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Watch My Back
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£8.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 9 December 2016
This book is possibly one of the best things I've read (I come from a post-grad degree background before anyone assumes people into books about violence do not read)... if you have any interest in self-defense, avoiding fights or learning more about the street-fighter mentality, this book is pure gold.

I'm currently training in a weapons based martial arts system and my grand master and instructors recommend this book (they know the author personally, so they know he is writing from experience and not from fantasy land) - the book is probably as useful as the techniques I've learning to be honest. It's a good sotry to read, but as you read it you learn a lot about the mentality and reality of what a doorman's life is like, as well as how and why street-thugs and bullies act like they do.

It delivers a riveting tale of redemption, from a guy who liked violence for the sake of it through to somone who wants to make the world a better place. It also explains the tough reality of the consequences of violence too - I've met plenty of people who reckon they would "smash and kill" anyone who steps to them, but back down when they are in a confrontation. This book explains so much about the fighter, and the bully, mentality, that it is given me a whole new viewpoint on the importance of street awareness - as well as why bouncers act the way they do when there has been a disagreement (I never used to understand why doormen were still aggressive after seeing people calm down in a pub disagrement, now I completely understand why and what they are thinking).

I'm not tough by a long shot, nor am I a fighter, but this book has been an entertaining, and informative (at some times horribly informative) realistic story of how nasty things can get, and why violence is rarely a good solution.

Invaluable to anyone seeking to be knowledgeable on conflict resolution, avoidance and the realities of fighting.
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on 13 April 2012
This book is the true story of the trials and tribulations of Geoff, a night club bouncer. At first he was afraid of his own shadow, but then grew to love the violence, along with the camaraderie, that he immersed himself in.

The story is told with feeling and humour (imagine a Jasper Carrot and Billy Connolly collaboration) about violence, revenge and sheer lunacy that will have you rolling with laughter, cringing at the pain and crying at the sadness. Over time Geoff realises it is time to change before he becomes a casualty of his own making.

Spending time writing and training harder as a martial artist he eventually works his way out of the emotional and physical turmoil going on to be a successful martial artist and author, eventually receiving a BAFTA award.

The book is lot deeper than it first appears with tales and thoughts that are written from the soul. I originally bought the 3 books that formed this omnibus addition. Then at one of Geoff Thompson's seminars I asked him if his new book was worth buying given that I had all three of his earlier books. To which his reply was, with a wry smile, "of course". Book signed and bought, it sat on my shelf for many years until one day I needed some inspiration and humorous reading in one.

It was worth buying, because what GT had done was fill in the gaps between the original books and added, quite significantly, a top and tail to the book. This top and tail now gave me a greater understanding of GT's journey and why he started it. The end of the book shows great humanity and strength. I won't give you the details as if you have not read this version it will spoil your reading. And yes once again I was inspired by his writing.

This review is about the hardback and maybe the latest paperback has more still, I am not going buy the paperback - that is of course if GT does not sell me a copy at his seminar I am attending later this year...
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on 25 October 2001
An utterly superb and compelling book that, all the beatings aside , is a story about loss of innocence, salvation and then redemption.As a Coventrian myself I could visualise most of the places thompson talks about and the kind of people he was dealing with. I could not put this brilliant book down and read it in record time. I hear that Thompson has made a film script of this book .When I read it I kept thinking to myself What a great movie it would make . Even non violent people will be enthralled by thompsons story , and made glad that they are not inclined to fighting . A total gem and classic
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on 15 September 2000
An incredable book that takes you on a journey of a boy who was once so afraid of his own shadow to a man who frightened him-self after seeing this monster stareing back at him through the mirror honesty. The adrenaling will pump through your body as your'e standing on the doors with the infamous Mr Thompson. Every page will have you flinching at the sounds of broken bones; laughing at the humour the child within us loves to feed on and crying at the pain he endured. I would say most of the people that choose to read this book, have at one time or another, experianced some kind of a Geoff Thompson experiance. It might be from his school days that gets your'e own blood rushing around the memory bank. It could be the heart rendering pain of a love you once held so close to your soul but whatever you feel, rest assured Mr Thompson felt every single one of them too. This outstanding man came through his like a warrior with a heart made of iron but which was engulfed by a soul of a gentlman. I had never heard of this man before I read "WATCH MY BACK" but I feel like he's a brother to me now. I and I'm sure you too, will have total, 100% respect for this man once you have read the book. If dreams can come true then this book is living proof.
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on 18 November 2001
This is a very special and personal book indeed. In terms of a story it does get a little repetitive and drone, but as an insight it is unbelievalbly powerful. Geoffs views on life, his emotional problems and solutions spoke to me on a level I never expected. I could relate to what he was saying and as I read I became all the more wiser. This book has changed me and in the way I think and deal with situations. It has taught me the importance of mental fortification, and the power of the mind. Through his story I have realised that what we do physically is only an echo of what we do mentally.
I am a better person for reading this book. Stronger, more confindent, and better equipt for what life throws at me.
Thanks Geoff!
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on 13 September 2001
This is a great insight into fighting. Real, proper fighting, that is. The kind that involves watching out for guns, bottles, knives and broken bones and checking the CCTV cameras are pointing the other way. It's amazing to know what could be going through the mind of the nightclub bouncer you see looking so hard.
After a while though, I couldn't help but be a little de-sensitised to it all. Perhaps that's not the author's fault. What should have been checked, though, was the grammar, spelling and facts. Petty as it may sound, it's just plain annoying to have The Monkees' 'Daydream Believer' referred to as "The Monkeys 'Cheer up sleepy Jean'", or have quotes attributed to Oscar Wilde when they're obviously not his.
Things like that lose it a star. Very good and very readable, though.
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on 17 October 2012
I bought this book after reading the favourable reviews and no doubt, first 50 pages or so are FANTASTIC. Geoff explains how he overcame his depression, how he battled with the thought of having been molested as a child, how he bounced back. Then he tells us about his black belt and the martial arts he took and talks about his fears.

