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Animal Spy: Animal Welfare Behind Enemy Lines Hardcover – 27 Sep 2007

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Vision (27 Sept. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905745230
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905745234
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.3 x 24.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 979,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gordon Thorburn the legitimate child of Hrothgar Tørbjorn, Swedish air ace, whose Volvo night fighter was mistakenly shot down over Dewsbury. Hrothgar sold his parachute and married Ivy Milburn, a Geordie ice-cream girl and exotic-dance understudy, in a private ceremony at Leeds City Varieties.

As a boy, Gordon was keen to be a bought ledger clerk with the Assembly of the Free Churches of Scotland but his father wanted him to be a poet or sculptor. As a compromise, Gordon enrolled at the Kirkstall Lane Temperance College to learn black-pudding knotting. He supplemented this with a course in participle dangling then ran away to London to be indentured to the advertising legend S H Benson, gent., as an infinitive splitter (hot metal).

After two years' trying to think of a different way of saying 'Guinness is good for you', Gordon joined McCann Erickson where he became known as 'The Nine out of Ten Copywriter'. Phrases he coined there included 'The Esso sign appertains to happy motoring', 'A Double Diamond works quite well considering', 'Oh, Bisto', 'Hardly anything acts faster than Anadin' and 'I'd like to buy the world a Jennings of Cockermouth'.

Gordon lived in Suffolk for 15 years, where shed enlightenment began to dawn but was cut short by a large number of Essex people moving in and erecting fibreglass Victorian street lamps in their gardens. After ten years in Appleby-in-Westmorland smallholding and good-lifing, with many stone sheds, a bull pen and a barn, he's now back in Suffolk with his wife Sue. He is working on several new books, including one about sheds.

See also

Published 2010
The Classic Allotment. March, Remember When/Pen & Sword
The Classic Herb Garden. June, Remember When/Pen & Sword
Travelling Art - Gypsy Caravans and Canal Boats. June, The History Press
Cassius - paperback edition, July, John Blake
Pubs and their history - October, Remember When

Unauthorised celebrity biography (under pseudonym). February, John Blake
Me and My MG - May.
The Pocket Guide to Sheds - June.
Remembering the High Street - September.

Kindle books
666 Squadron - The owl that shriek'd (WW2 fiction)
Pigs for Dinner (psycho-thriller)
Nicky Tams, King of Nosepipe (children's fiction)

Currently working on:
Jocks in the Jungle (Black Watch as Chindits 1944 - Pen and Sword)
Superpiss, Kiss Me, Bedcocks and Fart (international brand names)
The Fighter Pilot's Handbook

Earlier books published
No Need To Die, Americans in RAF Bomber Command. July 2009, Haynes
Cassius, true story of an exceptional police dog. March 2009, John Blake
Animal Spy - undercover investigations into animal cruelty. Sept 2007, Vision
Bombers, first and last - WW2 with No IX Squadron, RAF. June 2006, Robson
Men and Sheds - October 2002, New Holland (140,000 copies sold)
Ghosted autobiography of undercover agent. Simon & Schuster, August 2001
43 Unsporting Moments, Village Cricket, The Appleby Rai, The Buxton Baths Murders - own imprint.

Awards London BISFA 'Best Scriptwriter', Los Angeles ITVA 'Golden Reel' (both for video documentary about lack of treatment for kidney patients); Lakeland Books of the Year, Jennings Prize (The Appleby Rai).

Newspaper and magazine articles and stories - many, including Art Review, Crafts, The Independent, Yorkshire Post, Garden News, Garden Answers, Yorkshire Journal, Police Review, At Home (medical journal), Golf Monthly, Whitbread Magazine, Yours, Plain English, FlyPast, Armourer, Britain at War. American magazines Logbook and MAKE. Weekly humorous column This world of ours in the Yorkshire Post.

Career summary Benn Brothers (trade and technical journalism); S H Benson, then McCann Erickson (advertising copywriting); Thorburn Kirkpatrick (copywriting, editing, design, PR and print production); freelancing in copywriting, journalism, non-fictional and fictional books; editing and publishing under own imprint; more freelancing and more books.

Product Description


After years working for the RSPCA, Terry Spamer became the first freelance undercover agent investigating animal maltreatment. He has endeavoured to seek out large-scale operations of cruelty to animals and to expose them - via infiltration, surveillance, and covert recording - to the animal welfare authorities and governments. His work involves personal danger, as those capable of such terrible atrocities to animals are often willing to harm anyone who tries to thwart them.In "Animal Eye", Spamer tells some of his most gripping stories, including covert investigations of: the illegal capture of wild monkeys for research, the killing of endangered species for taxidermy, Polish horses being cruelly turned into Italian salami under Mafia supervision and 'squishing' small animals by stamping on them in stilettos. Horrifying, yet compelling, this book is an essential eye-opener to the cruelty that lives on in a 'civilised' world.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. Smith-langridge on 9 Nov. 2007
Format: Hardcover
We all know it goes on, but probably most of us turn a blind eye to it. In a highly readable book Terry takes us through many examples of animal abuse from around the world covering many different species - monkeys, rhinos, dogs, horses, leopards, birds....This is a moving account of his and others efforts to catch and prosecute the abusers. It goes into detail about the various covert operations, some of which succeed and some fail. It is easy to read and contains a few humorous recollections amongst the stories of abuse. I learnt a great deal about animals, abuse and animal welfare issues by reading this book and would recommend it to anyone.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Neilson on 28 Jan. 2008
Format: Hardcover
To say I enjoyed this book doesn't seem quite right, as it is an awful insight into the sick people who abuse our wildlife and pets. Saying that it makes awfully interesting reading and does have some lighter moments. It makes you aware of what Terry has gone through in his quest to save animals and it lifts your spirits to know there are people like him doing this. I think many people would be shocked to know the extent of the way our animal life is abused. Good reading, give it a go.
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By Susan Hughes on 27 Mar. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I would recommend this book to anyone who is concerned about the terrible crimes committed against animals in the UK and throughout the world. Terry Spamer is a man of immense bravery and is dedicated to his mission to expose the brutal treatment and abuse of animals by the human animal - MAN
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