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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smashes pre-conceptions.
This is the first autobiography that i have ever read, and was a bit wary when i chose this one. I thought i knew what 'type' of person smuggled drugs, and was expecting the book to be all excuses on Sandra's part. It was not. Once i started this book i could not put it down. An absolutely amazing story which perfectly represents her honesty, courage and strength. She...
Published on 18 Sep 2003

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Paradise lost, Paradise gained
I once read that `...all the unhappiness of men stems from one thing only: that he is incapable of staying quietly in his room.' For some reason this book made me think of this quote.

It is a harrowing, eye-popping account of prison life in both the UK and Thailand - am still undecided which system is worse - and she narrates her experiences frankly, factually...
Published 16 months ago by Gurjit


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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smashes pre-conceptions., 18 Sep 2003
By A Customer
This is the first autobiography that i have ever read, and was a bit wary when i chose this one. I thought i knew what 'type' of person smuggled drugs, and was expecting the book to be all excuses on Sandra's part. It was not. Once i started this book i could not put it down. An absolutely amazing story which perfectly represents her honesty, courage and strength. She doesnt makes excuses for her crime, just attempts to explain why she did it. The horrors reported in the Bankok jail are horrendous, and the British system and prison fairs little better when on paper. But such tales are not written in an attempt to make the reader pity Sandra for her crime. Sandra's strength is amazing and comes across perfectly in this book- she doesn't ask the reader to pity her, and never attacks the country in which she was caught. A truly great read that i would recommend to anyone.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An insight into life on the inside in Bankok & Britain, 8 Sep 2003
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This book make excellent reading, not least because the author Sandra Gregory, never denies that she did wrong, or that she deserved to be punished for her crimes (drug smuggling). It is interesting to read an account by someone who doesn't believe she was wrongly imprisoned as son many books about prison are about people who the wrter believes shouldn't be there for one reason or another. I believe it takes a huge amount of courage, whatever we have done, to stand up and say "yes I did do that, and yes I was wrong and I regrett it, and I deserve to be punished " How many of us can do that? She eventually received a Royal pardon from the King of Thialand, but she herself says she only asked for a pardon, she never said she deserved one...that was for others to decide. She gives a very straightforward account of prison life both on Thialand and in Britain. Both stretched her to her very limits in different ways and for different reasons. Conditions and overcrowding in the Thai jail were appaling, but as she says at least prisoners were free to wander around the prison. In Britain living conditions were much better, but being locked up for most of the day and lack of uncertainty about how to act or what was happening made her stay in Britains prisons equally difficult. Incidentally this is one of my Kellogs books - hope the other prove to be just as good!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to make you think, 26 Aug 2003
This review is from: Forget You Had a Daughter: Doing Time in the Bangkok Hilton - Sandra Gregory's Story (Hardcover)
Contrary to what Ally from London said in her review, I found that I liked Sandra Gregory, I think she is open and honest and a bit of an adventure seeker. Of course she felt sorry for herself, who wouldn't in her situation? Drug trafficking must be taken seriously and a fitting punishment given, but it wasn't as if she were one of the big drug barons who make millions out of the trade. To me it is them that should receive massive sentences. She was only trying to make enough money to get home, therefore carrying such a small amount of heroin for someone's personal use. Obviously a ridiculous thing to do and so easy to say in hindsight. I really enjoyed the book, well written and plenty of detail. A good insight in to the harsher realities of life, and hopefully would put anyone off doing the same thing. Good Luch Sandra, I wish you all the best for the future.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Journey of Redemption, 10 July 2002
This review is from: Forget You Had a Daughter: Doing Time in the Bangkok Hilton - Sandra Gregory's Story (Hardcover)
I thought I knew this story already from press coverage but Forget You Had A Daughter is an astonishing insight into the reality of the life of a girl who made a horrendous mistake but is not a criminal. She committed a criminal act but her biggest crime was stupidity. It is an emotional ride, from the first chapter, when the reader is pulled in and shares her nightmare experience, until the last chapter where she is finally reconciled with her family who fought tooth and nail to see justice done. I found myself crying. This book is not about self pity, Sandra Gregory knows she committed a crime, she knows she deserved punishment but acknowledges the sentence was a little too hard. Gregory does not want pity, she has recounted her painful experience in order that no one else will go through such a harrowing and traumatic journey. Read this book!!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget You Had a Daughter, Doing Time in the Bangkok Hilton, 20 July 2003
