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4.8 out of 5 stars112
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 21 April 2013
Party Time is a prequel to Hard Time that came out last year or the year before. Whichever way round you read them, I can guarantee that you will thoroughly enjoy them. I read Hard Time first. I was lazing in bed recovering from an operation when I read Shaun's Twitter about the new Party Time book being out, and it was just the medicine I needed.

The book briefly touches upon Shaun's childhood, brought up in a good, working class family. He introduces one of his main characters really, prominent throughout his life and both books... Wild Man, in a way that made me laugh so hard, I nearly burst my stitches. Obviously talented, a good Northern grafter, with lots of energy, and an interest in World markets, he embarks upon a promising career. He also finds clubbing at a time when the music in the North West was amazing, the clubs were pumping, and the pills were pure. The music and the drugs make him feel invincible, and he loves the feeling they give him.

He moves to the US, grafts out a career, and finds a blossoming club scene. People gravitate around him, I'd guess that he's a really nice, quite addictive guy himself. He wants other people to feel good so he starts pushing a few pills out. Some personal stress and tragedy hits, and he tries some new drugs out... work becomes less important... more people gravitate around him. He becomes a weapon of MASSIVE consumption, more people gravitate round him, the people get heavier, the risks become higher... I don't want to spoil the story.

It is seriously, one of the best books of this genre I have ever read. I've read Shaun Ryder's, Howard Marks, loads of them. Shaun's World goes from delightful to scary, and when it comes to an end... it might be too late. You will have to read it for that bit. I think someone said in their review that they couldn't put it down and they'd be absolutely, completely and unequivocally correct. Buy it.
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on 9 April 2013
I hugely enjoyed Attwood's previous book Hard Time, the author's gripping account of his hellish stay in a US jail following his arrest on drug charges, and Party Time is the much-anticipated prequel that fills in a lot of the blanks.
His story really begins when he arrives as a young hopeful from the north west of England in Arizona with a dream to make a million - but he is soon yearning for the rave scene he so enjoyed back home... and the drugs that went with it. Working overtime to make it as a stockbroker, Attwood begins burning the candle at both ends as his party-mad alter ego comes to the fore, and with the pill-popping comes pill-trading, followed by big money, an entourage, a growing reputation as the town's main Ecstasy-dealer and, inevitably, a cast of nefarious characters lurking in the wings. The ambitious young man from Widnes becomes increasingly paranoid as a succession of people let him down, and when his local supremacy is challenged by violent rival gangs he realises that this is not the world he envisioned. There's no easy way out, though, when so much money and so many friendships are at stake, and his growing sense of unease/desperation is palpable. I'd have liked more information about the amounts of money that changed hands, and I also found some of his 'posse' hard to engage with, but this is a great, cautionary tale about what can happen when ambition becomes entwined with a life of crime - and a seemingly-decent guy finds himself immersed much, much deeper than he bargained for. Recommended.
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on 24 April 2013
Fantastic book and eye opening account into an alternative lifestyle.What starts as a seemingly harmless weekend pastime,practised by thousands the world over,develops into a rollercoaster ride of highs and mayhem,which eventually derails and leaves the author staring into the abyss.Having read the excellent yet harrowing"Hard Time"this book brilliantly blends the whole picture perfectly.Great to see the author has turned a once chaotic life around and is now a fantastic and positive influence on the youth he now lectures.Would highly recommend this book.
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on 17 April 2013
I have just finished reading Party Time today, I couldn't put it down, it fulfilled all my expectations and more. Wow!!! it was Scary, Crazy, exciting and Shocking but honest about the destruction caused by the use of drugs. I am a mother of 2 having never taken drugs myself and I would highly recommend this book to anyone. A fascinating read and the highest admiration to Shaun for turning his life around after drugs and prison. I await patiently for Prison Time. I would love to see this turned into a film.
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on 24 April 2013
Who needs rock and roll when you've got pounding techno and melodic trance music? Not Shaun Attwood that's for sure!

My first thought when I finished this book was 'how on earth is Shaun still alive and functioning as a normal human being?'. I really think that says it all. Party Time is a tale of excess on every level that left me both wishing I was part of the legendary 90's rave scene and eternally glad I'm just that little bit too young.

The scene is set brilliantly in the first chapter where Shaun documents his first experience on Ecstasy, detailing the fear and anxiety of a first time user, emotions that are swiftly melted away by euphoria in what is the very beginning of a huge downward spiral in to a world of chaos and crime.

We are then taken to the author's childhood in order to meet Wild Man. After reading Hard Time I was really pleased to find out a little more about this superhuman character and his beginnings in Shaun's life. It must be difficult to write about someone at times so fierce and charged with negative energy and retain an element of realism, it could very easily seem ridiculous given the extent of his antics but the author does a fantastic job and somehow you're left wanting to like Wild Man no matter what kind of mess he gets himself into.

We're then taken into the cut throat world of the stock market where Shaun beings to feel the thirst for making a swift dollar and is not afraid of using more 'unconventional' methods to get where he wants to be. After years of grafting in an industry he clearly excels in the howling wolves creep in and the party scene takes over his world in a big way.

A a clubber myself and a lover of all things dance music I can really appreciate some of the scenarios and characters in this book and I can't recommend it enough to my friends in the club scene. The writing is very true to form and I really struggled to put the book down once I'd started reading. It's action packed in pretty much every chapter and at no point are you left wishing things would hurry along, which is so often the case with autobiographical books like this.

