I enjoy biographies and life stories. Mainly because I am also a huge fan of a true stories and non-fiction. I believe If your going to take the time to read a story and step into a world. It is more exciting to know it happened here, in world your living in. However I have made at least one exception.
One of my favorite authors is the late Edward Bunker. Edward Bunker was a fiction writer. Edward Bunker wrote fictional stories based on true events in his life and the lives of people around him. Therefore even though the story is a fictional tale. It contains amazing gritty realism that is genuine and honest. Edward was “state raised” . He started his criminal career very early and was in and out of foster care and homes for troubled kids. He eventually graduated from Juvenile halls to prisons. Edward was the youngest person to be sentenced to San Quentin at seventeen years old.
Some of his best work is his memoir. It is titled: Education of a Felon. It is the criminal life story of the writer before he sold his first novel. He wrote his first published novel on a toilet in San Quentin. He sold his blood for postage and smuggled the manuscript for the novel “No Beast So Fierce” out of San Quentin
That novel was also re-written into a screenplay for the movie “Straight Time” staring Dustin Hauffman. The novel was so well received that Edward Bunker was released from prison and had a brief cameo in the movie with Dustin Hauffman. Edward Bunker also helped Dustin Haufman prepare for his role.
Edward Bunker has played parts in several movies with big names a few happen to be Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs” and the popular at the time “Tango and Cash”. Edward also worked on Heat as prison technical adviser with Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, Kevin Gage and Dennis Haysbert. He taught them how to think, react and walk like ex-prison convicts.
Edward is the author of many popular books “Animal Factory”, “Little Boy Blue”, “Dog Eat Dog”, Stark and No Beast So Fierce. Edward died in 2005 due to complications during surgery. He left behind a wife and young boy.
Ive never heard this confirmed but I believe the movie 16 blocks has a major tribute to Edward Bunker in it. In the movie the main character is a criminal testifying against many high profile police officers. The officers are trying to kill him during his escort from jail to court. One officer refused to allow this convict be killed by his fellow officers. The escort struggled between giving up the convict or believing that the convict can truly change. The convict did change his life, proving people can change. Edward bunker changed just like the character who shared his name. coincidence? I believe it was a tribute.