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Green River Rising

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  500 ratings  ·  38 reviews

On the day Dr. Ray Klein wins his parole, the disciplinary perfection of Green River Penitentiary in Texas is torn apart by riot - more a tribal war - of unimaginable ferocity. As the inmates take over, the River sucks all inside further toward the abyss. Klein must choose. He must either claim his freedom and abandon his friends and the woman he loves to die, or he must r

Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages
Published October 1st 1995 by Avon Books (first published 1994)
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58th out of 230 books — 126 voters
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121st out of 167 books — 103 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 766)
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I love, love, love Tim Willocks. I've read The Religion at least 5 times and finally have gotten my hands on another one of his books and I'm not disappointed. It is a 180 from The Religion but that's okay. Same argument as The Historian and The Swan Thieves. Two different books by the same author. Good deal. It's said this is the best prison story ever and I tend to agree. Mr. Willocks, a psychiatrist by day is nothing if not intense. No holds barred and nothing is ever held back. He is into re ...more
Kelanth, numquam risit ubi dracones vivunt
Non saprei esattamente, se me lo chiedessero, se consigliare o meno la lettura di questo libro. A tratti bello ed entusiasmante con l'ambientazione carceraria riprodotta molto bene, a tratti troppo prolisso e di scrittura ricercata che è al di fuori dell'ambientazione stessa e dunque e mal si mescola con la trama e a tratti decisamente fuori dalle righe per via: della profusione di sesso (quel troppo che stroppia e che risulta alla fine in alcuni personaggi come quello della dottoressa Devlin, i ...more
Raegan Butcher
Excellent potboiler about a prison riot in Texas. Great cast of characters, truly despicable villains and a complex hero with serious moral questions and no easy answers. Very authentic and brutal.
Nathan Flamank
Without a doubt one of the best books of the last 30 years: powerful and thought provoking. An example of a perfect novel
My Inner Shelf
J’ai été subjuguée par La religion, charmée par Doglands, et je suis scotchée par Green River. Aussi noir et dense que La religion, Green River transpire la haine, le courage, l’amour, le désespoir et l’espérance. Willocks nous offre un échantillon de ce que l’Humanité peut faire de pire, et de meilleur. Il ne nous épargne pas beaucoup de détails et nous plonge sans hésitation dans l’univers suintant d’une prison peuplé de personnages hauts en couleur. Les relations entre détenus, la soumission ...more
Joanne Parkington
This book is superb .. i was torn between not being able to put it down & forcing myself to slow down as i didn't want it to finish ... From the first chapter a knot of anxiety grew in my stomach and i felt a dreadful sense of foreboding, something terrible is about to happen in Green River. I've seldom read a book that paint's such a detailed description of it's setting that not only could i see the prison but i could smell it's sweat-soaked malice & taste it's rancid misery. I was frig ...more
If all you were to do was to skim read it might be easy to see why it is that those who criticize this extraordinary novel for being clichéd: for portraying the inmates as brutal, brutalized, racist, sexist, homophobic: for demeaning whites and for ennobling blacks, Hispanics, Latinos etc., do so. However, a closer reading would find that this was far from the truth. I suspect those making the criticism haven't been within a hundred miles of the kind of institution upon which the Green River Sta ...more
Jag Garcia
I first "met" Tim Willocks when I picked up a copy of The Religion at a book sale to read on the bus from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore.

I enjoyed The Religion A LOT. So when I got a chance to pick this up I was looking forward to one of his other works.

It's an interesting tale, set in a high-security prison in the middle of nowhere. I enjoyed the characters as well as the storytelling.

It seems a bit convenient, though, that the series of events that set off the story happen just when our main charac
John Wiltshire
Absolutely brilliant novel. Set in an American prison the story follows the events during a riot. It's the most thought-provoking novel I've read for a long and will haunt me for a long time to come.
Aleia Garcia
I found this book by chance more than ten years sgo when I was browsing a bookstore. I thought the title was interestingg (the Spanish translation) and bought it.

I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading it, ssince I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

The story is simple enough, a man is about to be released from prison and the day he gets the parole there is a riot. With this simple premise what we get is a gritty story about the motivation dribing desperate me, violence, bloo
Patrick O'Neil
Tim Willocks' Green River Rising, a prison novel, begins bogged down in overly descriptive language, a little too "flowery" and odd when given the subject matter. However I sloshed through the initial first chapter and wadded into the Willocks' imaginary penitentiary. He nails a few characters. He picks up on some prison idioms. He falls prey to some clichés. And righteously blows it with shit that just doesn't ring true – yet in the end he has a compelling story. And other than miserably destro ...more
Paul White
Started well and then slid into what seemed to be a very bad action film script. Undoubtedly written with one eye on Hollywood.
Sophie B.
although I found it a bit hard to read, I liked the story and what it tells us about humanity.
The constrains of a prison novel limit the locations, but Tim Willocks manages to wring a decent amount of tension out the situation portrayed here.

