Borstal Boy. London: Hutchinsons, 1958. First Edition. Pages, 343. Frontispiece Illustration. A very good copy in pictorial dust jacket . Borstal Boy is an autobiographical book about the borstals, or juvenile detention centres, in England. Behan spent three years of his life holed up in one when he was caught in 1939, at age 16, carrying a suitcase full of explosive devices in Liverpool. A beautifully written account of a difficult three-year stretch in a young man's life, the book gives a good day-to-day accounting of life in these borstals, from meal times to religious services (surprisingly tailored to each prisoner's beliefs). They also had available job opportunities. Many would work in the fields or pick fruit. Behan was able to get work as a painter because of an apprenticeship in Ireland. He became popular among many of the other worker prisoners.