Top critical review
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In Two Minds...
on 26 August 2006
Okay, granted, this book was hard to put down, however, it was also easy to skip through pages & pages of immaterial narrative from his days as a squaddie, in Northern Ireland...n offence to the guy but, if I wanted to read about one man's exploits in the army in Northern Ireland then I would have seeked a book regarding this. The same was regarding his martial arts, whereby the book turned into a spiritual & physical martial arts manual at times, which again will not interest everyone who wants to read about prison experiences. That was the frustrating part of this book, an inconsistent narrative, jumping between times, prison stretches etc, going onto martial arts explanations & instructions, without too much cohesion. What this book does have in its favour is gritty realism of his experiences, descriptions of how he carried out his smuggling crimes, vivid descriptions of the fights he was involved in whilst in prison, the attackes he was subjected to, the people he met. Okay, he tends to generalise & subjectively insult the Spanish at every opportunity, which can be uncomfortable reading for somebody sat at home in a comfy chair, however the author was writing this from a prison rec. room in Spain, with corruption & violence all around him from the spanish authorities, so you have to forgive him some bitterness & overlook it. All in all, not a bad book, just a tad inconsistent in its intended subject matter, more an autobiography of his life & interests, with a lot of prison fights thrown in.