In "The Art of War" (The Night Of, S01E04), Freddy tells Naz

You know what the two most popular books in the prison library are? "The Art of War," for obvious reasons. And "The Other Side of Midnight," for obvious reasons.

Now, I haven't read either of those books, but I do know what The Art of War is about and so I understand what the "obvious reasons" are for it being popular in prison.

I looked up the plot to The Other Side of Midnight on Wikipedia, and it seems to be mostly about a French woman trying to get what she wants (namely a relationship with an American pilot) through seduction and manipulation. The most relevant thing to prison or the justice system seems to be that at the end, the woman and the pilot plead guilty to murder because they think a plea bargain is in place, when in fact there is no bargain.

Later in the episode

someone leaves a copy of The Other Side of Midnight on Naz's bed, with a note that says "take the deal."

How does that make sense, since seemingly

the lesson of TOSoM is to not make a plea deal because you can't trust that there actually is a deal, so why couple the book with the advice to take the deal?

And what are the "obvious reasons" that The Other Side of Midnight is popular in prison?

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    I do not have enough rep here yet to create tags, so could someone create a the-night-of tag? There doesn't seem to be one. – Dylan Cristy Sep 20 '17 at 17:29
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    The parallel seems to be about people being set up by women/love interests and end up in jail for a crime not committed, but also the book seems relevant not because of the advice given (in TNO), but that you are always taking chances taking advice from other people in prison, because you never know what their true motives are, because even in prison, their are classes & circles and corruption. The Night Of may be an "advancement" on the novel by expanding that notion to show a difference or a juxtaposition to that book. – Darth Locke Sep 20 '17 at 18:06
  • *there (sorry). – Darth Locke Sep 20 '17 at 21:01

There are two main "themes" in the book; Sex and Revenge. When you're in prison, those are about the only two things you think about. I was incarcerated for 5 years (well, just short of that, actually), and when you're not busy watching your back you're pretty much daydreaming of those two things.

I can't say either of them were the most popular book in the library, but I can see where that dialogue came from.

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