Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Bronson” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview



3.88  ·  Rating details ·  789 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Charlie Bronson is Britain's most dangerous convict. During more than a quarter of a century inside, he has gained a fearsome reputation as the prison system's only serial hostage taker. He has spent 23 of the last 26 years in solitary confinement. He has been locked in dungeons, in iron boxes concreted into the middle of cells, and, famously, in a cage like Hannibal ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by Blake Publishing (first published March 13th 2000)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Bronson, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Bronson

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  789 ratings  ·  55 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Bronson
Aug 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: the butch life
Recommended to Mariel by: and you've never met a button you didn't push
Charles Bronson was born. They had charged me under my fighting name, not under the name I was born with, Michael Gordon Peterson.

His knife was mightier than his pen. I can't tell you how sad it made me that he thought the officers who charged him under this adopted name did him a favor. He wears it like he wears his mustache, or his prison uniform. Lethal and two steps back in a duck and fight. Charles Bronson means convict, artist, poet, fighter, son, friend. A villain's mustache as biting at
Mohammad Ali Abedi
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This autobiography is about Bronson’s experiences in jail, of which he has spent more of his life, not due to the original crime, but because his violent tendencies in prison, has caused his terms to keep getting extended. The two times he was set free, he fucked up quickly, landing him in jail again.

The story itself is boring, since Bronson’s life experience is, unfortunately, a waste. He is spending time in prison, some co-prisoner or guard pisses him off, and he gets in a fight with them, and
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So much better than the film! The book is a roller coaster of emotions happy sad angry you name it its there! Really loved this book the man is infamous britains most notorious inmate! I couldn't help but feel sorry for him in the end whether he wants this or not I don't know! But what I like about Bronson is he doesn't blame society or any one else for what he has done he takes responsibility for it all! RESPECT LEGEND
Chris Jones
Sep 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Hard man, hard life. Unfortunately it is all his own fault. Leaves you unsure of your feelings for 'Charlie'. Pity or revulsion...
Karthik R
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-collection
Autobiography of one of the most dangerous man in British prison system.A movie was made about him.Once he was certified insane and was admitted to mental asylums within the prison system.He was admitted to almost every jail in Britain. this book tells his story of 3 decades of survival.of these, 26 in solitary confinement.I felt really sad for the guy.They go in as criminals and returns as insane ,or in bodybags.He never killed anyone in his life.his loneliness shown him his creative sides and ...more
Apr 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely a story worth reading about. Bronson is a very troubled man, but I couldn't help but to find him funny and sad at the same time. He has the warmth that you would not expect him to have. Understandably, he is in a position to not be as humorous or warm as he is.

He tells his story in detail and believe me, he gets into it. Even with that, you won't find yourself bored.

Bronson is someone you hate to love, but not so much love to hate. He isn't a serial killer, rapist, or someone
Marco Pavan
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
We think they are all monsters, but there's people there who have a big heart and they are very much capable of loving. They are just broken, and we just don't care about helping them putting the pieces back together...
Dec 20, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People interested in the criminal justice system
The autobiography of Charles Bronson, is both interesting and frustrating. On the one hand, I found myself feeling that he was the victim in several circumstances, just because of his legendary name. On the other hand, I became frustrated that he couldn't seem to learn from his mistakes. I plan on seeing the film now that I've finished the book.
Feb 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
excellent book a real interesting read from a very troubled person
Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
A fascinating story, told in a rather dull way.
Rachel Griffiths
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I had always wanted to know why this guy supposedly keeps messing up and why the newspapers say hes the most notorious prisoner.
By the end of this book I can say I personally like the man, hes honest and tells the story exactly how it is and doesn't expect people to be sorry for him and takes responsibility for his fights and actions while in prison.
I don't think its fair hes been kept in this long as theres lots of disgusting murderers, paedophiles and rapists that are walking free.
Let him have
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heart breaking insight to such a troubled mash

A friend recommended this book to me and I'm so glad she did. The story of how Bronson became the person he is is not just interesting but heart breaking as well.
A true life story of systematic abuse and institutionalisation and the devastating effects this has, as well as a failure to recognise and support those within the penal system with mental health problems.
As someone interested in what makes people tick I loved this book and urge anyone to
Sarah Haden
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having had a pre-pre-conceived opinion of him before reading this i can't decide if he is a product of the system or he is genuinely the most violent man in britain. Yes he was violent to start with hence the reason he's locked up. But his treatment over the years,being kept in isolation,constantly being moved from prison to prison can't have helped his mental state. But he does say stay on his right side he'll be your best mate, but get on his wrong side he is the baddest,meanest m**********r ...more
Kelly Allen
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an amazing insight into how fucked up the prisons are , if only people really listened to bronson then maybe he would be stable enough to be integrated with other people . He’s been stitched up so many times just because of his name and it isn’t right at all . The way he has been treated is worse than that of an animal . Yes he has done some bad things but his head is screwed from everything the home office have put him through

