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Lessons from a Drug Lord: The Most Unexpected Lessons from the Most Unexpected Person Paperback – 20 Mar 2014
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For those of us who are yet to come across Shaun’s work let me tell you, well paraphrase from his goodreads bio page, a little about him and his interesting background. Raised in a small chemical-manufacturing town in northern England, Shaun was the first from his family to go to university. As a penniless graduate, he took his business degree to Phoenix, and worked his way up to become a stock-market millionaire. But he also led a double life. An early fan of the Manchester rave scene, Shaun headed an organisation that threw raves and distributed Ecstasy. On May 16th 2002, a SWAT team knocked his door down. He sentenced to 9½ years, and served almost 6. Shaun was released in December 2007, and continues to campaign against Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He keeps Jon’s Jail Journal going by posting stories mailed to him by his prison friends. Shaun presently lives near London, and talks to student audiences across the UK and Europe about his jail experience and the consequences he faced from getting involved in drugs and crime.
I must admit I wasn’t expecting much when I first received this book in the post, after all this comes after a trilogy of his life and time in prison, that I am yet to read. But as I had won this copy in a competition run by Shaun on his twitter page I thought I should at least give it a go, and I must admit I am glad I did.
Shaun’s writing style is casual yet entertaining, he keeps you turning those pages without being sensationalist about the emotive subject covered.
I especially like the story of the relationship he formed with a charismatic mob hit man, known as ‘Two Tony’s’. Showing that although people in prison may have committed horrendous crimes they are still people and need to be helped not locked away. I found that man to be really deep and his story touching.
As a Tool fan the section where Shaun talks to his Yoga instructor who metaphorically describes the subconscious as a spiral to be explored and expanded really sat well with me.
Alternatively the only downside to the book I could find was that the advice given by the yoga teacher sounded like pop psychology mixed with spiritualism, but seemed to be passed on like it was sound psychological advice.
Overall a great book and Shaun should be really proud of both the book and how he has changed his life. I will now have to get the first three books so I can learn more about his story.
Overall I will give it 5 out of 5
Don't be put off by the cover and title!
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