Saturday, September 4, 2021

This Is Ear Hustle: Unflinching Stories of Everyday Prison Life


This Is Ear Hustle relates some of the daily realities and the background stories of inmates in San Quentin written by the duo responsible for the podcast, Nigel Poor and Earlonne Woods. Due out 12th Oct 2021 from Crown Publishing, it's 304 pages and will be available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately; it makes it so easy to find information with the search function. 

I was familiar with the Ear Hustle podcast, but not a regular listener, and even so, I found myself immediately drawn in and invested in the characters and stories related here. The backgrounds are varied, as are the outlooks and outcomes for the men, but they're all absolutely authentic and often so sad. There's a lot of humor and hope as well, so it's not only bleak and dark, but it was really reading about the lies and distortions from the court system and the law officers that felt like a gut punch to me.

I spent much of this read really viscerally angry. I think it's an important book, but it wasn't always a fun read. 

Five stars. This is a superlative book and highly recommended for library and school acquisition, as a support/resource text for social sciences, and for readers of nonfiction. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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