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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rollercoaster Ride
The author has led some life. As a key member in an international gang of thieves he toured the world looking for rich pickings and for a time life was easy. Naturally the law caught up with him and he subsequently spent substantial time at the pleasure of most members of the EU.
Nevertheless this is a great read. He came from an area of Manchester where little was...
Published on 24 Jan. 2013 by David Ireland

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More scabby than scally...
Colin Blaney attempts in this book to present himself in the role of a cheeky scally, a lovable rogue, the reformed criminal with a heart of gold in his own criminal genre of sneak thief, in much the same mould as Howard Marks, Curtis Warren, Michel 'mini' Cooper or John McVicar.

Unfortunately, Blaney appears throughout his book to be quite a sly, untrustworty...
Published 6 months ago by Dr Nick


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rollercoaster Ride, 24 Jan. 2013
This review is from: GRAFTERS (Paperback)
The author has led some life. As a key member in an international gang of thieves he toured the world looking for rich pickings and for a time life was easy. Naturally the law caught up with him and he subsequently spent substantial time at the pleasure of most members of the EU.
Nevertheless this is a great read. He came from an area of Manchester where little was expected other than you had to fight for a living and this is what the author has done. Now, having gone straight, he has discovered that there are probably more crooks in the media than the criminal fraternity.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More scabby than scally..., 19 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: GRAFTERS (Paperback)
Colin Blaney attempts in this book to present himself in the role of a cheeky scally, a lovable rogue, the reformed criminal with a heart of gold in his own criminal genre of sneak thief, in much the same mould as Howard Marks, Curtis Warren, Michel 'mini' Cooper or John McVicar.

Unfortunately, Blaney appears throughout his book to be quite a sly, untrustworty and rather unlikable self-obsessed character whose venal career criminality inflicts misery on those that he deceives and robs along the way. He does this largely without recognition or remorse whilst bleating on those the occasions when others, particularly those in the film and media industries treat him in, in his view, a contemptible or dishonest way.

The first few chapters are reasonably interesting for their novelty although the plot of the book quickly becomes repetitive as he shoplifts and thieves in the brief spells between jail-time or dumps yet another partner or employer. The sub-text throughout the book is that his criminality was somehow justified by being born and brought up in one of the poorer areas of Manchester and that this consequently fact alone largely absolves him from the necessity for guilt or genuine remorse.

As for the football violence element, although he peppers the later chapter of the book with name-checks of the real hard men such as Cas Pennant and others, by his own account, Blaney himself appears to have been more of a follower than a leader or a terrace general and there are many better accounts of the seventies and eighties football hooligan phenomena written by insiders, if that's your sort of thing.

This is a revised and updated edition and irritatingly, the standard of proof-reading still appears to be low in places. For example, 'there' is often used when the correct word to use would be 'their' (take a bow Rick Chester).
If this was a book condensed into 120 pages, it might have been OK but the mixture of rose-tinted reminiscences and personal manifesto grates after a while and its quite understandable how Blaney, as he acknowledges in the later chapters, struggled to get it published.
Sorry Colin, it just didn't do it for me.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Honest and well written, 1 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Grafters (Kindle Edition)
Good solid effort he doesn't brag about his life of crime to much like other writers and well he certainly has lived a full one to no regrets .

In
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4.0 out of 5 stars GRAFTERS, 18 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Grafters (Kindle Edition)
Grafters....wasn't sure it would be to my taste...but, was quite surprised...even more so when I recognised some of the pubs that my Dad use to visit and my uncle played Irish music in...so thumbs up Colin for suggesting I read it....I really don't think your proof reader did you justice though....Really not into football and never actually realised the connection between organised crime and the game,until reading the book...it really is an eye opener...an incredible existence and life experience....would liked to have read more about the effects of your life style on your partners as it was all part of the equation at the time....what did they do when you were absent for so long...what was it that made them wait for you...how did Smiler react when you called off the wedding....when you were wedged did you look after her and the baby...if your love was so strong why didn't you ever get back together etc.,What did you do in return for all the favours the girls at the holiday camps did for you while putting their jobs on the line?? From my own personal point of view I think it would have improved the read...I think it deserved as much recognition as the football and crime....Material for another book maybe....Next read... Undesirables
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I describe myself as a Criminologist because I have a ..., 15 Sept. 2014
This review is from: GRAFTERS (Paperback)
I describe myself as a Criminologist because I have a MA in Crime, Deviance and Social Policy and because I was advised to by my old Professor - Geoffrey Pearson who died in April 2013 and wrote 'Hooligan a History of Respectable Fears' and 'The Deviant Imagination' Anyway, my main interest is Drugs and Crime and 'Grafters' and 'Undesirables' are essentail reading for any student of football, crime and drugs. John Cooper Clarke is now studied in schools. Colin Blaney's books will be too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 22 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: GRAFTERS (Paperback)
Cracking read!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pilled up Scousers running up and down the landing, screaming "Can you feel it"..., 14 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Grafters (Kindle Edition)
Pilled up Scousers running up and down the landing, screaming "Can you feel it"...A classic line from a well written book...
Telling a story that most of the readers can relate to, in one way or another..
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Grafters
Grafters by Colin Blaney
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