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The Cult Of Violence: The Untold Story of the Krays Hardcover – 8 Oct 2001

4.3 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; First Edition edition (8 Oct. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752838733
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752838731
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 2.4 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 408,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

John Pearson, author of the bestselling definitive book on the Krays, THE PROFESSION OF VIOLENCE, re-examines the bizarre and frightening story of the Kray twins including new revelations about their criminal past, trial and their extraordinary activities in gaol.

About the Author

John Pearson is a novelist and biographer. He has written on figures as diverse as Ian Fleming and the Kray twins.


Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fantastic book, couldn't put it down and was left wanting to know much more about the Kray Twins. John Pearson is a brilliant author, every page is gripping and when you think you'll just read a few more pages, you find it's turned into chapters. All his books about them are of this quality, they couldn't have chosen a better person to write their biography.
Whether you admire or despise them I think what set the Krays apart from any other gangsters/criminals is that they had genuine charisma, only those two though, not their brother. Maybe it was their twinship and 'identicalness' that gave it to them, I can't decide which one was more fascinating but one thing is for sure - together they were formidable, both to look at and, by all accounts, to do business with.
Even now, pictures of them leave you feeling mesmerised and slightly scared so I can't imagine what it must have been like back in the day to have them on your case.
They accepted their life sentences but I suspect Reggie Kray, serving over and above his tariff, became more of a political prisoner in the end, paying the price for their crimes against the Establishment. I think he was also punished for both of them continuing to court the publicity that helped turn them into the legend they have become, and rightly or wrongly, earning them a place in history.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fascinating book. I was six when the Krays were imprisoned but was nevertheless vaguely aware of them throughout my teens and twenties, such was their ability to remain in the limelight. It's impossible to imagine two people establishing and exerting such a degree of control over a large area of the Capital nowadays based on pure fear. Their seemingly charmed life and ability to mix in and influence the higher echelons of the British Establishment from their humble origins is truly fascinating and throws a glaring light on the relative innocence and naievety of a long-past era. Well written by the author, who clearly knew the Krays well and had true insight into their bizarre and fascinating characters.
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By A Customer on 10 Jun. 2005
Format: Paperback
Just what is it about the Krays that keeps us fascinated? Pearson's book, not written until the last Kray was dead and buried, still has the appeal of the original - we are drawn into the bygone world of the criminal fraternity of the Old East End, where the Kray twins held complete control over the lives (and souls) of their 'Firm', ruling them with the threat of violence and even death, but apparently keeping the streets 'safe' for the 'ordinary man'. Pearson is in no doubt about the true nature of the twins - he sees and depicts them as callous murderers, but in his attempt to analyse the roots of their behaviour, builds a fascinating picture of sibling rivalry and mental illness. 30 years after 'The Profession of Violence' he is now 'safe' to write truthfully about their murders and maimings, homosexuality and obsessions. The most worrying thing is that we find this world absolutely compelling, and I was sorry when I came to the end of the book. I would have liked to hear more about Vi Kray, as the driving force behind the twins in their early years, and the matriarch of this extraordinary family. A thoroughly absorbing read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
John Pearson's second book on the life and career of the Kray twins is,once again,a fascinating insight into the life and times of two of gangland's most famous,and infamous,characters.A book well worth reading,even if you've read the excellent 'Our Story',Ronnie and Reggie Kray's autobiography,or John Pearson's first book on the Krays,'The Profession of Violence'.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An in depth look at the psychology of the twins and the effects they had on one another. The theory of Ronny Kray's disturbed mind being the result of childhood diphtheria is very interesting as is Reg's loyalty to his brother to the very end when he could have saved himself from such a long sentence. John Pearson was obviously very much on the inside track and offers insights that make this book a great read.
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Format: Hardcover
The legendary status bestowed upon the Kray Twins is largely due to John Pearson's groundbreaking 1972 biography 'The Profession of Violence'. Since this shocking introduction to gangland, originally released just a few years into their life sentences, there have been literally dozens of books containing the name 'Kray' within their title, very few of which even come close to Pearson's early masterpiece. Despite 'Profession...' being reissued four times it has taken almost thirty years for him to pen the sequel, but it has certainly been worth the wait. It is difficult to imagine there being anything new that could be written about the Twins, but Pearson somehow manages to give a completely new insight into their private lives, including the thoughts of their Mother and Father, gained from hours spent in their company in his position as the Twins' official biographer. Much of the 'new' material is now available due to agreements with key personnel that none of it should be made public while either of the Twins was still alive. The now infamous tales of the slaughtering of Cornell and McVitie have been told and retold and this book does not try and tell them again, but instead offers a 'behind the scenes' glimpse of the real men that were The Krays, in a way that only John Pearson could achieve. Another masterpiece from the master himself.
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