All great so far, until he starts telling the story of how to "overcome his fear" he takes the job of a doorman and then moves from club to club, fighting taking down bully boys.

The problem is... the first two or three fights are great, explained in great detail and I really enjoyed that but afterwards the story is essentially this

"it was a busy night, this huge guy came in, for no reason he started acting like an idiot, i kicked and punched him, everyone praised me"

this will go on and on and on for pages after pages after pages after pages after pages....well you get the idea

A great book ruined by this repetition. I don't understand how these people enjoyed this book so much... How many times are you going to read about fight after fight after fight..?

An absolute let down. If you want a great moving story try Funny Money by stephen jury which has the fights but has the story element to carry you through the book.

2 stars because the first 50 pages were super.
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on 16 April 2016
Typical look-how-hard-i-am-i-beat-up-drunks, cocky, condescending, sarcastic bouncer tale book.

Guys like this are made out as heroes, the antithesis of the bully, protector of the weak. Truth be told, they are no better, worse even, than the supposed bullies they beat up on a weekly basis.

Alot of these doormen, martial artist types were bullied themselves and so, its that old clichy of the bullied becoming the bully. This guy has videos showing you were to target the jaw in order to cause most damage.

Can you imagine how many people this guy has maimed and disfigured through his years on the doors. How many egos and confidence he has shattered in men. He has books too on overcoming fear. Ironic really in that he has probably caused untold fear in countless men, so maybe its his way of repenting. He has a lot of self help type books. Maybe he feels guilty.

I couldn't live with myself having that many people holding grudges and grievances against me.

You know humanity is doomed to implode when people like this are deemed 'good guys.'

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there were many on his receiving end who had it coming to them, but you'd be naive to suggest they all deserved it.

Its one thing in life to do what has to be done. But when you go bragging and writing tell all tales then your not a nice person.
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on 24 September 2003
I have sparred and trained in a few amateur gyms over the years. So what you may think.
This is how i heard about Geoff Thompson. People mentioning him and an article in a boxing mag. So when i saw the book online i had to invest. A brilliant and frightening account of life on the door. Reading through the book i could honestly feel the fear and the adrenaline these people must feel. Although in truth it is the closest i would like to get to this type of fighting.
Very interesting and Geoff comes across as a decent bloke.
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on 7 January 2017
I fully respect and admire Geoff.

Without a doubt this is an aspiring and helpful story. Heart rendering and heart mending. There are proper horror stories in this book, the full ugliness and reality of fighting is there without glitz and glamour. The addiction to dark violence is there also, which perhaps the author has deliberately included. He became what he hated, and part of him loved it. Though ultimately his higher self wanted full liberation from a very destructive path that had given him no mental peace, and threaten to turn him into what it was he was running away from.

He seems like a good man all the way throughout, someone who is fair and wouldn't instigate anything.

Geoff's addiction was violence, for some of us it might be something else. A martial artist myself, I left the book absolutely sickened by the thought of violence. I had to take the book in stages as the graphic stories of beatings became too much for me. It is pure ugliness. But you can only admire Geoff for taking all what he's been through, and creating something with it. This is a solution to recovering from any negative addiction.

I recommend all of Geoffs books, plays and any work done by him.
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