Borstal Boy. London: Hutchinson, 1960. First Edition, Second Impression. Pp, 343. Frontispiece Illustration. Good copy in lightly chipped dust jacket.
Behan spent three years of his life in a Borstal when he was caught in 1939, at age 16, carrying a suitcase full of explosive devices in Liverpool. 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.