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2.9 out of 5 stars75
2.9 out of 5 stars
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on 29 December 2007
If you are looking for an authoritative biography of Ray Winstone - do not buy this book! Instead, look on the internet as the quality of the research in this book suggests that that's where Nigel Goodall got his information from!
The book consists largely of a series of quotes taken from interviews provided in other resources. Even then, Mr Goodall still manages to get a lot of his facts wrong.
Not only that but the writing, when he does actually write in his own words, is abysmal! Mr Goodall needs to go back to school and study sentence construction and punctuation.
I found this book incredibly frustrating to read - inaccurate facts, bad writing, and a clear lack of real knowledge of the subject. An actor of Ray Winstone's calibre deserves better than a cheap paparazzi-biog which appears to have ripped most of its material from other sources without checking their accuracy.
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on 10 January 2008
I am a Ray Winstone fan, not huge fan, but a fan all the same. I only wish the above reviewer had written their review before I placed my order!! What utter rubbish this book is, I agree totally with the other reviewer and MORE! The writer goes into great detail about other people in the book as if the book is about the director or the producer, and how wonderful they are, and goes on far too much about Alan Clarke! He also goes into even greater depth about the film or TV show that Mr Winstone appeared in. Now correct me if I'm wrong here, but if you know of Ray Winstone and saw his films and TV shows, you won't need to read four pages of what the plot of that film/tv show is about, or am I missing the point? I spent half my time flicking through pages as I already knew what Scum, Quadrophenia, Sexy Beast, Nil by Mouth etc etc were all about. I was so looking forward to the book. My sound advice would be DON'T BUY THIS BOOK IT'S A COMPLETE AND UTTER WASTE OF MONEY! Disgraceful rip-off if I knew the writer's address I'd send the book back and demand a refund!
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on 12 January 2008
Without question, the only redeeming feature of this book is the the one in which Nigel Goodall plays no part, for the pictures are at least authentic. To say that this book is disjointed and factually inaccurate could still not convey the absolute awfulness of it. The writing, hackneyed at best, is interspersed with long arduous ramblings about the history of the films, locations and other actors, obviously all used to plump up the pages of a very poorly written biography. The enormous, patronising and unecessary film glossary just added insult to injury, only forgotten was "A is for Actor",you can perhaps draw your own conclusions to that. This book does not an ounce of justice to the fine actor Ray Winstone, incredibly disappointing.
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on 3 March 2011
Holy Moly this has to be the worst biography I have ever read. Save yourself from this experience and avoid at all costs. This was a Christmas present from my brother and his fiance as they know I think Ray Winstone is great. This "book" is awful and does not tell us anything about Ray Winstone and what it does tell you is general information I can find through google. In fact if you do manage to read this all the way through (as I have) you will find that much of the material is lifted from other sources and have no original script. Im very disappointed. If you want to know about Ray's childhood, its in here but it is written by a lazy author, as is his time working on Vincent and being Henry Tudor.

I have no idea who Ray Winstone is after reading this biography and I would like to know if he had anything to do with this project as he does not normally involve himself in this area. Perhaps he should have. The quality of the chapters are very much in keeping with a Year 9's GCSE English project. The book is filled with quotes and stories, mainly from people that Ray has worked with. Many of these are incredibly boring to read and add no pace or structure to the story of Ray's life. Reading through a few passages again, I notice that rarely is an opinion from Ray mentioned, except an opinion that has been gleaned from a newspaper interview or article.

I was casually flicking through the book before I started to read it and naturally the pages fell to the laminated photographs. A man called Karl Draper appeared in a side pane having taken Ray to court over an alleged attack. "Ooooooh interesting, I wonder what Ray did?" I was thinking. This was not addressed in the book at all! Why dedicate a photo to a moment in Ray's life that could had of changed his career and not explore it? It is this pure lack of investigation and google searching that has lead to a trashy publication that I feel ashamed to have read. To help pad the book out, Charlotte Rasmussen has been given 19 pages to tell us all about the terminology used in film. What biography does this and why did the publisher allow it! Nearly 50 pages have been wasted with notes on Scum, Glossary terms and a Filmography. Pointless.

BUT! with all this twaddle in the book, I still like and respect Ray Winstone and this book should not put you off the man. He is a great actor, funny and smart. His films draw you in as only Ray can offer you a type of cinematic experience that no other actor can. If you do read the biography (save yourself some money and go on wikipedia - its probably more accurate) please go and watch some of his movies, in particular Sexy Beast, Scum and The War Zone. The War Zone is a very hard movie to watch, I'm happy I have. I thought for a long time that Ray was one dimensional, a gangster wide-boy etc etc that can make a no brainer type of film to watch on a Sunday evening. This film changed my opinion, the book did not.
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on 21 November 2008
This book is not so much a biography, more of a history of his films. There is not enough about the "REAL" Ray Winstone
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on 11 March 2008
A truly awful biography. After reading this book, I found I knew everything about Gary Oldham,Alan Clarke and a host of other people, who I have no interest in, but not a thing about Ray Winstone. The only thing that kept me reading was the assumption that sooner or later the author would actually discuss the subject matter. Alas,this never happened.
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on 7 October 2010
Well I can't say I wasn't warned about this "autobiography" and have to say it felt like I was reading notes from one of his mates down the pub!.

The author treats Winstone like royalty and not even daring to make any kind of criticism what so ever on most of his dud roles, don't get me wrong, I like Ray as a person and as an actor but his acting is not shall we say the best of British, as so common with cockney actors (no disrespect) but like Caine, Hoskins etc they are very one dimensional and only occasionally do they turn out a good film.

Avoid this at all cost and perhaps wait until he stops trying to morph himself in to one of the Kray twins and reads the script before jumping in to it then perhaps a more definitive and constructive book about him comes out.

1/10 for the photo gallery only.
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on 11 August 2012
I bought this book as I know some of the people who Ray knows. So, so disappointed with it. I read the first four chapters (don't know how I got that far) and was so bored with it. I thought this was going to be a book by Ray about his life so far, but no, instead it just has some sentences/paragraphs by him. If you want a review about every film that he has been in (pages and pages of drivle zzzzzzzz), then get this book. If you want to know about Ray himself, don't bother. This to me is not a biography of a person - just about every programme or film he has been in.
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on 4 October 2010
Wow. My other half bought me this in a charity shop for 25p, and I can honestly say we have been thoroughly ripped off.
I've never written a review for anything before, but I felt compelled to let people know on Amazon, how abysmal this book really is. The author really doesn't know how to write a biography about the person in question. He rambles on, filling pages with pretty much anything but the facts about Ray Winstone. He's more interested in telling you about Gary Oldman, Kathy Burke, Alan Clarke, etc, etc, and filling you in with pages of details of the films plots, which lets face it, if you bought a biography about Ray Winstone, you're pretty much going to know the films anyway. SAVE YOUR MONEY....DO NOT BUY!
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on 14 May 2010
As an overview of Ray Winstone's life and career the book serves its purpose. But author Goodall devotes the majority of the book to the actual movies and TV shows which Winstone has appeared in often throwing page after page at you with irrelevant information about say a movie rather than just focussing on Winstone's participation in it. As such it never feels like he scratches the surface when it comes to Winstone's life away from the cameras and is lacking when it comes to the personal trials and tribulations.
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