17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 19 March 2013
I too took a long time to decide to buy this book, I kept thinking it was morbid wanting to read how poor James suffered, but like another reviewer wrote if Ralph was brave enough to write it then we should be brave enough to read it. This is a truly heart breaking read and reduced me too tears many times, to think 2 children could inflict such torture on another child. Ive not finished it yet as for the last 2 nights Ive been unable to sleep after reading it in bed, but i will persevere but in the daytime. I havent had nightmares but think it mustve been on my mind. I think Ralph and Denise and their family have been amazing throughout this whole experience but I dont think I couldve coped so well in court and not wanted to kill these monsters. I also find it hard to believe that considering what these evil boys did that they were released at all they shouldve been made to rot in jail, theres alot in this book that was never told in the press. Although James had a short life he had a life surrounded by family who adored him, and at the start of the book you chuckle at the mischief he used to get up to, and how he wouldnt call his dad "dad" but "Ralph" as everyone else called him Ralph. I have the utmost respect for Denise, Ralph and their families and please everyone read this book we owe it too Ralph and too James too. RIP James x x x
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 3 March 2013
Such a shame this book had to be written. However Ralph wrote this book from his heart. I spent most of my time reading this book through eyes filled with tears streaming down my face. Sweet dreams James x x
72 of 78 people found the following review helpful
on 21 February 2013
I'm ashamed to say that I was fairly ignorant of the details behind this case until fairly recently and, as the 20th anniversary approached, it struck me that I should find out what happened in more detail. What I read in various articles on the internet shocked me to the core: a feeling of profound upset for this poor, innocent little child and, at the same time, sick to the stomach at the ordeal he had to endure as he was so savagely tortured and murdered by those two vile psychopaths. As a father myself I tried to imagine how I'd deal with this, and the apparent injustice that followed, and so it was inevitable that I'd buy this book upon its release. Unfortunately it took a few days before I could buy it because the "Look inside" excerpts had such a powerful effect that I was wondering how I'd be able to read it all without being reduced to a heap.
The book is a compelling, if very tough at times, read. I, too, have had to look away and compose myself, at times, before carrying on. Many of the gruesome details I was already prepared for, others I was not. But this book is much more than that; as Ralph says, it is a celebration of the life, albeit so tragically short, of his beloved son. It is an account of the impact of the loss of James to a caring, supportive family and community. It is also a mark of appreciation and genuine gratitude towards everyone who had been, and who still are, supporting this family; from police, to jury, to solicitors, to undertakers, not to mention to the family itself, the community and the charity which is part of James' legacy. I found myself chuckling at the descriptions of James tearing around and being an entertaining, happy little boy, despite my knowing what was coming next. It's a privilege to have been shown a window into the lives of this family and I find myself in awe of the way they have dealt, and are still having to deal, with this appalling tragedy. This is a man trying now to be positive following an ordeal which would have broken many people - many fathers - beyond the point of no return. He has my deepest respect. This is an essential read, in my view, and not just for parents.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 2013
This book is hard to read in places but I believe that if Ralph Bulger had the courage to relive his story on paper I should find the courage to read it !!
It is truly amazing how this family have got through the last 20 years and this book just shows you what they went threw that we public had no way of knowing
It's nice to read about what James was like in the few short years he was with his family
This book really does show what the Bulger family has had to go through all these years and my heart broke with every page
Rest in peace little baby James xxxxx
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 21 January 2014
I have picked up this book on so many occasions in the recent past and after careful consideration I have put it back on the shelf...until last week when I decided to read it.
I'm glad I did.
I remember vividly the abduction & murder of beautiful baby James and the shock waves that the world felt in the wake of this horrific incident. I will NEVER forget the grainy CCTV images of Thompson & Venables leading their helpless victim away to what would be one of the most shocking murders the world has ever witnessed.
So why was I reticent to buy & read the book? Well, for two reasons - 1. Was I able to deal with the full revelations of what happened? And 2. I have lost a young myself two short years ago in a dreadful accident and didn't know how I would feel reading about acute loss/grief from a father's perspective. To be completely honest what convinced me to read in the end was the hope that some of what I think & feel on a daily basis was "normal" for a grieving parent. After having read it all I can say is Thank you so much to Ralph Bulger for being so eloquent & brutally honest about your grief - you will never know how much you have helped me from one grieving father to another.
As you expect the book is deeply upsetting & shocking in places but perhaps the most surprising element of the book is how you are left feeling that not only have the Bulger family suffered a huge loss in their lives but that the legal/political system has treated them incredibly unfairly over the years and that the safety/sanity of the child murders has been given priority over the victims. It is disgusting & unforgivable to treat a grieving family in this manner. There is a section in the book where an American lawyer called Tom Loflin gets involved in the case claiming that the court case was a breach of Venables & Thompson's human rights and that Venables has shown some remorse but we now know that after his release Venables was recalled to prison for downloading & sharing images of child pornography. I guess we will never know what Mr Loflin's reaction to his misplaced trust in Venables was but it certainly seems that it would have been best for all involved if Mr Loflin would have kept his nose out of this case for the sake of the Bulger family, for James, for the victims of child pornography and for justice to be done.
