Hard Bastards Paperback – 14 Aug 2002
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When Ronnie Kray was sent to Broadmoor, his wife Kate kept a copy of his little black address book full with telephone numbers of con men, murderers and tough guys from all over the country. A useful thing to do as it turned out, because occasionally she had to telephone them for various "bits of work". She befriended many and through them was introduced to more. The more she got to know them, the more they intrigued her. She wanted to know what made a hard man. Ronnie's little black book came through with a right result: Hard Bastards--a Who's Who of the toughest men in Britain.
All the two dozen faces in this select club share three criteria, the so-called three Rs: Respect, Reputation and they can have a "Row". These are men who eat, sleep and breathe violence. Roy Shaw discovered God had given him a gift--the power of punch; Johnny "Mad Dog" Adair, the Unionist terrorist released from the Maze in 1999 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement has survived 10 assassination attempts; Charlie Bronson, the longest-serving prisoner in solitary confinement was kept naked in a cage and fed through a cat flap. SAS, murderers, gangsters, strongmen, terrorists and street fighters--the most chilling fact is how without exception they insist they're nice blokes at heart. Kray draws out the humanity from even the toughest nuts, although sometimes the lack of detail renders even the most potentially interesting characters a little thin. Her method of asking them the same questions allows readers to judge them against each other to decide who really is the hardest of them all, while their views on hanging, the effectiveness of prison as a deterrent, what might have deterred them from a life of crime and what makes a tough guy are refreshing and pointed.
Kray says that the purpose of writing the book was to help people understand these men and thus fear them less. But the set up and execution of this subject can't help but celebrate these men and their sense of honour to a certain extent.--Christine Buttery --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'No one knows Hard Bastards like Kate Kray' Sunday People
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Top Customer Reviews
What I thought was pretty chilling was the inclusion, for all of them, of their views on capital punishment?!? Lads, its very simple, if you are locked in a building with nonces and rapists for long stretches, its because you're equally unwelcome in society. That's the point of prison. And no amount of hollow incitements to capital punishment or hypocritical professions of love for your poor mums and wives is going to alter that. Let's be honest here, all capital punishment will do is make you feel a bit less embarressed about who you share a prison with for years at a time, but that doesnt sound like such a convincing argument for the death penalty does it? Utterly shameful.
These guys are hired muscle for gangsters. These gangsters exist to form criminal networks that hook people on heroin, organise protection rackets, enslave migrants, and beat and rape and break teenage girls into the sex trade. How anyone has the neck to write something this uncritical of these people is one thing; Kate Kray is part of the life and can be expected to try and sell the world on how the roof over her head was paid for. But there are dozens of these books, and there must be a lot of people out there reading them, and this review goes for all of them. Anyone who pays into this Heat Magazine celebration of something this atavistic should be deeply, deeply ashamed of themselves.Read more ›
As you read through each biography a very simple pattern emerges that rapidly becomes predictable and tedious:
1. They started their lives "on the pavement", which is a quaint phrase used several times in the book that basically means that they started off thieving from the hard working honest people in their community because they were too lazy to work themselves.
2. They then proceed to blame some or all of the following for the path they chose: (a) the war; (b) society; (c) lack of money/hard life as a child; (d) poor education. Funny that, because so far as I can tell there were 100's of 1000's of people who all suffered the same but who didn't choose a life of crime. The only people to blame for what they did is themselves.
3. Finally they try to pass themselves off as "respectable". The most common way they do this is the usual way criminals try to make themselves look respectable: they make comments about paedophiles and rapists and go to great lengths to say that such people deserve the death penalty and should never be let out etc. Well, yes, a laudable sentiment, but the existence of such people does not make these murderers, armed robbers, bullies, and thieves in anyway respectable. One of them even has the audacity to put his occupation as "Gentlemen"! These people are just one rung above the rapists etc.Read more ›
Many of us are intrigued by the unknown be it unexplained or the villian side of life. We like to read about villians and their lifestlyes and stories and this is what this book is about.
It tells things the way they are. I personally know some of the people in this book and must say that the way Kate has written this book is as if you are sitting there in the same room listening to what each man has to say. None have had anything to gain. Their reputations speak for themselves and they certainly don't need upholding or enforcing in any way.
The people within this book are from different backgrounds, upbringings and lives but the one thing that links them all is that society, in the past, now and beyond will always need the "HARD BASTARDS" to protect the weak vunerable and innocent.
Take the book for what it is an insight into the type of people who are regarded as "Hard Bastards".
You may know of men better but they did'nt make it into this book but who knows perhaps they will in Hard Bastards 2.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Thanks, fast delivery!
www woodenmen.co.uk - Garden Gnomes
PS Hi John ;o)P
I bought this book on the hoof and didn't have too much time to read a bit of it to get a feel for it. After 20 pages I could hardly bring myself to read on! Read morePublished on 10 July 2010 by Mads8
I have read a few books about fighters, gangsters and football hooligans, but I have to say this is definately one of the better ones although it could have done with a bit more... Read morePublished on 19 Sept. 2007 by Alyn
Having read a variety of different books from football hooligans to gangsters of the England to Scotland and abroad i fing this book easy to read. Read morePublished on 4 Jan. 2004 by Angelmatty
Iliked the book, it was so much better then some of Kays other stuff, the pictures worked well with the storys of the chaps, reminded me of the sort of books written by dougie... Read morePublished on 6 Mar. 2001
This book was fascinating & gripping from cover to cover. The format of the book was excellent, allowing for comparisons to be made between the "hard bastards" in the... Read morePublished on 25 Sept. 2000 by email@example.com
What a book, the who's who of the "Hard Bastard" world today. I couldn't put it down till I read it cover to cover. Excellent I want more! Read morePublished on 9 Aug. 2000 by firstname.lastname@example.org
The foreword of 'Hard Bastards' made think it would be like the other books I've read in this category.I love it and would recommend it to anyone with a curious side to them. Read morePublished on 1 Aug. 2000