One of my gripes surrounds the "invincibility" of certain characters (not the lead characters) who seem to cling to life despite greater and greater harm being inflicted upon their person.

By the very nature of the story you get a sense of who will and won't survive the riot, but there are some twists and turns along the way which make for an interest
Green River Rising is still one of my all-time favourite books - except I always forget it when asked what I love to read.

At root, it's the story of a prison riot. Alongside that, though, there's a kind of romance, a mad prison governor, and a band of *very* unlikely heroes.

It's the way the story is told that really makes it, though. There's a clear distinct new voice (well, new at the time it was written) who makes the entire thing shine, in a similar way to what Seth Morgan did with "Homeboy".
This is an amazing book- just brilliant. Dr. Ray Klein is a wrongly convicted man on the verge of parole from Green River State Pen. in Texas when the prisoners suddenly riot, leaving him trapped inside. Willocks description of life in prison is vivid and his characters are well thought out. This is an intense, fast-paced read. It's graphic at times and not for the faint-of-heart.
Just in case you were unsure, you DO NOT want to be in an old East Texas prison run by a madman when there's a race riot. Really.

Fascinating book, compelling hero, badass heroine, and a cast of characters all motley and mean and flawed and depraved and surprising. Green River Rising is claustrophobic and filthy and violent, but I loved it. Incredible writing.
Michael Jecks
One of those books you start and cannot put down. Willocks has a fabulous skill of getting inside the head of his protagonists and writing visceral, brutally realistic stories. I'd recommend this with the rider that it is violent and the language is the language of prisoners in a very unpleasant prison. Having said that, it's well worth the read.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Green River Rising is a very good book, although not a very accurate portrayal of an East Texas prison or prison life. Having worked in an prison in that region (and being in a riot or two) I had to look past the glorified notions of what one sees in the movies and reads in books, but other than that it was a very enjoyable book.
Premier ouvrage que je lis de cet auteur; j'irai chercher les autres, c'est sûr. écriture sans fla-fla, directe, crue. Ça se passe durant une émeute dans un pénitencier. Bon, il y a un peu d’invraisemblance dans la psychologie des personnages, surtout de la psychologue, mais c'est ce qui justifie les scènes de sexe...
Este libro me abrió los ojos, y tanto, que lo leí dos veces. Seguidas. Y pensar que me lo encontré de casualidad, en oferta, y lo compré porque me gustó la tapa y me "tincó"... Un médico condenado (¿injustamente?¿de verdad?), un tipo básicamente decente, metido hasta las orejas en un motín carcelario.
I sat on this for a while thinking it might be average, I was very wrong. This is a tough, brutal read but very appropriate for the story line. It was full of violence, but also very empathetic and well researched. An excellent read.
Derek Baldwin
Possibly the first prison drama I'd read since Papillon. Not quite so much of the smuggling stuff around stuck up your arse, but makes up for it with lots of cheery postmodern brutality. Not bad as it goes.
Brian Lee
Having worked in a prison, this novel is just a bit unrealistic. Stephen King does prison stories with much more authority. Willocks' novel The Religion is fantastic tho
If you liked Pulp Fiction you'll probably like this over-the-top prison drama. The cons who control the various cell-blocks are absolutely hilarious.
May 29, 2008 Meen rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Meen by: I think it was on a bargin table...
Shelves: own-it, fiction
Prisons fascinate me... I've read this one several times. It's very raw, very tragically masculine. And lots of hot male-on-male forced sex! ;)
Ben Skyrme
Bleak outlook on life in a prison, and the lengths people will go to when they've nothing to lose. A great read!
Great read. Exciting, brutal, funny. It smelt bad too. All women should go to the Klein finishing school for girls!
I knew what I was getting into with this one (violent bodice-ripper), but it wasn't a total waste of time.
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British doctor and novelist.
More about Tim Willocks...
The Religion  (Tannhauser Trilogy, #1) The Twelve Children of Paris (Tannhauser Trilogy, #2) Blood-Stained Kings Doglands Bad City Blues

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