so that he could sexually abuse him. So began Reid’s life with drugs, a life further doomed when he ran away from home as a young teenager. He led a life of petty crime to support his drug habit, getting further into addiction and the heftier crimes required to support it and spending [...]

    9. This is a compelling little book of bittersweet essays written behind bars by Stephen Reid, one of Canada's best-known and talented prisoners. In it, he lifts the curtain and provides insight into the circumstances that led him to a life marked by ongoing cycles of addiction, crime, recovery and rebuilding. Stephen Reid has torn down and rebuilt his life more than once. He never seems to do anything halfway - he's an overachiever in all that he does, even the illegal stuff. This book is a reflec [...]

    10. This was a very intriguing read, I must say I have never read anything like it. Writing from within the prison system, the author tells his story of addiction, crime and incarceration, including a span of some dozen years in between prison terms when he strove to live a normal life, teaching and raising a family. It really is beautifully written, his honesty and guilt of how his choices and patterns of addiction have affected those he loves. An insight on addiction and how it takes people down p [...]

    11. Reid tells his story of addiction since the age of 11 and of his years of crime and incarceration in both Canadian and American prisons. He was convicted twice of bank robbery and this book is about serving his second 18 year term and looking at how he got there. He is honest when he speaks about the pain he has caused those he loves and of the ongoing support he receives from his family and friends. Reid shares absorbing insights into a life of crime unfamiliar to many and also relates many exp [...]

    12. A most beautiful, thoughtful compilation of essays. Stephen Reid with his crystalline prose, demonstrates how reading can increase our collective empathy. This is one of the best books I have read in a long time and one I'll be sure to re-read. Reid has joined the pantheon of my literary heroes with this moving collection. Gorgeous! Run, don't walk to the bookstore and buy this! And I bet you won't be able to put it down!

    13. Stephen has been shortlisted for the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize. His nomination has caused some controversy as his last interaction with city officials was when he robbed a bank, shot at a police officer and held two elderly people hostage in their apartment. The book is a collection of reflective essays on his time doing time and the experiences which led him to a life of crime. In short – sexual abuse which resulted in substance abuse and addiction.

    14. Man, what a treat. I remember very well the day Stephen Reid robbed that bank in Victoria. Already as famous in BC for his marriage to Susan Musgrave and his amazing writing talent as for his notorious life of crime, it felt like such a tragedy. This book was just breathtaking in its honesty and pain. Every essay mattered, but the three in the last section "The Art of Dying in Prison" moved me to tears, especially the eulogy for Paddy Mitchell. A beautiful, beautiful book.

    15. In this stark, startling, exquisite book of essays from and about prison and addiction, Reid bemoans the lack of brilliant writing coming out of prison these days--but that's because he hadn't yet written this book. Anyone who wishes to understand the ache, anguish, and lure of addiction (of every kind--including love, and crime, and heroin) should read this book.

    16. This man is such a talented writer and I definately recommend this book. Stephen, I beg you please get your self straightened out. You have so much to offer the world and in doing so you will be giving to yourself.

    17. I enjoyed this book even thought I didn't really want to That said, reading it turned me on to reading more by Dr. Gabor Mate. He's a doctor first, writer second, but worth checking out. Well done Stephen.

    18. This book, read so close to the end of the year, is my favorite read for 2013. Eloquently written, this non-fiction account traces the life of Stephen Reid, a prisoner in BC who has struggled with addictions all his life.

    19. hmmm hard to separate the book from the man. He does write with dignity, though, and he has a pleasing turn of phrase. On the negative side, his attempts at humour seem awkward, but maybe that's just me.

    20. Interesting account of life and prison experiences. Tragic to see how his addiction resurfaces over and over again.

    21. Beautiful writing. Addiction brings people to places they may never have gone to. Stephen Reid lays it on the line and it made for some pretty compellingd sad, reading

    22. A powerful read if a bit uneven. The first half and ending were 5 star for me but some of the middle essays stalled a bit.

    23. A very interesting read. A mix between time spent in jail, flashes of things that lead there and what has been lost by decisions leading to the incarceration.

    24. Worth reading definitely. Quick read. I can see Club Fed from my window so there is curiosity factor too. Which intensifies when you realize he's sitting in the same coffee shop you frequent.

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