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Extended Audio Sample Escape from Alcatraz, by J. Campbell Bruce Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (111 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: J. Campbell Bruce Narrator: Patrick Cullen Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Mobster Al “Scarface” Capone; “Machine Gun” Kelly; Robert Stroud, a.k.a. the Birdman: only the most violent, desperate criminals went to Alcatraz Island, often referred to simply as “The Rock.” This federal prison’s conditions were so harsh that escape, riot, even death, were an inmate’s only hope.

This gripping true-crime classic was originally written in 1963 and published just weeks after the last prisoner was escorted off Devil’s Island, marking the end of Alcatraz’s days as a prison. It tells the story of the Rock’s transition from a Spanish fort to a maximum-security penitentiary, of life on The Rock, and of fourteen ingenious escape attempts by the prisoners. The chapters describing the attempts of Frank Morris and two accomplices became the basis for the 1979 Clint Eastwood film, Escape from Alcatraz. Author J. Campbell Bruce chronicles in spellbinding detail the absorbing saga of Alcatraz—the “inescapable” prison—where America’s most violent and notorious prisoners resided in tortuous proximity to one of the world’s favorite cities.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Dramatic…thrilling…remarkable.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Much more than a prison chronicle, much more than a tale of escape.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “An absorbing book, with respect for its ‘incorrigible’ subjects and several bitter reflections about super-maximum security.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Mara Averick | 9/20/2013

    " Really 3 1/2 I loved reading this- it just wasn't earth shattering. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Ellis | 1/24/2013

    " After reading this book, I watched the movie and learned that stories of Alcatraz are definitely better read than watched. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jeffrey | 4/13/2010

    " Fun and enjoyable read. Was really cool to get an in depth look at the most famous prison in American history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by R.Friend | 3/13/2010

    " A terrific way to follow up the fantastic Alcatraz tour --buy a copy of J. Campbell Bruce's classic right there in the gift shop and read it on the flight home. A fascinating account that's truly tough to put down. "

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About the Author

J. Campbell Bruce (1906–1996) was a noted feature writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, a lecturer, and a regular contributor to national magazines. In addition to Escape from Alcatraz (1963), he also authored The Golden Door: The Irony of Our Immigration Policy (1954).