Finding a book I read years ago: Jailhouse Lit edition
September 23, 2014 1:22 PM   Subscribe

Years ago I read a funny novel from the public library, the premise of which I can best describe as M*A*S*H crossed with Hogan's Heroes and set in a maximum security men's prison. This would have had to be about 25 years ago or more. Wondering if this rings a bell with anybody who can tell me what it might have been.
posted by Flexagon to Writing & Language (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe Help I am Being Held Prisoner, by Donald Westlake?
posted by ShooBoo at 1:49 PM on September 23, 2014

It's a memoir and not a novel, but Roger Caron's book Go-Boy! touches on both funny and horrifying aspects of being in prison, and it came out in 1978.
posted by ITheCosmos at 1:51 PM on September 23, 2014

Any way it could be Papillon?
posted by CheeseLouise at 2:01 PM on September 23, 2014

Response by poster: If I recall—and I clearly don't—but I think it was a first or only book by an obscure author who actually did prison time. Pretty sure it was too broadly comic to be anything but fiction.
posted by Flexagon at 2:03 PM on September 23, 2014

We were reading a late-60s novel called Riot in high school where once the guards on the inside were neutralized, a significant percentage of the prisoners became involved with building and operating a still, while another group tried to escape. This was set in an American prison, but it's not the Civil War book (with the same name) by Walter Dean Meyers.
posted by Rash at 4:21 PM on September 23, 2014

Homeboy, by Seth Morgan?
posted by scratch at 9:11 PM on September 23, 2014

My first not-likely thought was a novelisation of the BBC's Porridge. On reading the wiki, they mention consulting with "Jonathan Marshall, a former prisoner who had written a book, How to Survive in the Nick", so... there's those.
posted by quinndexter at 10:37 PM on September 23, 2014

Cool Hand Luke was a novel first.
posted by brujita at 6:17 AM on September 24, 2014

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