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Flying Cats and Flip Flops. Surviving a Notorious African Prison [Kindle Edition]

Paul Johnson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A lucky windfall jump-starts his miserably unfulfilled life, and so his incredible journey begins.
A second prize win on 'spot the ball' may not sound a life changing amount, but it's enough for Terry Johnson to follow his dream. A dreary grey council estate existence and an overbearing, money squandering shoplifter wife of 25 years - he's desperate to get away.
Retirement approaching, this flamboyant charmer and seasoned risk-taker isn't quite ready for the quiet life - his free bus pass can wait!
He craves adventure and excitement and finds both in equal measure - in Africa.
Terry snubs the usual tourist trail of safaris and beaches - he prefers to plan a more extreme unorthodox route, 'off road' and dangerous. That's the way he likes it.
Risks galore, he gets himself into dangerous and bizarre situations along the way - until he's caught with drugs at Nairobi Airport.
Four months of squalor in Nairobi remand prison, he struggles to survive the harsh cramped conditions which ravage his mind and body. Finally sentenced, he's off
to a prison notorious for a blatant disregard for human rights.
All the time his biggest challenge awaits him in England.


Product Description

About the Author

In 2009 I lost my sight. I endured a six month wait for an op which held no guarantee of me ever seeing again. It was a lonely, testing time not just for me but for my wonderful supportive family. It was during this time that I made the decision to get back in touch with my estranged father ( 8 year absence ). My wife played taxi dropping me and my white stick to his place for our weekly catch in an attempt to salver some sort of relationship. Slurping coffee in his beloved garden, sharing jokes like we'd never been apart, I purposely swung the topic to those missing years and his new life in Africa. I couldn't wait for each week to pass as bit by bit he painted his surreal fascinating African experience in my mind. "Dad, when I get my sight back I will write your book." June 17th 2010. The unassuming, incredibly talented surgeons and staff at Moorfields hospital in London restored partial vision. Life back on track and a book to write. Flying Cats & Flip Flops. Surviving a Notorious African Prison was published in January 2013.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1283 KB
  • Print Length: 230 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0957509707
  • Publisher: Noproblempublishing Ltd (10 Nov. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B53IQVG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #91,148 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping tale... 24 Jan. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was totally gripped on this book from Page 1 and completed the entire thing in 2 days. Funny and sometimes sad. A must read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and eloquently written... 8 April 2013
By MPotter
Format:Paperback
This book is a very easy read, flowing seamlessly from chapter to chapter as it follows Terry's misadventure from his humdrum existence to a world away in Kenya. At first you could be forgiven to think Terry is just running away from his life and his overbearing wife, which in part maybe true, but it isn't long before you realise that following his initial visits to Kenya that he develops a special bond with the country and its people. Their way of life appeals to terry, he becomes passionate and at the same time compassionate for those who strive to survive the poverty of their circumstance. However, circumstance deals Terry a harsh lesson which few could comprehend, especially at the age of 60+! His resolve and strength of character are apparent as he faces incarceration, and although he is faced with never being able to return to his beloved Kenya on his release, his experiences cement his desire to find the compassion and dedication needed to become a full time carer for his wife on his return to England.

Anyone who reads this book will in some way find a heart felt sentiment and empathy with Terry's character, whether its understanding the need to escape a difficult relationship; or experiencing the culture of another country. But essentially the book takes the reader on a life journey experience through a man who creates his own path and situations in an unfamiliar environment, risking all and suffering loss in the most unimaginable and incredible circumstances, but which ultimately define him to being content and able to contend with whatever life has to throw at him.

Finally I would like to say that this book is written in such a way as to simply and eloquently tell Terry's tale and in no way judges the man and some of his decisions, and maybe that is just one of the reasons why you should read this book, to ask yourself what you would do to experience your own journey of a life time...is Terry guilty or not guilty for following his?!
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5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible read of an incredible journey! 16 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book completely surprised me. It was such a pleasure to read, not only because of the way in which it has been written, but because it encouraged me to learn more about a place that I had never really studied before. The book lures you into a sense of being - being in Africa, being on the journey with Terry, and you feel every up and down that he feels throughout the book.

The chapters take you on a roller-coaster ride, and the story becomes more intriguing the further into the book you read. I found myself laughing out loud when I least expected it, and welling up with tears the next minute.

I had the pleasure of creating a Collection of paintings inspired by the book. This was a more straight forward task than I could have imagined, purely because the author has portrayed the story so wonderfully, I actually found it harder to put the paintbrush down - together with the book! (which I am now reading for a second time).

Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an absolute must read 16 Oct. 2013
Format:Paperback
From the imaginative title to very last page this book is a great read. No one can help but be gripped by this story from the first page and be transported to the heart of Africa. This true story is written in such a way that everyone who picks it up will be hooked, a complete page turner. 5 stars without a doubt.
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4.0 out of 5 stars 220 pages of entertainment 21 Jan. 2014
Format:Paperback
This is the story of a man, Terry, who, during one period of his life, did the wrong things for what he considered the right reasons and the result of his actions. Terry's life has been tough - sometimes unimaginably grim - but ultimately, this is a tale of the human spirit's capacity to keep going in the face of heartbreaking adversity. There are flashes of humour, told in a matter-of-fact way, as are the anecdotes of great generosity. It's a very readable book, so pick it up and make a start.

The only thing that niggled me, because I'm picky about that sort of thing, was that there were several spelling and punctuation mistakes. The grammar was a bit hit and miss too, but that didn't really matter; the story was being told in Terry's own words by his son, Paul, which made the book all the more authentic.

All in all, I greatly enjoyed the book, and it's certainly taught me a lesson: avoid Kenya!
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5.0 out of 5 stars From Plymouth to Kenya, and back again! 11 Feb. 2013
Format:Paperback
This is a fantastic debut by Paul Johnson, a truly gripping read for anyone with an adventurous soul!
Terry, who is from Plymouth in Devon, travels to Kenya, and falls desperately in love with the place and the people. He goes to extreme measures in his desire to return, and the narrative really keeps the reader intrigued throughout.
This is a true story, and was told by Terry to his son, the author, and as such the character of Terry really shines through - I swear I could hear the Plymouth accent coming from the pages!
The contrast between his life in Kenya and his life in Devon is startling, making the differences between the cultures seem very stark.
I couldn't recommend this book highly enough - moving, funny, thought-provoking - all brilliantly told in the words of Terry himself. It really makes you think how much one tiny decision can effect the rest of your life. Wonderful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An African safari on the wild side of life. 18 July 2013
Format:Paperback
How many of us have had the courage of one's convictions and followed their dreams!!! Terry Johnson is a man who did just that. An unexpected stroke of luck with a money windfall leads Terry on a series of exploits in a country that in the past he only dreamt about, experiencing the real Kenya, the people, the poverty and the places seldom seen by tourists.

The description of the conditions that Terry endured during his imprisonment provided the book with gritty tension. Depicting the stark, inhuman and brutal conditions that can be found in an African prison and how quickly inmates and guards become dehumanised by their conditions.

I highly recommend this book, it is unputdownable, a rollercoaster read, poignant, humorous and inspiring. If anything that this book tells the reader is that life is for living and there's definitely one thing for sure, Terry lived!! Read it!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A must read. Brilliant
Published 25 days ago by jane d
5.0 out of 5 stars An extremely well written memoir
Flying Cats and Flip Flops starts with a bang as Paul Johnson's own story forms a fascinating backdrop to the memoirs of his father Terry. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Robert Fear
4.0 out of 5 stars Odd
Perhaps as it was written by the son relating a fathers experience it seemed impersonal and I never really felt I knew or understood the person who experienced this quite strange... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Charles Christian
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping story line, full of twists and turns ...
A gripping story line, full of twists and turns.I finished the book on holiday in 2 days. An unbelievable story line set in to continents with a man following his dreams. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mr Donald Thomas Hogg
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!
I am currently half way through this book and am thoroughly enjoying it! It is an honest and exciting true story about one mans travels in Kenya, involving some of the darker sides... Read more
Published 3 months ago by hannah kennelly
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story and well worth a read ...
I really enjoyed the honesty of this book. Paul Johnson has captured his fathers words in great detail and has brought his extraordinary story to life. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mrs Heather G Smalldon
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting if a little crazy!
What a strange story but very interesting and honest. He sounds like a genuine character if a little naive. Well worth a read.
Published 4 months ago by Clare
4.0 out of 5 stars Rivetting true story.
A very rivetting account of a true story. Makes you wonder how any human being could survive being treated in that way.
Published 5 months ago by Rosalind
5.0 out of 5 stars Just the real deal says what's written on the tin
Amazing read brillant story easy to read as couldn't I put it down made me laugh shocked and totally engrossed in this perfectly written book thank you pips for your recommendation... Read more
Published 6 months ago by princessfurby
5.0 out of 5 stars Flying cars and flip flops
This book is excellent read very entertaining I enjoyed it immensely top 5 stars well worth a read fantastic written.
Published 6 months ago by miss m kennedy
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