It was such a fabulous read
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Here lies a man with not just strength of character but integrity to fight for what he stands for. His sacrifice will not and has not gone unnoticed by the good people adversely affected by the shallow and dim witted uk penal and mental health system.
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Good book, gives an insight into life in jail!!
spent his whole life in solitary poor bloke no wonder he crazy FREE BRONSON
Hannah Piazza
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Repetitive in parts but interesting to read what happens behind closed doors.
Jo Cleobury
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A heartbreaking read. Yes Charles Bronson is far from being an angel but he has been hard done by. I must read book 2. Stay Strong x
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting read about the life of Charles Bronson
Helen Barnes
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is like nothing I've ever read before. The honesty is brutal & Charlie would be the first person to tell you he loses his head.
I'm so shamed to think that the home office have created the life Charlie is trapped in. A man who can barely see because of the hours spent with only a 40 watt bulb as illumination, who can't stand daylight for pain in his eyes!
His treatment has been barbaric and they are responsible for the mind of Charles Bronson (Salvador). Most of his violence is
Becca Bates
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was an extremely interesting and intense read. Truly an emotional rollercoster. There were times where Charlie had me laughing out loud due to his natural charm and wit, which come to life through the pages of his story. However, there are times where I found myself unable to go on due to the tears in my eyes. Charlie "the madman" is the product of several failures on behalf of the prison system. Charlie "the artist" is the product of what this man can strive to be when in the correct ...more
Sabrina Stobbs
Feb 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this down! Despite it being a large hardback at the time!

Charles Bronson is said to be one of Britain's most dangerous convicts. Charles clearly blames the prison system for his current state f mind and such. For me it was thought provoking as I worked as a prison officer for sometime and to see it from a prisoner perception was interesting.

Whether or not it is all factual or partly in the twisted mind of a condemned man is purely reader perception and open to speculation.
Stephen Kearns
Aug 16, 2014 rated it liked it
I found this book very funny and true!at the core of this man there is a beast trying to get out but also a gentle soul!theres obviously something not right in his mind as u will find out for yourself early on but his paranoia and behaviour is the reason why he's still in jail!at times I got frustrated with him because when he was going good something silly caused him to tear up the prison and add more time on!hes the most likeable crazy prisoner ever
Hayden M. Griggs
Dec 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
England's most notorious inmate gives us an unusual and immensely entertaining look inside the world of prison and also into his own personal journey to attaining fame. This is an incredibly funny book, an insight into a very lighthearted and disturbed individual. Bronson is the dark comedy and ridiculous epic of a violently gentle man. The most entertaining thing ever to come out of solitary confinement.
Zupapa Zupap
Dec 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Charles Bronson's battle against the darkness of the UK prison system transcends into mythology. He is stronger, crazier, more impressive and more terrifying than the other UK underworld figures (and he writes a far better book too, because unlike the others Bronson is an artist), which is why 'the system' can't work out what to do with him. I'd love to know what improvements to 'the system' he'd suggest.
Lauren Costain
Sep 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
This man is truly fascinating. It's a book of mixed emotions. He has done some horrific things to others during his life but there are also parts where you respect him and even feel a little sorry for him. He is very up front with the pain he has caused others and the acts he has committed. You also learn to recognise the effects the justice system has on a person and imagine yourself in the same circumstances. It still leaves the question whether he is a bad man or a mad man.
Feb 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
I gave up reading this about half way through. It seemed as though I was reading the same chapter over and over again.
Although I could see how he was getting aggravated by the prison system, I think this guy went over the top on many occasion and the story just seemed to repeat itself. He chins someone, gets put in isolation, chins the screws get's moved, chin's someone and it all goes around in a circle.
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
For someone who could've been free now he's done a good job of making sure he stayed in, I must say I'm quite a big fan of bronson and love his artwork but this book explains pretty much everything you may know about him and even things you didn't know. Give it a read you'll enjoy it especially if you want to know bronson back story which is very interesting.
Liz Clark
Aug 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Charles Bronson is one interesting character. So much of what he has gone through in the system seems so wrong but at some point you kinda have to begin to think why do you bring all this on yourself? That truly is what the book left me thinking. Why in the world would he keep banging his head against a brick wall and expect a different outcome?
Siobhan O' Sullivan
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
found this book fascinating and disturbing at the same time, Bronson is a character that you don't know how to take, compassionate and funny at times and then lethally dangerous at others. It feels to me like a wasted life of someone that could have given so much to society.... The book is defiantly worth the read just to see that side of life and the film is amazing as-well.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Guv'nor
  • The Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins
  • Our Story
  • Pretty Boy
  • Undisputed Truth
  • Common As Muck!: The Autobiography of Roy 'Chubby' Brown
  • Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas
  • The State We're In
  • The Prison Doctor
  • The Blackpool Rock
  • Girl on the Train - Preview
  • Roy Shaw Unleashed - He's a One Man Killing Machine. This Is His Story by Those Who Know Him Best
  • Cocaine + Surfing: A Sordid History of Surfing's Greatest Love Affair
  • Talking with Serial Killers: The Most Evil People in the World Tell Their Own Stories
  • Bronze Age Mindset
  • The Porn Pandemic: A Simple Guide To Ending Pornography And Masturbation Addiction And Getting Back Into The Real World
  • Bravo Two Zero
  • Talking with Psychopaths and Savages: A Journey into the Evil Mind
See similar books…
English criminal and former bare knuckle boxer.

Bronson is often referred to in the British press as the "most violent prisoner in Britain".Bronson wasa petty criminal before being sentenced to seven years imprisonment in 1974.

While in prison, he began making a name for himself as a loose cannon, often fighting convicts and prison officers. He also embarked on one-man rooftop protests. He was

Other books in the series

Bronson (3 books)
  • Bronson 2: More Porridge than Goldilocks
  • The Good Prison Guide
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Prison and the asylums had made me worse, not better. I had truly become a hostage of my past, condemned by my reputation and my fucked-up mind.” 1 likes
More quotes…