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Hard Knocks & Soft Spots Paperback – 14 Feb 2013

87 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (14 Feb. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091948436
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091948436
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.9 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

The Sunday Times bestselling autobiography from Britain's most famous Irish traveller

From the Back Cover

'I fight hard and love strong. I'm a traveller.'

Paddy Doherty loves his life as an Irish traveller, but as a child he felt like an outsider. He was different to his siblings. On the rare occasions he went to school, he was bullied for being a gypsy boy. And beyond the gates of the camp he found nothing but hostility.

Slowly, Paddy's hurt turned into anger and by the age of 11 he had started out on an illustrious career in bare-knuckle fighting. This earned him a position as one of the most well-respected (and feared) men in the travelling community. Yet while he won countless contests in the ring, the real battles he faced were very much outside.

In this deeply honest autobiography, he tells of how he has loved and lost five children; plummeted to seven stone while battling depression, drink and drugs. He describes how it feels to be shot point-blank in the head and the lengths he'll go to to protect his people, as well as life since My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and Big Brother.

Told with all the warmth and humour he is famed for, Paddy's rich and colourful story is one that will stay with you for a long time to come.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By jimbob on 30 May 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I realy enjoyed this book. It feels like an honest account of Paddy's life and it is interesting to get a perspective on Traveller life at the same time.
The book is humourous but at times deepy moving. Paddy's account of the death of his son is incredibly raw and shockingly detailed.
It's easy to dislike Travellers and I know many people who do. There is a criminal element to Traveller society, but then we have plenty of criminals of our own too.
Paddy describes a way of life that is hundreds of years old but is struggling to survive in modern times. Traveller culture is certainly not perfect and Paddy does not shy away from describing it honestly. Through recent TV shows like Gypsy Weddings and Big Brother, Paddy enjoys representing his community and feels that it is important that "country folk" get a chance to see what Travellers are really like.
These TV shows are a double edged sword and not all the publicity is good. Overall however I think Paddy should be proud of himself. I am far more open minded towards Travellers now than I was two or three years ago.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Shelly on 2 July 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Couldn't,t wait for this book to arrive, when it did I read about 100 pages then the next time I picked it up I couldn't,t put it down and read it all the way to the end, it did bring a few tears to my eyes at certain points but well worth it, all in all a great book and can,t wait for a second book to be published as a follow on, it is now working its way through my family getting read by them and I know they will enjoy it as much as I have. To everyone else buy this book you won,t regret it at all it is well worth the money....
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By M.T.W on 24 May 2012
Format: Hardcover
I've bought and read a few Gypsy autobiography's - Bartley Gorman ( fantastic read ), Jimmy Stockins ( Poor read ), Billy Cribb ( even poorer read ) so when Paddy released his book I didn't think twice about buying it. I have to say in all honesty I wasn't disappointed at all. This bloke has gone through quite a lot in his life - Growing up with his grandparents but thinking they were actually his own parents until he was about 12, being bullied at school constantly, loosing numerous babies to a rare genetic disorder, his first son killed in a car crash. That's quite a lot to put up with, as well as the constant danger of being a well known bare-knuckle fighter. I knew of Paddy Doherty long before Big Fat Gypsy weddings and Big Brother came about, and I had a lot of respect for him - even more so now I know a little more about his life. Buy this book, I promise you wont regret it and may even be slightly surprised at how enthralling it is.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Mcinerney on 11 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am only halfway through this book, but, so far the story is about Irish Travelling people and I am really enjoying Paddy Doherty's life story. If the rest of his story is as good as the first half I know I will really enjoy it. To anybody who is interested in the lives of travelling people this is the book to get.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. J. Williams on 9 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
i ran out of pinches of salt!!
but its the true essence of a good story, told as well as possible! i can imagine it was a difficult
filtering process for the ghost writer! a very gritty narration of one mans life so far, and its not over yet!
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Format: Paperback
this book is just great, it was captavating in so many ways, this man shows his love for his family and culture. as gypsy travellers are an ethnic race. its just a shame they are not know as that. this book tells a story of hardship in many different ways. well done paddy for letting people get an insight to the world of proper travellers. im a scotch traveller myself. infact my mother and father used to stay on your father site in Pontypool & your sisters were good friends of mine. I remember fine the respect they had for there family & real travelling people. good luck paddy for the future and keep up the good work.
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By C. Wilson on 30 May 2014
Format: Paperback
Hardback 2012 Edition.

I had no real expectations going into this book having heard nothing more than mere rumours about the author, i have to say on completion i had a better insight into the man and an enjoyable read in the process.

The "Hard Knocks" part of the title does not disappoint and i found the stories to be very refreshing and on occasion even relateable in comparison to some of books i have read.

If you are curious or have a slight interest in the author or bis way of living then i definately recommend you read this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book though there was a lot of fighting and a bit to much details of the injuries for my liking , but I suppose Paddy just wanted you to get the full mental picture . But Paddy is a gentleman he is a fair man and above all and honest man he didn't leave anything out . He adores his family word hard for them , laughed and cried with them . And was a broken man at the death of so many of his beloved children . I have so much respect for Paddy Doherty I think he is a dyeing bred . sadly there r few gentleman left today . I wish u luck Paddy Doherty
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