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on 14 March 2014
I think the strengths of this book have already been well reviewed.

I will just add that it embraces the very sensitive issue of child custody very well.

I know little about legal systems but surely it is possible to obtain custody of a child without the legal wranglings for thirteen years!!

Having visited 45 countries and lived in seven, I think Graham Cook portrayed the desperate helplessness of living in another culture without familiar support systems such as medical care and legal systems very accurately.

Having lived in a third world country where I was being accused by lawyer father of the young driver who still had bandages over her sprained ankle when crashing into my car, I know what it feels like to be attacked unfairly. I had government employees as witnesses to prove I was in a translators apartment picking up documents.

Once I began to read the book I could not put it down. The injustice of it all definitely sucks you in to the events that took place

It's also a book that lends itself to being filmed
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on 9 November 2016
A gripping true story of a fathers fight against a corrupt legal system. The abduction of his son and the series of life changing events which took place almost destroyed him. An extremely well written book which should be made into a film. Totally recommended.
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on 20 March 2017
An interesting and informative read. Having read Graham's story I don't think I shall ever complain about what life throws at me again - more power to his elbow for raising from the ashes of his life and going onwards and upwards
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on 26 July 2017
In 11 Oak Street Graham Cook stirs the deepest emotions of anyone experiencing family breakdown, especially fathers. His personal story of intrigue and unbelievable suffering at the hands of cruel people carries an unspoken warning: it paints a picture of how tough fatherhood outside the context of a permanent loving family can be. In Graham’s own words regarding separation for his daughters, ‘There are no words that come even close to describing this loss.’ Even so, he succeeds in sharing his father’s heart towards his son and daughters with his readers.

There is no doubt in my mind that 11 Oak Street would make a compelling T.V. drama.
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on 16 April 2017
Absolute fantastic read. Couldnt put it down. To go through all the author did and come out rhe other side, inspirational.
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on 11 January 2014
If you don't read another book in the whole of 2014, you should read this one.

During my life I have known many people to whom fate has dealt some very strange cards, some unfortunates coming from poor and unloved backgrounds, having a `chip' on their shoulder or just lacking the wherewithal to cope with the difficulties in everyday life, some who came from very wealthy backgrounds with every possible advantage, but who still failed in their quest to provide a successful life for themselves or their families. In many cases their problems are often due to a `self inflicted wound' caused by stupidity, ineptitude or simply circumstantial misfortune.

There is no way that I can classify the author of 11 Oak Street by Graham Cook in any of those categories as his previously quiet and successful life in the United Kingdom was in effect stolen from him by a composite of corruption, ineptitude and criminality that defies description. When one reads this unbelievable true story it casts one into a world of greed and cruelty that are hard to imagine. If this story was a work of fiction, one would put it down half way through - it simply would not represent reality. This book has been courageously written with great honesty and humility by a man who has, all through his life obviously set great store by those ethics. Graham Cook's mistake in this horrendous tale was a human error. He attempted to bolster his already good Street Cred by opening an account with a world famous bank, Her Majesty the Queen's bankers, Coutts & Co.An inexcusable mistake caused by the bank was in part the catalyst for the rest of the disaster that befell Graham Cook .

From then on the people who caused his life to implode - people in professions which should have displayed the sort attributes that one would expect from lawyers, judges and the like, some were nothing but criminals professing to be trustworthy people in whom you and I are supposed to have complete faith.
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on 3 January 2014
If 11 OAK STREET had been written as a work of fiction it would have been dismissed as 'an impossible fantasy'. Yet this is a true story backed by documentary evidence and carefully detailed facts. In an attempt to gain access to his abducted son in California, which should have been a straightforward legal procedure, the author, Graham Cook, became embroiled, indeed entrapped, in a series of complex legalities which nearly destroyed him. His is a heart breaking story involving child abduction, greed, corruption, legal negligence and fraud, which takes place on both sides of the Atlantic. It explodes the myth that justice can be accessed through the courts. Graham Cook is a very brave man to name the names of people in high ranking positions, people we depend upon for justice and fair play which includes lawyers, businessmen, family members and even judges, all who failed him. Mr Cook's difficulties were further compounded because while trying to gain access to his abducted son in California he was forced to leave his twin daughters behind in England. He became engulfed in the nightmare dilemma of trying to maintain access to his daughters in England while battling the courts in California. The story unfolds in a well paced, compelling style which leaves the reader gasping with incredulity as to how inept and corrupt the California legal system could be. Bravo Mr Cook.
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on 14 January 2014
A superb, gripping, unputdownable story of how a decent, honest man who becomes very successful through his own, very ethical, efforts has his world turned upside down by the very people he should have been able to trust. From his own brother, whose dishonesty, deceit and downright skulduggery beggars belief, the legal profession and others who are held up as the kind of professionals we are brought up to respect, this is a tragic, yet ultimately uplifting tale of one man's fight against injustice , someone who through all the heartbreak, sweat and tears survives to fight another day. I don't feel the need to reveal any of the detail, but please, please, if you don't buy another book this year buy this one, you won't be disappointed. The author Graham Cook found himself in a no win situation trying to gain access with his three-year old son abducted to California while at the same time trying to maintain contact with his twin daughters he was forced to leave behind in England. Very few human beings could have gone though what Graham Cook went through and survived let alone write the book or start his business life all over again upon returning to England when there was nothing left to build upon. Finally, once you've finished reading it, you will, like me, be hoping the story is transferred to the big screen before too long.
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on 5 January 2014
Graham Cook's life experience through his marriage to a Californian woman, the California legal system and with a particular well known UK based top tier bank Coutts & Co is like a Greek tragedy. 11 Oak Street spells out each part of Graham Cook's life story in great detail, leaving few stones unturned and showing great candour by the author. His experience of the Californian legal system is a major horror story. The legal system worked against him instead of for him, given the facts clearly highlighted in the book. No matter what steps Graham Cook took after separating from his second wife and his son's abduction, fate conspired to work against him. I found the book to be very well written. It is an excellent primer for understanding some of the pitfalls of marrying a person from a foreign country and the marriage fails. In addition, it spells out the need to understand and to be wise to the culture operating within a foreign country's legal system. