• The story opens with Lamar Pye and his cousin serving time in a maximum-security prison. While in prison, Lamar befriends Richard Peed, a man serving time for stabbing his mother in the eyes. Richard is drawing a picture of a naked woman with a lion for Lamar.
• While Lamar is showering alone one day, a member of a rival gang enters the shower, threatening him. Lamar learns that his cousin, Odell, offended one of the rival gang members, but they won't take their revenge on him since Odell is mentally disabled. Instead, the gang wants to punish Lamar.
• Lamar fights back against the rival gang member and kills him. Desperate, Lamar works with a guard he knows is running a drug trafficking ring and they organize a way for Lamar, Odell, and Richard to escape through a prison window and steal a delivery truck. Before they...
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