Brother One Cell: An American Coming of Age in South Korea's Prisons

Cullen Thomas, Author . Viking $24.95 (347p) ISBN 978-0-670-03827-5

In May 1994, Thomas, a slacker vagabond teaching English, was arrested in Seoul, South Korea, for smuggling hashish into the country. He served three and a half years in various prisons and was released in 1997. In this strangely uneventful memoir, Thomas recounts his trials and tribulations in flat, unmodulated prose. Using an unnecessarily complicated flashback style at the beginning, Thomas presents himself as an innocent abroad—a symbol of the legions of disaffected middle-class youth wandering the globe aimlessly looking for, well, they don't really know. While teaching English to Korean children, Thomas falls in with an unsavory lot and heads to the Philippines for a drug deal. This goes awry, and he lands in prison, where he meets and befriends various other foreigners. One prison is like a U.N. of convicted losers. Most troubling is that while Thomas gives the reader plenty of detail and keeps the story moving forward well enough, he seems little affected by the experience. It is as though, as a relatively privileged American, Thomas is so stunned by being forced to serve his full term for his crime that he is unable or unwilling to be humbled by the experience. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 12/18/2006
Release date: 04/01/2007
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 408 pages - 978-0-330-43970-1
Paperback - 408 pages - 978-0-283-07025-9
Paperback - 347 pages - 978-0-14-311311-9
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-4159-3787-7
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 368 pages - 978-1-4295-6423-6
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-4295-6422-9
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.