This book is the engrossing record of a tape-recorded dialogue between an unrepentant criminal and a British criminologist who have become friends. The criminal, Robert Allerton, has, at thirty-three, already spent twelve years in British prisons for various robberies, but still insists, ""I've no intention of going straight, I'm just being more careful, that's all.... I'll willingly gamble away a third of my life in prison, so long as I can live the way I want for the other two-thirds."" His utter contempt for the deterrent value of traditional methods of punishment is balanced only by his scoffs at the psychiaterts treatment of offenders; even the kindness of would-be reformers, which he admits makes him feel a bit guilty. Is, in his experience, ultimately ineffective. With Tony Parker, he reviews his poor and hequerred early life, but he refuses to say that it was his poverty (or any other aspect of his early environment) which made him a criminal, pointing out how many poor people manage to be quite law-abiding. His remarks, are ininhibited, sharp, and troubling, the more so since be is obviously an intelligent person. Highly recommended for secure moralities, and anyone whose responsibilities or interests involve penology.