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Locked Up In La Mesa by [Peterson, Steve, Asp, Eldon]
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Locked Up In La Mesa Kindle Edition

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Length: 229 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product description

Product Description

In the freewheeling '70s, La Mesa Penitentiary was a prison unlike any other, a colorful little pueblo on the east side of Tijuana that was home to the worst criminals imaginable—and their entire families. Everything was controlled by the inmates, and the world they created was a bizarre reflection of the one they'd left behind:

There was a bustling business district complete with stores and restaurants, a prison laundry staffed by transvestite hookers and a babysitting service run by a schizophrenic murderer. Weekend fiestas brought drunken partiers to the prison, along with masked wrestlers and strolling mariachis. La Mesa at the time was both a deadly powder keg and a nonstop party, a temple of vice where the inmates had better guns than the guards—a place where anything could happen.

"Locked Up In La Mesa" is the true story of Steve Peterson, a young California surfer dude caught smuggling pot in the hills outside Tijuana. In thirty-four short stories of black humor and bittersweet humanity, Steve, together with writer Eldon Asp, recalls his hilarious adventures and scary close calls inside the most notorious prison in Mexico...

About the Author

Growing up, STEVE PETERSON dreamed of becoming a cowboy, a sailor, a fisherman and a smuggler. All of these dreams came true, and then some.

His greatest joy is being a father of six, with six grandkids and counting...


ELDON ASP is a writer of various scripts and stories, mostly involving characters who are very excited about their horrible plans. LOCKED UP IN LA MESA is his first book.

His next one is EASY STREET.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1703 KB
  • Print Length: 229 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: DIRT CITY PRESS (Aug. 1 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005FT9YOE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #352,888 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Locked Up in La Mesa, very entertaining after the fact! Feb. 4 2017
By J. Schwieger - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very interesting and informative presentation of life in the infamous Mexican prison, La Mesa. From the beginning of the book, the author admits to his guilt and shares details of the crime, however, I found myself pulling for him as he faced the challenges, hardships, and danger of the life in which he placed himself. This is not a spectacular book, but is well written and an entertaining, easy read.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast moving account of life in a 70's Mexican prison. Aug. 11 2012
By SJFF - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book started off bold and stayed true. An honest account with no sugar coating of a wanna-be drug runner who was caught with his co conspirators. The Mexican prison system at the time was a lawless collection of the crooked watching the caught and the author recalls it well. I was impressed with two things: the author being a stand up guy and how the story flows from capture onward, warts and all.
Definitely a worthwhile read!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Read Nov. 25 2013
By T. Cannon - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a true story about a California kid, Steve Anderson, caught trying to smuggle Pot into the U.S. from Mexico in the 1970's. He is arrested in Mexico and spends a little over a year in a Mexican Prison. I don't think that Anderson wrote this book to teach any great life lesson. He mentions at the beginning that only now is he able to talk/write about many of the experiences in the book. I got the impression that he felt like he needed to tell his stories just to get it out and that he put it in a book because maybe it would sell.

Each chapter is really a short story. While the fist few tell about his plan to smuggle the Pot and how he got caught, once he is in La Mesa the stories are not always chronological. He is just telling stories about things that happened to him and people he knew there. Some of the reviews do not seem to like this style but I enjoyed it. I like hearing stories.

The conditions were pretty bad in La Mesa and the language used there was pretty bad too. Anderson does not shy away from quoting or paraphrasing the language used there and he gives some vivid descriptions of the the conditions. If you think this will bother you, you probably don't want to read this book. I did not think he put in the language for its shock value, I think he and the people he knows do and did talk that way. Somehow that made it not bother me as much. It also made it easier to skim over the raw language. I could tell where the words would be and sort of just go on. When I think an author is just trying to "be real" or shock me the language seems to jump out at me and offend me more.

I'm not sad that I read the book. I got the Kindle edition free a few months ago. I'm not sure I will read it again. I'm don't "not recommend" it but I don't necessarily recommend it either. If it is something that you think would interest you it is a fairly easy and quick read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, quick read Sept. 29 2012
By Lady ReadsaLot - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story really flowed. From the very beginning when the "great plan" went horribly wrong through the first lock up and Steve's noble sacrifice for his friends and on through the almost full year he spent in La Mesa, this was a story that few could imagine living.

This is not a great literary work, but rather stories the guy sitting next to in a bar might tell you over a couple of beers---just like Steve asks you to imagine hearing them. It is described as a series of "short stories." However, they are in a pretty told in a pretty straight timeline making it an easy read in one sitting. The characters were realistic despite how unreal the whole situation seems. I must say one of my favorite vignettes was when Steve's brother came to visit and was flirting with one of the "laundry ladies."

There was a humor that came through at times. It was scary, nasty, and violent by turns, but maybe the resilience of youth and the hindsight that comes with the wisdom of age made it easier for the author to paint a picture that was not all bleak. The vendors, the families, the fiestas, alongside rampant drug use and the almost overlooked violence---it had to have been like falling down the rabbit hole. I enjoyed reading this book and would enjoy reading more of La Mesa as seen through this man's eyes.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining read Oct. 17 2012
By J. V. Thomas - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book (actually more like a series of short tales) in the spirit that the accounts are factual even though some of it is a little hard to believe. For instance, the author flat out states that guards in this prison are, with some frequency, found guilty of some crime and find themselves as prisoners in the same facility they used to guard. Now, by all accounts, in US prisons, these guards would have to be segregated from a revenge-seeking community but, if this book is true, apparently not so in "La Mesa". In fact, the author insists that, in such cases, the guards are treated no differently by the inmates than any other prisoner unless they went out of their way to be abusive while they were guards. If so, Mexican criminals (or at least "La Mesa" criminals) are a cut well above US criminals.

Told in a series of vignettes, in first person narrative, I found this book to be a very interesting read. Since I didn't stumble on any glaring or unintentional grammatical errors, I can't empathize with the few comments about the coarse nature of the writing. To me, it seemed to be toned perfectly to the subject matter and to the book's first-person narrative style. I mean, if you're looking for poetry, why read a book about prison life?

I found the accounts to be highly entertaining though it's questionable whether or not they would be quite so interesting and entertaining if they weren't touted to be factual. I'd love to see comments from any one else that could in any way speak to the plausibility of these accounts - just because it would be interesting to get a feel for how much of this is really fiction and how much could be fact.