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on 24 March 2017
Very entertaining read. Kept me busy for a few days on the train. Not your usual meathead gangster book. Has funny bits in there too
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on 6 December 2017
good read
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on 10 December 2016
awful rubbish...if you want a good read try ' A Tale of Two Puddings' an east end publicans story from the 60's/70's that is full of character full stop.
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on 21 June 2014
I love true life/true crime books and this one satisfies both criteria. It doesn't pull any punches so one has to repect the honesty. I would recommend an adult readership because of the necessary language and violence.
All in all a good, gritty read and worthy of my 4 stars.
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I'm sometimes sceptical when I open a book about lawbreakers. Having spent so many years in their company - as Defence Counsel, I ought to add - I am all too much aware of their predisposition to gloss over some matters and to inflate others. In the case of this book, I fancy the same distortions may be present But that doesn't in any way detract from his fascinating story and his rousing telling of the mayhem in the streets occasioned by the appearance of his rivals.
Hard to believe that there were such beatings, such destruction, such venom associated with ice cream? We've always associated this trade with with smiles and children and summer joy. But in the cities this is a big money-making enterprise, where men like Eddie make their millions and where they muscle aside any who attempt to take over their pitches. So on the London streets the Turks have to be attended to, as have the Italians who at great risk tried to barge the opposition aside.
And it is not solely on London's streets where these battles are fought. In 1971, Eddie's staff had gone as official caterers to the Pop Festival near Clacton. But then, at home, Eddie had word that the Hell's Angels had arrived and taken over the Festival. What happened after that is the stuff of legend when Eddie's so called "Piemen" came head to head with the Angels in the bloodiest of contests.
On another occasion in a dispute with a group of small-time bank robbers, despised by Eddie for their fecklessness and their lack of real ambition, guns were fired and mercifully no one lost his life, though Eddie was gravely wounded.
And so it goes on.
There are so many colourful occurrences recorded in this book and so many colourful characters to match. There are the Kray Twins offering Eddie and his bother Billy work which they turned down, there are the people Eddie met in prison, there are the menacing Dixon brothers, there is John Childs a serial killer, offering unsuccessfully to take out a certain party. Add to these some of the sharpest lads on the block, and some of the most corrupt policemen. All of these are in the brew and a fine brew it is!
Eddie Blundell has given us a story rich in incident and character and entertainingly told. Its his view of the world and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!
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on 25 May 2014
Crime and villainy do not usually constitute any part of my reading diet. But when a friend urged me to read this book I felt compelled to do so.

The book is written with great honesty. Probably the only time the author has resorted to this particular quality in life. Make no mistake about it, Eddie Blundell is a very hard man. An ex-con millionaire, speaking in a vernacular style as if he was chatting to you in a pub, recounting the story of his violent past. The author speaks with total authenticity - note I say ‘speaks’ rather than ‘writes’ because that is his style.

Eddie Blundell’s take-over of the most lucrative pitches in London was effected in true gangster style. The opposition was ruthlessly attacked and the wise ones did not come back for more. Yet Eddie’s point of view seems to be that he is little worse than, large supermarket chains who have eased out competition in countless High Streets.

That’s what he did: he got rid of his rivals, though admittedly through cruder and more brutal methods. The book resonates with violence. Men with iron bars and guns, some with hatchets and bottles, appear from time to time as if to emphasise Eddie’s seriousness of purpose. And of course there are references to numerous ‘bent’ coppers who provided him with assistance.

So then, having read the book what can we make of Eddie Blundell? Some will see him as little more than a roughneck and a bully boy. Others, while deploring his working methods, may see in him the nobler qualities of single-mindedness and personal courage.

We may disapprove strongly of his way of life and the way he earns his living. But he has shown me a slice of life with which I was not familiar and he must be congratulated on his ability to tell a good story.
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on 28 May 2014
The old-time villains, Dick Turpin, Jesse James, our own home-grown Billy Hill and the Kray twins somehow always manage to become endowed with a degree of romance as their deeds recede. Now still with us, Top-Drawer Villain, Eddie ‘The Man’ Blundell, starkly recalls the events that led to the rise of his own arguably criminally-oriented ‘businessman’ career with its sometimes unfair trials and often violent tribulations. Read this and you’ll get what you asked for - in bruised and bloodied bucketloads. An absolute ‘must’ for all those hard-men wanabees out there as well as those who simply want to watch from the sidelines!
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on 8 June 2015
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I remember some of the trials in the newspapers but good to get the story from Eddy Blundell himself. If he writes a sequel i would want to read that as well
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on 14 October 2014
Thoroughly enjoyed the book.Brought back memories of South Ockendon where l lived until 1971. My wife's family were neighbours of the Blundells and indeed she went on holiday to Jerez with Mr &Mrs Blundell and Carmen in 1966.I have always been treated with respect whenever I've met them. Anyway it was a good read and very funny in parts. Eddie Blundell appears to be able to see the funny side of bad situations.
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on 30 June 2014
Really enjoyed this book,but sure eddie has more to tell, could do with a follow up
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