Review: Walls, Wires, Bars and Souls

I chose to read Peter Grant’s memoirs of his life as a prison chaplain even knowing it would be a difficult topic to read. I was right, on one level, and on another it is easier than I had ever expected.

His experiences, while set within the most starkly terrifying walls any of us can imagine, are leavened with his dry humor and skillful writing. I found it a smooth read, organized to keep a reader’s interest without becoming dry as dust. The prisoners are drawn with an empathetic hand, no matter how inhuman their behavior is.

I may use this as research material at some point in the future, as it is richly detailed, giving enough description to really imagine oneself in the prisons, walking alongside Peter at his tasks. it’s a whole different world, one Hollywood frequently gets wrong, and this book is a window into the forgotten realm, one that may disgust you and disturb you, but it exists and we need to be aware of it, and the people locked within it.


2 thoughts on “Review: Walls, Wires, Bars and Souls

  1. Thanks, Cedar. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Writing it wasn’t very enjoyable, but I did feel that I absolutely had to do so. The subject is too important – and too few people know enough about it – to let it go unremarked. The book’s not selling as well as I’d hoped, but then, the subject isn’t that popular. I hope it reaches those who need to read it, over time.


    • It was very well done – as easily readable as fiction, which from me is high praise for non-fiction. And like you, I do see the importance of it, and I am appreciative of your efforts in writing it. I do think that as a resource for research, or those who plan to go into law enforcement, it will be an excellent title.


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