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Just Like That

3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  133 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Les Edgerton's buddy novel, JUST LIKE THAT, is based on an actual trip he took with an ex-prison cellmate under similar circumstances as protagonist Jake Mayes does in this narrative. The scenes in Pendleton are also based on true experiences he had while incarcerated. Approximately 85% of the novel is taken from real life.
Jake and his pal Bud's journey begins six months
Paperback, 254 pages
Published December 2nd 2011 by Stonehouse Ink (first published August 7th 2011)
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Dec 05, 2011 Ed rated it it was amazing
Les Edgerton's masterful JUST LIKE THAT is the same rich vein as the noir-miester Chester Himes' prison novel YESTERDAY WILL MAKE YOU CRY. Both authors drew upon their life experience as convicts to craft their visceral, powerful, and, most of all, honest narratives. The protagonist Jake Mayes' portrayal is based eighty percent on actual events. He's a complex man, hardboiled but racked with searing pain, especially over his femme fatale/lover Donna. I liked reading his colorful trip taken to Ne ...more
Darren Sant
Oct 04, 2012 Darren Sant rated it it was amazing
Being a Brit the toughest thing about reading Just Like That was understanding some of the slang used in the novel. However, it wasn't a major hurdle and once I'd gotten used to it things flowed a little faster for me. Just Like That is a pretty straightforward novel and comes across more like a biography. As Les points out in his forward 80% of it is based on fact so that is perhaps unsurprising. It’s exceptionally well written and whilst you understand that it’s at least part autobiographical ...more
Carl R.
May 06, 2012 Carl R. rated it it was amazing
Since Les Edgerton is not only a mentor but a friend of mine, let there be no pretense of objectivity here. Writer Working regulars know that I usually link up to a bio the first time I mention a writer’s name in one of these commentaries. Here, though, you have to read the book. That’s the bio that matters. Just Like That is, he says, more than 80% autobiographical, though he gives only a peek at what is and isn’t fiction in the intro.

What is real is a look into the criminal world. Not just a
Keith Nixon
Nov 09, 2013 Keith Nixon rated it it was amazing
Jake Mayes, ex-con and tough guy, decides to take a road trip with Bud, a cell mate from the worst prison in the US. First he needs some money so Mayes robs a garage, then takes off. Through bar fights, hookers and more robberies Mayes makes a living.
However, before long Mayes gets caught and is back inside where he experiences more of the tough side of life.

This weekend I stand accused of being a bad father, and it’s all Les Edgerton’s fault. You see in a typical week I am away for at least fou
Ian Ayris
Jul 17, 2012 Ian Ayris rated it it was amazing
JUST LIKE THAT begins with a lengthy foreward in which we learn the prison stories/road movie book we are about to read is '80-85%' true. With the brilliant edginess of Edgerton's writing - even in the foreward - I was left in no doubt I would be in for quite a ride. And not all of it comfortable.

JLT begins with the central character, Jake Mayes, in prison. Eating beans:

We were having beans this meal. That's not news - when we don't have beans, that's news. My main concern was not biting down on
J.J. Toner
Sep 29, 2011 J.J. Toner rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. The narrative bounces along with its own in-built energy, like the engine in a 1964 Mustang that refuses to stop even after you've switched it off and trousered the key. Les throws a lot of the writing book out the window in this one, followed by large parts of the grammar primer, and yet, the voice comes across as curiously educated. To take just two examples, he says "himself" everywhere when "hisself" might have been justified, "anything" in places where I would have expect ...more
Gareth Price
Aug 09, 2011 Gareth Price rated it really liked it
Les Edgerton takes incidents from his own early life and commits them to (electronic) paper with an honesty and integrity that you come across all too rarely. Just Like That starts as a buddy book & ends as a jailhouse book, the two sides weighted almost equally. It barely let's up with the action as Jake, Les' alter-ego, goes from one bad choice to another and ends up back in Pendleton jail for the failed robbery of a bar. A nasty, to put it mildly, encounter with another inmate colours the ...more
Sep 17, 2011 Luca rated it it was amazing
'Just Like That' is a novel from Les Edgerton. A writer with a chequered past, he has a wealth of stories to tell, and 'Just Like That' is based primarily on a road trip he actually took with another ex-con. And it's a great tale from start to finish.

Edgerton is highly adept at storytelling, and that is what 'Just Like That' is. It's a story, told to the reader, taking them on a journey throughout. What makes this novel stand out however, is the way in which the story is written. Reading 'Just L
Anne Gallagher
Jan 24, 2012 Anne Gallagher rated it it was amazing
This is a man's book. No doubt about it. A semi-autobiographical tale written in fiction form of his life and travels as a criminal. I couldn't put it down. I never thought I would root for a protagonist that was on the lowest edge of society, but I couldn't help feel for Jake. His antics with his friends, in and out of the pokey, were some of the best fun I've read in a long time. Edgerton's writing is raw, plain and simple, and if you can't look at the seedier side of life, pass this book by. ...more
Benoit Lelièvre
Jul 07, 2013 Benoit Lelièvre rated it really liked it
If JUST LIKE THAT would have been a short story collection, it would have been called something along the lines of 'Felon Stories' but since it's a novel, JUST LIKE THAT works fine as a title. But is it really a novel or is it an hybrid, novelish-memoir-true-crime-prison-book? It's all that. Edgerton warns us that about 80% of JUST LIKE THAT is based on his own life, which adds a layer of flavor to an already soulful story of sin, redemption and friendship in the unlikeliest places.

