cover image Point Zero Bliss: A Prisoner's Quest for Freedom

Point Zero Bliss: A Prisoner's Quest for Freedom

Sean Legacy. Greathouse Company, $14.95 (292pp) ISBN 978-0-9645561-1-9

In May 1993, Sean Legacy (a pseudonym), 25, was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison for robbing a San Diego bank. This book consists of the diary he kept while doing time. Though Legacy is initially sentenced to serve at a minimum security prison, his misbehavior gets him transferred to the maximum security penitentiary. His life there cycles between stints in the Segregated Housing Unit (the hole) and bouts of drinking to celebrate his release to the general population. Legacy is well aware and highly critical of his alcoholism. His musings are at times woefully sentimental, at other times surprisingly analytical. At the beginning of his sentence, he tends to blame others for his troubles, noting that ""eighty percent of the inmates are in here because of women."" As his time in prison is nearing an end, he writes, ""Whose fault was it really? It all came back to me. Myself. My actions, My alcoholism. My demons."" More lively are his daily negotiations with the banalities and bureaucracies of institutional living. Anytime he needs to access his prison account, make a phone call, buy cigarettes or deal with authority, the frustration pours out in his journal. Atypically, Legacy dispenses with the Scared Straight approach, virtually ignoring prison homosexuality and giving gangs and violence a short shrift in favor of insights into the politics of prison rock bands and a primer on the making of jailhouse wine. Though the book doesn't crackle with the intensity of some other prison memoirs, it is a focused, believable portrait of a man seeking a new way to live. (Mar.)