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3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 21 October 2010
Great book, very funny, contraversial at times but thats what old school Immigration was like. I enjoyed the book and excellent price and delivery too. Thank you!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 26 June 2003
This is a brilliant book. Saint's depiction of Heathrow is darkly hilarious. His writing is crisp, unaffected and very funny. I can only describe his vision as Franz Kafka meets MArtin Amis at Heathrow and they both get drunk. Whatever side of the political fence you sit on, you can't help but be charmed by Saint's honesty. This guy is good.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 26 June 2003
At a time when all new authors are referred to as the new “whoever”, Tony Saint is incomparable to anything that has gone before. This is an impressive debut, expertly written with an innovative plot, richly dark in its humour, and including the rare treat of genuine laugh out loud moments.
In “Immigration Shoes” Saint launches us into the uncompromising world of Terminal C, the airport gateway to Great Britain. Despite the protestations to the contrary on the back cover, his depiction of life in the UK Immigration Service is all to believable as a true representation. The combination of utterly loathsome characters with mind numbing tedium has you sympathising with the main protagonist from the off, we have all experienced such characters and situations in offices, just never in such abundance.
As the plot unfolds you find yourself siding against everyone but the main character, Henry, as he swims against a tide of chaos, you are carried along with him in the hopelessness of his situation, aided only by the deft comic touches, until the final, most satisfying denouement.
This is splendid on a number of levels, but perhaps it’s greatest triumph is that it exposes what we least like to admit about our own country, as Bertrand Russell once said,
“Few people can be happy unless they hate some other person, nation or creed”
A must for all discerning readers!
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on 16 March 2004
A funny book. The style is ok but the subject matter is funny and scary. Our borders policed by such a motley crew.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 27 December 2006
The old adage that a beginning writer should "write what you know" certainly applies to this debut comic crime novel by former immigration officer Saint. He uses his decade of experience on the front lines to paint a surely exaggerated portrait of what happens in the immigration halls of Heathrow Airport. The story follows Henry, a college-educated five-year veteran who hates both his job and pretty much everyone he works with. After an initial orientation to Terminal C and his job, things get rolling when a grim looking Chinese man lands with no visa and Henry detains him. But when a superior shows up and whisks the Chinese man away just before some Special Branch police show up with "Wanted" fliers with his photo, leaving Henry to wonder if he should report the matter.

What follows is a pretty simple tale of corruption and CYAing, as Henry desperately tries to avoid getting framed and/or killed in a scheme orchestrated by higher-ups. Although every move he makes seems to only worsen his plight, once a video camera is introduced about halfway in, you know salvation is at hand. In stories like these, the video camera is like Chekhov's gun, you just sit back and wait for it to be used. In any event, Henry's plight is of less interest than the insider's view of the immigration service. No matter where one stands on the immigration debate, there is plenty to shake your head at. From the legions of Nigerian imposters to the racist immigration officers, Saint lays out the full spectrum and even though it's broadly farcical, it's also rather depressing. Forgery, bribes, sham marriage, refugees of all stripes, rhyming slang, vicious office politics and sordid romances, it's all here. At times, the nasty colleagues all start to run together, as does some of the passenger bashing, and the plot is very thin, but it's generally entertaining enough to warrant a mild recommendation.
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on 24 October 2014
Fast deliver and book as described.
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on 4 August 2015
Excellent read, recommended.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2009
Hmm, I am not sure that I liked this book at all. It was over fabricated in order to stand out more. I didn't find it funny, just sad that I actually wasted my time to read this.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2004
On reading the first few pages of this book I thought it would be a page turning thriller about organised crime and illegal immigration. Unfortunately, having set the scene the author descended into what can best be described as a moan about a job he clearly didn't like, whilst explaining the procedures of the immigration service.
It is interesting to get an insight into the immigration process but pages and pages of explanation about this form, and that form, and what colour the files are, soon caused me to lose interest. The plot was largely ignored in favour of digs at those working for immigration, excepting the main character who I assume is based on the author himself, and I had the impression that he had merely changed a few names and exaggerated some characteristics to gain cheap laughs. I only kept reading to the end in the hope that the plot would regain control but, despite brief reappearances, was disappointed. Although the last few pages were the only ones that came near to meriting the "hillarious" reviews, the ending did not sit well. Having neglected the plot so much it appeared that the author was at a loss for an ending so plucked an idea from thin air.
Once read, I was left wondering if the book would have made it to print had immigration not been the focus of so much media attention in recent years.
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