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In the Sanctuary of Outcasts by Neil White

>> Monday, July 6, 2009

Genre: Memoir
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 313
Support Your Local Library Challenge #32

Neil White was a journalist and magazine publisher who let his desire to appear successful in order to be successful cause his downfall. Sentenced to 18 months in prison for check kiting, he found himself at a minimum security prison in Carville. Louisiana. What he didn’t know until after he arrived was that the Carville facility was also a medical center for patients with Hansen’s Disease (leprosy). This unique facility housed both prisoners who were outcasts due to their deeds and people who had lived there for decades as outcasts due to their disease.

White’s memoir is told in a rather conversational style that makes for easy and quick reading. He intersperses his story of his time at Carville with his own history that led to his incarceration as well as the history of the facility and many of the patients he met while there. There are touching and tragic stories and even many humorous tales of both patients and inmates. Obviously it’s a memoir, so the focus is on White, but the additional stories of other people are interesting, although not fully explored.

At the beginning of what turned out to be a year of incarceration White definitely comes across as a bit arrogant and not really sorry for what he’s done. His change in attitude about both himself and others makes for an interesting and entertaining read.

I thought it was good and am planning to renew this or get it again from the library so The Hubster can read it.



Literary Feline 7/06/2009 10:24 AM  

This does sound like an interesting memoir. I like the idea of the author including a history of the facility in addition to his own story.

Bookfool 7/06/2009 5:38 PM  

Oh, good! I'm glad you enjoyed this! I felt exactly the same about the author not "getting it" that he'd actually done something wrong, at first. For a while, I thought I'd give up because his arrogance was so annoying, but the people around him were so interesting that I stuck it out and I'm glad.

SuziQoregon 7/06/2009 6:46 PM  

Literary Feline: It was both interesting and entertaining. I definitely recommend it.

Bookfool: At the beginning of the book, I kept laughing at him trying to differentiate himself from what he saw as 'real criminals' by saying he didn't get the money, it went into his business. Delusional much??

bermudaonion 7/07/2009 9:28 AM  

I saw the video that goes along with this book and now I can't wait to read it. Great review.

MISSY 7/07/2009 12:47 PM  

I love memoirs. I think I would really enjoy this. Thanks for the great review.

SuziQoregon 7/07/2009 7:06 PM  

Bermudaonion: Oh I remember seeing that video, but didn't watch it yet. I need to go hunt that up. I think you'll like this one.

Missy: Thanks for stopping by! This is a good one. Hope you like it.

Rebecca :) 7/09/2009 10:04 PM  

I keep trying to find this one at the library but no luck so far. Not that I don't have a stack at home to read anyways. It just looks so good!

SuziQoregon 7/12/2009 8:32 PM  

Rebecca: it's a very recent release. Because of all my blogger buddies who read ARCs, I managed to be first on the wait list at my library. Keep checking. Your library should have it soon.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a comment. I read and respond them here although not always right away. If you would prefer an email response let me know.

I do moderate comments on posts older than 14 days in order to control spam. I will approve your legitimate comments as soon as I can.

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