By 
Pippa Yearn (Macclesfield, Cheshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
The best book i've read in a long time. A shocking account of Sandra's enormous mistake to carry drugs out of thailand, she accepts her guilt but is dealt a horrific sentence of 25 years. Her everyday prison life is portrayed in graphic detail both in Thailand and the UK. Excellent!!!!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget your preconceptions!, 10 July 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Forget You Had a Daughter: Doing Time in the Bangkok Hilton - Sandra Gregory's Story (Hardcover)
Even before reading the first page I was overwhelmed by what an incredibly difficult book this must have been to write - how to tell the story but not sound as if you were justifying your actions. Sandra Gregory describes and explains her experiences with such clarity and honesty that it is an emotional read; not in the sense of tears, in that you feel you are living the experience, you're in the Bangkok Hilton - and you only leave when you close the book!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A reader from Melbourne Australia, 16 Oct 2005
A wonderful open account of Sandras experiences written with a lot of courage.Sandra never once makes excuses for her situation.The book totally changed my own attitudes.....nothing is always black and white and the punishment doesnt always fit the crime.Shows the wonderful human spirit to survive under such conditions and the unfaulting love and support of her family even when told to "forget her" Loved the book ,great recommendation for parents to give to their children who are contemplating that overseas working holiday.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read...., 23 April 2014
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I enjoyed this book and was disappointed when it was over. It was certainly thought-provoking. I did feel for Sandra, especially when she came back to the uk. I now know that the uk prison system will not reduce your sentence once in the uk (to fit the crime commited) if sentenced in a foreign prison. Worse than that, the uk will treat you on equal terms with other 'lifers', including Rosemary West. I must admit, i have read a lot of books about prisoners in the Bangkok Hilton, but Sandra's story takes the reader one step further to describe conditions for long sentence prisoners in the uk.
I liked the fact that she described other prisoners she met over the 7 1/2 years, with a paragraph about their crime, sentence and release date (if they had been released by the time she wrote the book). She did appear to take a strong interest in Rosemary West, and wrote quite a bit about her. I'm not sure if this was due to her own fascination with the woman, or just the fact that she thought her readers may be interested.
My only quibble is the flow to the book at some points in time. Sandra jumps from being in the thailand prison to a uk prison with no reason as to how she was sent to the uk...you are later told that she agreed to be sent to the uk. I presume thailand authorities asked her if she wished to return to the uk and she said yes. Also, i did not read any paragraphs about her eventual 25 year sentence. You are told that she is waiting to learn about her fate (in Thailand a drug smuggler can be executed), next thing, you read that she is in the uk serving the remainder of her 25 year sentence in the uk (???...and so when, in fact, were you sentenced?). Fortunately, i had watched 'locked up abroad' and knew that she was originally sentenced to death but that this sentence was reduced to 25 years on the same day. Her description of Robert Lock's sentence is also vague. Unless i missed a vital paragraph or two, i am not sure why she skipped these vital bits of information. This is why i have given the book 4 stars, not 5.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, 15 July 2003
By 
Jennifer Rose (Surbiton, Surrey) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Forget You Had a Daughter: Doing Time in the Bangkok Hilton - Sandra Gregory's Story (Hardcover)
I cannot remember the last time I was so gripped to a book. This account of Sandra's time in jail was extremely emotional. Sandra clearly was a good person at heart and due to extenuating circumstances, got caught up in something she very much lived to regret. You cannot begin to imagine how her family must have coped for the duration of her time in jail. Being around the same age as Sandra myself, I kept imagining being in her position and also how my own parents would cope - and realised they probably wouldn't. The pain her parents must have had to endure when having to visit her in jail then having to leave her must surely have almost broken them, yet they had no choice but to be brave and live in hope one day she may be released. Clearly Sandra was a victim and had some appalling times - but to bring a child up and then face this in my opinion is equally punishing, if not more. I recommend this book to anybody at all who is interested in real life accounts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly recommend this surprisingly honest book, 29 Jun 2011
By 
I did not expect to enjoy this book as much as I did; as others have commented, I expected it to be full of excuses for her behaviour, but I loved it. I thought it was beautifully written, thought-provoking and I felt the writer had totally opened up to me. I felt her pain, her shame and her joy. Thoroughly recommend this book.
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