I really like the way the author not only tells the story but gives us his internal monolgue in sticky situations. I think it really adds a lot to our understanding of him as a character and shows sometimes he does still have one toe on the ground.

In summary, a fantastic read and a complete page turner. Thoroughly recommended!
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on 11 April 2013
Fantastic - I couldn't put it down! This book is the prequel to Hard Time which focused on Shaun's time in the Arizona prison system. Party Time takes us from his childhood on a real roller coaster of a ride through his job as a successful stockbroker to his fascination and obsession with the power of drug dealing. Love, sex, drugs and violence there really is something for everyone! Delivered in the same punchy style as the first book I will be amazed if it isn't made into a film.
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on 14 September 2013
I saw an article on google about this book and the author and was intrigued. I cam on here downloaded this and the sequel hard time, plus two journals.
This book go through Shaun's life as a successful stock broker and the. His partying, clubbing , drug taking and drug dealing. It is extremely well written and so addictive you really want to just keep reading to find out what's going to happen next. It could just have easily happened to anyone in my generation, luckily I never dabbled in such things however you can see how easy with the club scene that these things can happen.
A very powerful honest book that will leave you wanting to find out what happens to Shaun next but not wanting to know coz ur scared something terrible will happen but it's gripping and a must read. Best true story I have ever read and would deffo reccomend
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on 26 May 2014
What can I say apart from he has done it again.

After reading “Lessons from a Drug Lord” I was really looking forward to reading more from the English Shaun series, and I must say, it didn’t disappoint. As I am yet to read “Hard Time” or “Prison Time” I am unsure what happened when he was inside, but one thing I am sure of is that he crafted his writing skills to a fine art. This book flowed and captivated me from the first page to the last. With an effortless writing style that made it hard, if not impossible, to put down. Finishing this 288 page book took me less than 2 days, which for me is sort of amazing.

The mood is set with a brilliant first chapter that is so evocative it almost makes me wish I was born in the heady days of the rave scene. His fears and anxieties melting away with the chemical taste of Ecstasy and the beginning of what will lead to a dazzling story of sex, drugs and dance music.

We then step into a time machine to learn about Shaun’s past in his small home town. Stories of days spent with Wild Man in the ‘Thinking Tree’ lead you to realise that, in Shaun, there has always been this thirst for success and adventure that would eventually lead to his downfall.

After moving to be with his aunt in Phoenix, Shaun leads us into his life as a trader and his discovery of the blossoming rave scene in Arizona. Here we discover the “wolves” who will inevitably call him to the slaughter. Fed by the lifestyle and fame that came with his ‘enterprise’ Shaun builds an empire on the backs of his friends and students who are infatuated by the “English Shaun” persona. In the end, as is expected, it all comes crashing down.

There are many moments where you really feel the sincerity and kindness of Shaun, especially when talking about his close circle of friends or girlfriends. Wild Man, although clearly crazy and very dangerous (don’t come after me please!) is a loveable rouge.

I am left feeling frustrated that he didn’t meet Claudia earlier in his life so that maybe he wouldn’t have gone so far down this path. She comes across as being his guardian angel, who he describes in such fond and cute terms. There is real affection there and it is a shame that life took them in opposite direction.

Overall one of the best books I have read in the true crime genre and I sincerely recommend it.

5 out of 5 stars!!
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on 26 September 2013
I cannot believe this is a true story! It is unputdownable - made for a novel or (dare I say) movie.

Shaun Attwood's style is punchy and fresh, making me laugh/snort/reel/gasp as I followed the antics of English Shaun, Acid Joey, Skinner, Wild Man and other crazed, fearless ravers into places I never even knew existed.

There is no 'glossing over' of events in this book. We get to experience the trippy highs, the skanky, shaky, paranoid lows, the knife-attacks by the beautiful, crazy first wife, the cattle-prod torture of rival criminals and the heart-stopping moments at border control when ten thousand pills are driven through inside fake Coke cans. The story rattles through a period of about 10 years, told in vivid scenes with little explanation required between them.

I'm not a raver, have never touched a pill, smoked crack or glugged GHB in my life, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's a great story with some unbelievably brilliant characters and some good moral lessons, although whether English Shaun has heeded them remains to be seen.

Off to download Hard Time, so I can find out...
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on 14 August 2013
The true story of Shaun Attwood, this is an extremely well written, enjoyable, scary and informative book depicting the rise and fall of a young, highly ambitious British lad from the outskirts of Liverpool.
Starting with Shaun's early experiences getting on the ladder of the Stock Broker game in Arizona, the story charts the trials, tricks and pitfalls he encountered as he rose through the ranks of often unscrupulous stock brokers. Shaun's ultimate professional successes were not enough though - he wanted the fun back in his life and with it, his desire to bring the vibe of the British rave scene to the clubs, and his friends, in the States.
The story of "Party Time" culminates in Shaun's eventual arrest as a major drug dealer and sets the scene brilliantly for the shocking sequel that is "Hard Time".
Often hard-hitting, "Party Time" captures the true essence of what it must be like to be in the company of high-powered stock brokers, drug dealers, real-life gangsters, DJs and partygoers from the author's perspective - revealing the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful people that is the drug/club/rave scene.
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