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on 27 June 2010
I decided to buy the book as it had been recommeded by a friend thinking that I would never really finish it. I decided to read it yesterday and thought that I would just get bored as I have the attention span of a goldfish. Instead, I found myself glued to the contents and read it from cover to cover. It is a sad, funny, harrowing and often eye opening account of an abused child turning into an adult and facing his every fear and obstacle. It is an open and truthful account that becomes so compelling that you cannot put the book down. It brought tears to my eyes reading through some of the accounts and it just made me think about how abused children have two choices. Paul made the choise to win over his demons and I would recommend wholeheartedly that you buy the book, read it and consider yourself so lucky that you did not go through the life that Paul went though in his formative years. It is a beautiful and moving story. Remarkable.
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on 25 February 2010
This is an extremely well written account of an extraordinary man's life - started in the worst possible situation, and ultimately blessed with personal and professional success.

It has plenty of funny moments and stories told without much detail which titillate our curiosity... it looks like there could enough untold anecdotes to fill another book!

It's not your usual misery-lit, either, as the author's positive energy radiates all through the book.
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on 26 June 2011
I have just finished reading Against All Odds and can honestly say I was amazed by the story i read.
It was one of those amazing books that you really cannot put down and keeps you gripped to the next chapter to see what happens. Without revealing too much I was shocked at the things that happened and was shocked to find myself disliking the bad people as as much as I did. I have learnt alot reading this book and It has made me realise how I can change my life and the little things I worry about really are not that bad. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a real life story, it is emotional, gripping and a great read :) x
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on 18 December 2011
This heartbreaking account of what life threw at Paul is very readable. I was very upset as stories of abuse in care homes started to emerge. I worked as a residential child care officer in the 60's. I worked for the NCH (now Action for Children) for 10 years. The people I worked with people so different from the 'care givers' at St Leonards it breaks my heart. All children in care have had traumatic situations to deal with in their lives and not being in a loving family can only ever be second best but then to take advantage of them again is disgraceful. I can only think that all staff must have known what was going on and chose to stand by without whistle blowing and so be counted guilty. In those days we all 'lived in' and could not have been ignorant. NCH were much better than local authorities at training staff, I would also place guilt on the local authority - untrained staff should never have been in positions of responsibility . I am so glad that Paul overcame his ordeal and has had the strength to share his harrowing story. I wish him every happiness, he deserves it.
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on 18 January 2012
I could not put this book down , it gripped me from beginning to end . I found myself on an emotional rollercoaster ride which at times left me in tears . I remember St Leonards Childrens Home in Hornchurch but could never have imagined the horrors being inflicted on its vulnerable occupants. The authorities should hang their heads in shame. I hope the love and support of his family help the author to conquer his demons and wish him every happiness. This book really moved me !!!!! it was an insight into fear desparation and survival of the human spirit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A must read
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on 15 January 2012
When I purchased the book I had no idea who Paul Connolly was, it just seemed like an interesting read and cost peanuts so I thought I would give it a go and I'm so glad I did.
The book is so effortlessly written which makes it so easy to read and gives you the sense of how real and raw the writers experience was. Once you start you become so committed to finishing, not only because of the incredible contents, but because this is a man's life; you feel you owe the homage of finishing the book.

It will really make those of us who were more fortunate to had a good life from birth appreciate what we have all been blessed with and it will show those who had a similar struggle that you can achieve success and happiness through adversity.

I commend Paul Connolly on this book and the huge success he has made of his life!
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on 19 June 2012
I bought this by chance. I can't believe I bought it for a couple of bucks. I was not expecting this kind of book. This book is unique. Even though I am not a kid anymore, I am learning so much from it. I really commend Paul for having the guts to stand up for himself in the ways he did. I am still at page 100 but I can barely put the book down. I was never sexually abused but I remember when once a school teacher beat the crap out of me. I mean really bad. I was so overwhelmed that I just stood then in stupor. I wish I had thought as fast on my feet as Paul did: he didn't let the 'teachers' touch him.
I don't like violence but this world is not a sweet one. I am not complaining about myself. I was lucky to have parents that loved me, even though we all have our defects. We are all imperfect. But it is really shocking how people who run a place for orphans, can be some of the most heartless, depraved scumbags you would think of. But hey, that makes me think that it's because they were depraved scumbags, that started running a place for orphans. And it's because of these reasons that other scumbags joined in. 'Working with children' becomes a pretext, a perfect opportunity for these wolves to carry out their plans.

