My First Book Review

This review of Hard Time at City AM went out today.


REAL-LIFE Sherriff Joe Arpaio, lord of the Maricopa County Jail system in Arizona, is known (to his detractors) as the Angel of Death. He brags about spending less money feeding the inmates than the prison dogs; he makes everyone wear pink underpants and women are put on chain gangs. Look at his website – – and you’ll get a sense of this man’s fervour for punishment.

His prison, then, is not the kind of environment a successful day trader from a happy family in Widnes is suited to. Yet this most dreadful of US prisons is just where Englishman Shaun Attwood wound up after a SWAT team busted him for money laundering and drug dealing at his Scottsdale Arizona apartment, where he lived a double life as dotcom millionaire and raver.

Hard Time is the gripping account of Attwood’s time among lethal gangsters, including the Aryan Brotherhood, and of living in fear amid sewage and cockroaches. At first, he is in shock – then he slowly adapts, learning how to avoid violence and garner some peace and quiet. Having only read books on finance before, he submerges himself in literature, psychology and philosophy in a quest to understand his past. He begins to write letters home, his first one with a golf pencil he sharpened on a cell wall. These became a blog attracting world-wide acclaim; they’re harrowing, horrifying and often funny.

Hard Time begins with Attwood’s arrest in the middle of the night and proceeds through his two years in jail prior to his sentencing to nine-and-a-half years in prison (he was released after six). It’s shocking, but readers will be cheered to know that for Attwood, the ending is happy, as he’s now back in the UK and free, spending his time giving talks on the perils of drugs.

Link to the review.

Link to the sewage blog.

Hard Time is now also on sale at the Book Depository.

I'm also doing a reading with the author of Try Me, Farah Damji, in London on 23 August · 18:30 - 20:00 at:

The Gallery Stoke Newington Library
Stoke Newington Church Street, London N16, 0JS

Facebook page for the reading.


Anonymous said...

Im thinking of buying the book ♥..

Dann~~ (Daniel Long)

Zen said...

Congratulations! Zen

Jon said...

Thanks, Zen! It was nice to wake up to this today - I'm glad I overslept!

Anonymous said...

Niiice. Proud of you mate.

Tony PHX

Anonymous said...

very good mate looking forward too reading the book

Peter Mahoney

Anonymous said...

I've never been called a lethal gangster!!! Haha

Gary Menichiello

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your first book review!! I just looked at the Sheriff's website, i think the less said about him the better!

Lady Jane x

Vanessa said...

Nice! What I like most about you is that you overcame that to become a published (and soon world famous) author! Not even old Joe and his posse could stop you!

So many of us get stuck in the victim role and use our trials to keep us from success. I totally admire that you accept responsibility for your mistakes and try to encourage others to learn from what you went through.

You've come a long way since the cockroaches!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant review Shaun I am sure it will be the first of many!

Nancy X

Anonymous said...

Read the review and think it's the beginning ...come on really deserve your success.

Love and fruit loops xx

Sue Scam

Lady Arkles said...

Nice one, matey.

You have come a long way!

Rach xx

Anonymous said...


The sweet smell of success! I'm proud to count you as a friend. I'd be just as proud if the review had been a shitty one. Someone far wiser than myself once said, "Do not applaud too loudly at your victories nor weep excessively at your defeats for they are in truth simply the opposite spectrum's of the same thing." In most of our life endeavours it is the journey, not the destination, which makes us as we are.

Have some fun,

Your friend always,

Weird Al aka Noodles

Rebecca said...

Congratulations - this is great! I'm glad to see you doing so well.

Anonymous said...

Shaun!!! You did it.

:::Slap onna back:::

I am just so proud of you! Way to go, Mister. I hope it sells millions of copies!

I just preordered it.


Anonymous said...


You don't know how proud I am of you! I can't wait to get a few copies. Well hope things are going ok.

Take Care,


Anonymous said...

This is great! I look forward to reading the book when it comes out next month...



Anonymous said...

Excellent dude -- so are you throwing a big party to celebrate? You definitely should!!! I will be buying this bad boy ASAP!


Jon said...

No big party planned as such, Ed, but my excitement is rising as the Aug 5th date approaches.

Anonymous said...

Farah would love to come! If I am in or around London I will. Sue it will go well.

Tara A Davison

Love Kpop said...

Winter has returned. I do not like because I can not stand the cold. But wearing loud clothes also quite interesting. I look like a cute bear