Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman

The very worst punishment that we can come up with, short of death, is total isolation from other humans.

Why I read this book?

I'm an assiduous reader of Jezebel.com. Recently they started talking wonders about the Netflix adaptation of this book and you know me, if possible I like to read the book before I see the adaptation, so here we are.

What's the book about?

Piper Kerman did her fair share of bad definitions in her early 20s, including dating a drug smuggler and once helping with the operation herself. Now in her late 30s, with a "proper" career, a fiancé and trying to settling down in New York City the past is coming to take her payback. The book tells us not only a bit of her past but mostly how she spent her 15 month sentence in a correctional institution in Danbury, Connecticut.

Final thoughts 

I enjoyed the book. Particularly the fact that I never got the feeling that Kerman was victimizing herself. She was always very straight about knowing she made a huge mistake, about being scared but also about how she wouldn't have been able to make it if she didn't have the support of her family and of the people she met in prison.

It was nice to see her outgrowing her misconceptions and her early assumptions of the type of people she would found. I cannot know how much she toned down situations inside of prison, but considering how she made a point about the girl that got out and afterwards told magazines how "amazing" her time in prison was, I don't think this is the case. However, as much as I enjoyed the story, it didn't really blew me away; I was never in a hurry to continue listening.

On the other hand you have the series in Netflix that added a bunch of stuff (I assume to increase the drama factor), remove some others and for some reason show Piper as a very naive person, kind off sheltered...ugh I don't know, she sometimes makes this face like things are just not clicking in her head and that annoys me, because the Piper in the book (at least the one that grew in my mind) wasn't that clueless. I guess that's TV adaptations for you.

Cassandra Campbell does a great job I think, her pacing, rhythm whatever you prefer to call it is very agreeable and her changes in intonation when talking as another inmate were appropriate and made it easier for me to portray the different people in the story in my head. 

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