In his book, Paul writes that he's violent. I disagree. He understood what defending oneself meant. He's a fighter, in the positive sense of the word, not a violent. Big difference. Hell, he even managed to stop a rape, AS A KID. How many kids you saw who stopped a rape?

Paul to me feels like an old friend. Even though he grew up with dire people who would constantly tell him how worthless he was, he still managed to have values that he defended with decisiveness. Truly, I am amazed that a kid could understand all this. This book is like watching a movie. Buy it without even thinking. It is impossible not to like this guy. Even though he went all that crap, he never became a petty criminal or a similar type of loser. This guy has VALUES, i would elect him as president.

SIX stars out of five from me. Not five out of five. The whiners who write in their reviews that 'it's not the most amazing story', ' he should change his literary style', etc, should just shut up. I would not change one word. Maybe they can use their preferred 'literary style' when they'll write THEIR own book. As for that story not being the most 'amazing', what it is meant by that? Some people are just silly little moaners. They obviously have never been dumped in the trash and died of grief and drug overdose whilst feeling like unwanted social rejects all their life.

Paul is a real survivor. He now has a family and judging from the photos on the net, he seems an happy guy now. His book also is selling very well. Well done Paul, you deserve it.


I am adding this note later as I finished to read the book. This book is amazing and I really have learned a lot from it. Paul's audacity in standing for himself inspires me, and also the dark chapters in his life , as strange as it sounds, inspire me through my own dark chapters. I have underlined a lot of stuff in it and will refer to it often. There is a lot in this story that you can use, if you have 'eyes to see'.
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on 2 January 2012
My husband bought me a Kindle to take on honeymoon. I promised I would not read anything remotely work related (I work on a secure male PD ward, where many of my patients have experienced abuse both in and out of care homes. As a result they have been unable to live ordinary lives or function in society and have gone on to seriously offend and are now serving long prison sentences/hospital orders).
I downloaded Pauls book because as a student nurse I witnessed institutionalised abuse which resulted in me giving evidence in court and do not belive I will ever comprehend that these bullies work with vulnerable people.
It was the third day of our honeymoon and we were having a chilled out day round the pool. Consequently I decided to read and sunbathe.
I struggle with concentration at times and cannot easily get into certain books unless I'm in the right frame of mind. I read a few pages of a few books and nothing felt right until I read the very first page of Pauls and I was gripped.
I read it in 2 days which is pretty quick when on a honeymoon!
Paul is a courageous, honest, inspiring man who went against the grain of not allowing such horrific events to become the blame for when he made mistakes - which we all do at times (myself included).
He writes so well, it's easy and pleasurable to read due to a quirky, almost humerous slant.
I adore my job, I have always put 150% in but following this read I felt more determined than ever to make a difference in my patients lives and further educate and develop our ward philosophy which is based on hope.
I felt as if I knew Paul when I read his book. I got in touch to inform him of how much I had utterly enjoyed it and what an amazing guy I thought he was. Paul instantly replied demonstrating he is as genuine as his book reads.
It is an absolute must to read guys. My husband rarely reads and is currently reading it and finding it excellent. Only downfall is he's getting into it which means he's always got my kindle!
Finally Congratulations Paul on becoming the no1 selling author on Kindle - hardly surprising.
Much love to you and your family and take care. You know who I am!
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on 18 January 2012
I decided to read this book as i was bought up in Hornchurch and knew all about the home, but what i didn't know was what went on behind closed doors, i do now!!!

My heart broke several times reading this book, i will never understand how any mother can give their child up, but look who got the last laugh.

This book is one of the best books i've read in ages, couldn't put it down till it was finished, Thank you Paul for sharing your life with me.
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on 19 January 2012
This might seem a little odd. But this is the first ever real life book story I have ever read. At a time when I feel like it couldn't get any worse for me I read Pauls story. Having been through some terrible times of my own, and seeing how hard it is for me to trust people, Pauls story made it all much clearer for me to understand. Life does go on, you just need to have determination in it. You can't give up, no matter how promising it may seem, we all have a purpose to live, and must carry on! I've even emailed him, which I'm sure many of you have done also, just to see if he really does exist lol. Great man most defiantly. I even emailed him on Muhammad Ali's 70th birthday I think. How cool was that. This book is a real good read, truly written from the heart.
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