In The Burden of Gratitude: The Chronicles of Bayboro Correctional Facility II, Bela Abel writes about life behind bars based upon his own experience as a prisoner. In a series of unusual stories, the author gives an insider’s perspective of the prison system. Each story stands pretty much alone, but when strung together, they reveal the peculiar mindset that develops during incarceration.
Some writing defies genre categorization, and this book falls into that category. While it flows as chaotically as an inmate’s thoughts, it’s not really stream-of-conscious, and even though it uses some unusual structures, it’s not fair to call it experimental. It will, though, pull you in, so let’s just call it fairly good fiction and leave it at that.
I give it four stars.