You will lear
M.L. Rigdon
Jan 21, 2012 M.L. Rigdon rated it it was amazing
I started this book and couldn’t stop. Edgerton’s ability to haul the reader into the story and minds of his characters, in this case, the criminal mentality, left me helpless to set the book down and fiercely invested in this work of fiction that feels like fact. The odd thing was that I didn’t have much sympathy with the character but felt mesmerized by the train wreck about to happen. With no experience of incarceration, I can’t comment on that, but do know about surviving stressful, traumati ...more
May 19, 2017 Natalie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

I'm sorry I wasted my time on this book. The writing is bad and the end says 80% was fiction even though the beginning says it is claimed to be the closest to the real criminal mind.
Mike Monson
Feb 07, 2013 Mike Monson rated it it was amazing
Now, Just Like That struck me in a way I’m not used to when I read, even when I’m reading something great. It brought me into a world that I was always curious about, fascinated about, but could never really see; never really know – as an outsider. Just Like That is the daily life of the Outlaw, the Criminal, the Hustler, and the Convict: the people who look at most of the rest of us a straights or civilians.

I’ve been on the periphery of such people and such a life off and on through various ass
Rick Bylina
Feb 07, 2012 Rick Bylina rated it it was amazing
Les Edgerton's "Just Like That" opens the door to the mind of a felon who lives by a code of ethics authored by the hardscrabble life with a meandering family in the post-WW2 era and edited by the schizophrenic penal system of the 1960s where "...the best blacks and the worst whites got to be hacks...." The protagonist, Jake Mayes, is the embodiment of Les from his time in prison. I love the Elmore Leonard directness and in-your-face style of this story, but am mystified why this was touted as a ...more
Rob Brunet
Nov 04, 2012 Rob Brunet rated it really liked it
Les Edgerton’s JUST LIKE THAT is crime fiction, stripped bare. The voicing is pitch perfect. Edgerton draws the reader in with frank honest portrayals of life on the run and behind bars, not shying away from humour when it’s the right tool. Then, once he’s got you comfortable, he slams you with reality, making you feel right there with him, in the dark.

Edgerton's lens is like the bottom of a tumbler ready for another shot of bourbon. The novel may be based on events that took place in the sixtie
Sep 18, 2011 Nick rated it liked it
This book was promoted as a story about two ex-cons going on a road trip, well that's true in part. Most of the story deals with the prison time of the lead character, Jake Mayes, both before and after the road trip. The book is semi-autobiographical with author Les Edgerton also spending a fair chunk of his life behind bars. This gives Just Like That an incredibly authentic feel and through Jake Mayes you get a terrific insight into the workings of the criminal mind. Bad habits, bad girls and b ...more
Scott Kennedy
Nov 09, 2012 Scott Kennedy rated it it was amazing
A chilling evocation of a criminal. This book is rambly, but that's part of it's strength. It's layered with stories like a George V. Higgins book, and paints a completely believable portrait of a criminal living from moment to moment, inside of prison and out.

If you're at all interesed in criminals or life in prison, this book is highly recommended as a realisitic portrait (although I did wonder a little at the period being portrayed--a lot of this feels like it took place in the 60s and 70s--
Sep 20, 2012 Arielle rated it really liked it
This book is a pedal-to-the-metal, no-holds-barred, wild ride, so hold on! Have you ever wondered what it would be like inside a prison? This book tells it, and make no mistake, some of this book is funny, but some of it is sad. Some of it describes a convict's own brand of justice and loyalty, and some of it describes the justice we as a nation have come to expect. It can be glorious and horrifying, all in one sentence. I definitely recommend this book to any and all...unless your idea of a per ...more
Amanda Croley
Jun 01, 2012 Amanda Croley rated it really liked it
Les Edgerton writes a 'mostly true' account as life as a convict. Jake, the main character describes time both inside and outside of prison. It reads like a story, but also gives you firsthand knowledge of what an actual convict feels, thinks, and does. Edgerton is ver adament about the fact that the movies have it all wrong. The most disturbing myth debunked is the one that says child molesters are NOT targeted in jail. That kind of sucks, because well, they deserve it. The events that take pla ...more
John Paul
Jun 05, 2012 John Paul rated it liked it
It reads like a memoir. The author takes a candid first person account of the prison experience, sharing the ugliest pieces. I would have enjoyed more plot and getting to know more of the supporting characters. I did appreciate this exploration of a criminal and his prejudices, addictions, survival skills, and often odd sense of justification.
May 19, 2013 Bren rated it really liked it
I had no idea prison life was like that. I learned so much from this novel.

The story amazed me. It was a fantastic read! The writing just flowed and you felt as if you had actually been there. Though, I have not.

If you want to have everything you thought about prison blown out of the water, read this. I had no idea what it was really like.

Feb 03, 2013 Teresa rated it really liked it
What life inside is really like without the Hollywood "glamour". I started the book not sure if I was going to enjoy it and apart from a little repetition I really got into it. The author has written other books and on the strength of this I will read more.
Jamie Belt
Jan 23, 2012 Jamie Belt rated it liked it
Since the story is written first person from the viewpoint of an ex-prisoner, you should realize that the language and some of the situations are pretty rough. The book is very interesting, with some nice character building. Some of the narrative is repetitive, but it's overall, a good read.
Rob Perschau
You want to feel sick after reading a book read this.
Vanda Bromwich
Mar 27, 2013 Vanda Bromwich rated it really liked it
This is about prison in the USA. It is a true story with some fiction - difficult to tell what it true and what is the truth stretched a little. A good read.
Feb 04, 2013 Shannon rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, team-b, 2013
The beginning dragged a little but the end went by too quick!
Michele Padua
Jan 27, 2012 Michele Padua rated it really liked it
Book about life in prison (for the most part). Definite page turner.
Melanie rated it really liked it
Mar 15, 2016
Steve Hillson
Steve Hillson rated it really liked it
Dec 05, 2014
Phil Judd
Phil Judd rated it liked it
May 09, 2015
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