From the back cover
"The Animal Factory goes deep into San Quentin, a world of violence and paranoia, where territory and status are ever-changing and possibly fatal commodities. Ron Decker is a newbie, a drug dealer whose shot at a short two-year stint in the can is threatened from inside and outside. He's got to keep a spotless record or it's ten to life. But at San Quentin, no man can steer clear of the Brotherhoods, the race wars, the relentlessness. It soon becomes clear that some inmates are more equal than others; Earl Copen is one of them, an old-timer who has learned not just to survive but to thrive behind bars. Not much can surprise him -- but the bond he forms with Ron startles them both; it's a true education of a felon."
The Animal Factory is an immediately immersive, character-intriguing and waste-no-words novel that's simultaneously a caveat and a pulp read (inherent, given its subject matter).
This, for me, is a perfect novel. All the delicate plot and character elements work together to form a raw-truth, hard-to-lay-down read that should appeal to those who've read prison writing before, as well as those who haven't.
Worth owning, this. Landmark, informative work.
The resulting film was released stateside on January 24, 2000.
Steve Buscemi produced and directed the film, from a script by book author/co-producer Edward Bunker and John Steppling.
Willem Dafoe played Earl Copen. Edward Furlong played Ron Decker. Danny Trejo played Vito. Mark Boone Jr. played Paul Adams. Seymor Cassel played Lt. Seeman. Mickey Rourke played Jan the Actress.
Tom Arnold played Buck Rowan. John Heard played James Decker. Chris Bauer played Bad Eye. Michael Buscemi, Steve Buscemi's brother, played Mr. Herell.
Book author Edward Bunker played Buzzard. Director Steve Buscemi played A.R. Hosspack. Independent filmmaker and actor Larry Fessenden, billed as Larry Fesenden, played Benny. Independent filmmaker, producer and actor Sal Mazzotta played Florizzi.