A Crowbar in the Buddhist Garden

A Crowbar in the Buddhist Garden

eBook - 2012
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Stephen Reid has grown old in prison and seen more than his share of its solitude, its vicious cycles, and its subculture relationships. He has participated in the economics of contraband, the incredible escapes, the intimacies of torture, the miscarriages of justice, and witnessed the innocent souls whose childhood destinies doomed them to prison life. He has learned that everything is bearable, that the painful separation of family, children, and friend is tolerable, and that sorrow must be kept close, buried in a secret garden of the self, if one is to survive and give others who love you hope. Within his writing runs the motif that his prison life has never been far from his drug additions, but the junkie or drunk who has some straight time and means to stay that way knows a lot about the way we really live, think, feel, hope, and desire in this country. Each of the essays in this collection is a recognition of how Reid's imprisonment has shaped his life. Some describe...
Publisher: 2012
ISBN: 9781927068366
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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Feb 22, 2015

Entertaining though somewhat shallow. Worth a read.

Apr 30, 2014

An amazingly well-written, grabbing, true story about a man facing his prison term. This is a book I will highly recommend to others. Thank you, Mr. Reid.

deliafil Oct 18, 2013


Jun 25, 2013

Short but somehow the author packs a great true story of crime and punishment in Canada into just over 100 pages.

StratfordLibrary May 14, 2013

Looking for a book that surprises you? This may be your ticket. Stephen Reid wrote A Crowbar in the Buddhist Garden from prison where he is currently serving an 18-year sentence for bank robbery. He is a Canadian author though I tackle with my sense of CanLit pride on this one. Reid’s writing is deeply thoughtful; one can feel his head clearing after lengthy heroin and cocaine addictions, his heart longing for his daughters, and his regret for his life choices unbearable. I personally cannot fully accept Reid as a friend or even someone I can relate to - he has done too much harm and hurt too many people including himself. I can, however, appreciate his voice. While reading I was at times moved to tears and in other moments I laughed along with Reid’s dark sense of humour. There is an immense feeling of sadness pervading this compilation of narrative threads and, in my opinion, not a lot of hope and light. Of his teenage daughter he says, “I have not been in the natural presence of my daughter since she was ten years old”. A Crowbar in the Buddhist Garden is not necessarily a beach read but one that requires personal soul-searching and reflection, like sucking on a hard candy the pleasure is slow and gradual. This is a man who has made many mistakes in life but also experienced many triumphs, a soul tortured by addiction and thrill-seeking, but ultimately, one that still struggles to find his place and a sense of peace despite his wrongdoings. I strongly recommend this short piece of non-fiction to readers with the suggestion to read slowly and with care, there is a lot of power between the slim 133 pages.

Apr 15, 2013

Interesting, sad, at times even humourous. Worth a look if you are interested in good writing about prison life and addiction. Mostly just sad.

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