This is an incredibly brave & honest book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 5 January 2014
I recall only too well,the heartbreaking news of what happened to Young James back in 1993. Then and now, such sadness is felt. I have read many compelling books over the years, but I have never been moved to such tears as I have on reading this harrowing story. To Ralph and Denise, my heart goes out to you both, heaven knows the agonies suffered. I can only hope that our dear god cradles your wonderful boy in his hands everyday. Dear Ralph, it must have torn your soul to have written such words and I thank you for having what it took to do so. Your young man would have been proud of you. With every respect, Stefan.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 26 March 2013
I wanted to read this book because I was very young when this happened and I don’t remember the full story. I was so shocked by the details of this and nearly gave up reading from the sadness. I can't believe what this poor baby went through. Not only did baby James lose his life so horrifically but this tragedy affected his family's life forever. I agree with Ralph – whose baby are we risking when we let them go as adults. Those two boys are living their lives (even in secret). What justice is that for James who didn’t get a chance at life? Thanks Ralph for sharing your sad story. Really touching!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 13 March 2013
When i went to purchase this book, i questioned what sort of person was i to want to know the graphics and insight into such a horrific murder of a 2 year old child. Then I thought about his father and how much strength, despair and emotion he had experienced and lives with every day since and how he had found it in himself to write this book. This could not have been easy for him and in some ways by not buying it, it would have been like a personal snub, like i was saying i dont care and he deserved more than that. This man has gone to the bottom of his soul and the depths of his broken heart to write this and i can only respect him for that and for the inner strength it has taken.
There are parts of this book which you just dont feel you can read or want to as it is hard to believe two children could do this to an innocent 2 year old, and the graphic descriptions will make you feel sick to your stomach. Ralph Bulger has written this book with so much information that you even find yourself walking the route with James, you cannot help but see the little boys last minutes of life, and you can not turn away from the raw pain and desperation and despair of his father and mother.
Ralph Bulger has written this book with so much insight and emotion that you can not go on his journey with him and ignore or not feel his pain.
Although this book shocked me, made me cry and in some ways left me exhausted of emotion it gave me a better insight into the pain other people can experience and the strength it takes to carry on, but more importantly i feel i now know who little James Bulger really was and not just a name. Ralph Bulger has done his son proud and you can only applaud this man because no matter how bad things got, how much pain he suffered he has survived through his undying love for his son.
If you want to go on a rollercoaster of emotions then this book is a must, but be prepared, if you dont cry with him then you truly have not felt his pain.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 April 2015
It's taken me 3 years to read this book, because I wasn't sure I wanted to know the detail of what happened to James that day. I was 12 when this was reported on the news,but even then remember how awful I felt for the parents of that poor little boy. I had my first child 6 years ago and this has always stuck in my head, generating my own fears and paranoia.
Ralph Bulger has managed to make me feel every ounce of pain he had to deal with through sharing this story, and I genuinely do not know how both he and Denise managed to get through such a painful and traumatic period. Having to deal with the details of their sons death in such an appalling way, and the awful way in which the justice system treated the criminals, but have been soul destroying. Having to share a room with the bastards responsible for such atrocities, and not throwing myself at them to tear them limb from limb, would be impossible for me. Ralph has shown such strength and dignity throughout and he should be exceptionally proud of the way he has come through this.
James's story affects us all even after all these years. When I had my daughter 6 years ago, this story was always in the back of my mind. Who didn't hold their child's hand that bit tighter? Or began to look at people in a different way who appeared friendly to our children on a day out? After reading this book, it made me go to my daughters room while she was asleep and just lay next to her, and be extremely grateful that I have never known the sense of loss the Bulgers have felt.
Thank you Ralph for sharing your story. I sincerely hope your future is filled with peace and happiness.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 March 2014
This book is a moving upsetting read. It usually takes me months to read a book, but i finished this in 2 days. I remember this happening when i was 10 years old and it has always been something that has stayed with me. The injustice the Bulger family has received is awful and before i read this book I know that those awful creatures knew actually what they were doing the day they took a beautiful child from his mother in a packed shopping centre! And I still stand by that, they deserve all the misery they get and more! The strength Ralph and the rest of his family has is amazing, I am moved how they have been able to grow and continue to protect James...their strength is remarkable! I cried uncontrollably and felt anger the same way in regards to what has happened this past 21 years. We have all read the headlines over the years, but to put it into the prospective and the intimate way the whole Bulger family have dealt with this only makes you want to continue your support for justice! I have been thinking about beautiful James since I read this book (I finished it 5 days ago) and looking at my own brother Jamie who is the same age and also losing a brother just put a lot thoughts into perspective! It was an age without facebook and iphones and to Ralph's brothers - the fact you had to find your little brother and break the news broke my heart! That to me was the hardest to read!
Please don't let this review put you off buying this book as I know the purchase will be going to amazing needed to keeps Little James Bulgers' justice alive!!!
Ralph - continue you fight and i will back you all the way!