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Never normally one to stray away from fictional tales to something factual, I was highly surprised by how much I enjoyed Lockdown by (Dr) Drauzio Varella.
A story that follows the many years of Varellas life as a prison doctor in one of Brazils largest Prisons “Casa de Detencao Carandiru“; as he studies and tries to help those in the system who suffer from AIDS.
I was very appreciative of the layout this novel had; each chapter dedicated to a different place or time within the prison walls. The small things he added to the book to remind you who a certain person was; and the pictures/maps were a great touch. It is written about the different areas of the prison and the types of people he came across, so having these extra things made it easier to help set the scene.
Lockdown is not all about Varella’s AIDS work, but about his entire experience of being and working in “Casa de Detencao Carandiru” between 1989 and 2001. Never a dull moment throughout the book as he goes into detail about prison escape’s, conjugal visits, hostages and the way the inmates tricked him into providing them with medicine for non-medicinal purposes providing you with the knowledge that Brazilian and possibly all prisons are not really like what we see in some movies.
Certainly well worth the read, even for those like me who tend to prefer fiction over fact.
Reviewed by Jessica Moore
by Dr Drauzio Varella
Published by Simon & Schuster Ltd