Feedback from Readers

What people say about Norman and his series of true crime books


I live in Jersey channel islands, I have just finished reading parkhurst tales firstly thankyou for a great read and secondly it has opened my eyes to what prison life is all about. My brother has just been given a 18 month sentence in hmp la moye here on the island. So i have sent your book up to him, so he can see that 18 months is nothing really and he'll be out in no time.
I am a surfer and musician from California. I randomly picked up your book out of a "take one, leave one" shelf in a hotel in Borneo while on my vacation, expecting nothing...I hadn't heard of you or Parkhurst because I am an ignorant Yank with a cowboy president. I read the "Complete Parkhurst Tales" in about 3 days. I couldn't put it down. Epic stories. You among others are one tough son of a gun. Your writing style matched with story content was beyond words of praise...everyone should read this book. Right on! Valuable lessons for survival!
I have been enjoying your book Parkhurst Tales and I admire you for writing the book about your life in prisons and the people you met, not many people would have the courage to do that. The reason I was reading it was that I wish to work as a prison officer in Parkhurst one day and I was wondering would the inmates of Parkhurst when you were there have been happier with female prison officers? Or could it have made things worse?
I would just like to say that I am reading one of your books for the second time ( life after life). The first time I read it I just raced through it as I couldn't wait to get to the next chapter and then the next. You have come such a long way and have been through so much. I admire and respect you as a human being. Like myself we all have a story to tell, and you are right when you say that which doesn't kill you does make you stronger.
I have now read four of your books, and Iím just reading Dangerous people, can I say that I think you have a fantastic style of writing. I picked up Pankhurst 1, and by the second page I was hooked on your stories of life in prison of witch many of us have no knowledge of. I found myself wanting to know more about your experiences and when I read Life after Life it really touched me, so tragic in the ways of love, yet so compelling your life story.
Hi, I've just finished reading your book "life after life". Wow! What an amazing book! I found it very difficult to put the book down. It even interrupted my social life and as a 25 year old single female, not many things do that! I will be going out to buy all the other books you have written and am thoroughly looking forward to reading them.
I thought Life after Life was one of the best books I have read, I am a filmmaker who earns his bread working in mental health and your story was second to none well maybe crime and punishment, pips it.
I have just read your book 'Life after Life'. It's very well written. Made me sad, made me think, made me cry and laugh (neglected my family, as I couldn't put it down). I do hope your life is now more settled and you have found lasting happiness and peace of mind.
I have only recently discovered your books, I thought "Parkhurst Tales" was an excellent read but, I was totally blown away by "Life after Life", probably the best book I have ever read. I dont know how you had the mental strength to cope with everything that happened to you.
I would just like to say that I have read your two Parkhurst Tale books and I thought that they were proper great. I did a two year sentence for burglary in 2005 so although I didnt have it as hard as you did I can appreciate most of the stories you told in the two books. I spent the majority of my sentence in Leeds prison (a shithole). I admire you so much and your inner stregnth is amazing to me.
I teach year 13 in a Scottish school (Dollar) and they are studying Law and Order and in particular the penal system. We are reading your books and they suggested they would love to talk to you face to face. Is this possible? Sometime between September and March during the school term would be great! We look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
I have just finished reading your book Parkhurst Tales, I found it sad, funny and frustrating (the way the prison service works). Having finished your book I felt I knew in a small way the prisoners you were writing about, some of them actually came across as loveble rogues. Congratulations on your freedom and I look forward to reading more of your books in the future.
I have been a big fan of your books since first reading Parkhurst Tales in 1995. I would like to know what you have been up to since being released - I haven't heard from you since Life After Life. Also, I am an Essex man - did you ever get to HMP Chelmsford? I am looking forward to reading your next book - will you be doing any readings or signings?
Well done for moving on and up. I'm just about to start reading one of your books, it will be my first! My husband won't stop talking about them when he calls me.
My name is ross and I have read your books and am a big fan of prison story's but not found any as good as yours. I have been to prison a few times but now sorting life out. I'm a big fan of yours and just wanted to say a big thank you for many enjoyble hours reading your books.
Hi Norman. Just wanted to comment on 2 of your books that I have read. Parkhurst Tales & Life after Life. Both books are very well written by yourself. On reading Parkhurst Tales I could almost smell and feel the place. I've done a bit of jail in my time but not that much, maybe a total of 3 years in Walton and Strangeways so I do have an idea of what it's like in these place's. I've read a few books by ex cons but I found yours to be the most honest and realistic of them and I would just like to say how much I enjoyed reading them. Even if they did take me back to the smells and sounds of a prison. As for Life after Life I found it strange how much it mirrored my own life to a certain extent. I couldn't put either book down until I'd hit the back page. I can see the pain and torment that you've been through and I admire the way you have stood on your own two feet and got on with life the only way you know how to.
I accidently came across "Life After Life" while recently on holiday in London. I found your perception profound, yet with an innocent simplicity. A timeless message of the thin line between good and evil. I look forward to reading other works. Many choose to ignore these paths of spirituality placed in our midst; which obviously have existed throughout the ages. I feel modern man is distracted and goes on day by day and never too enrich their spirit as must have been the cause of ancient man, we have much to learn ...
Dear Norman, just read 'Parkhurst Tales' and I'm gripped. Going to start on 'Vol. 2' next week. I wonder what happened to "Manchester Yank"? Also do you think going to prison today would be softer or harder then it was when you were inside?
I have finished your book 'Parkhurst Tales'. Wow, what any amazing book! Will be going out to buy the second one. Thanks for a fab read!
Just read Life After Life, what a amazing book! Really moving. Hope you have found happiness, you deserve it.
Hi again Norman, just thought id let you know what I thought of Life After Life. I managed to read this book in 2 days and managed to get it read before my old man got his hands on it as he read your other books before me. What a fantastic read it was. I cant wait for your new book to arrive its on its way to me.
I've have completed a 'A' Level course in Criminology. Your book "Life after Life" was recommended to us and was truly a great read.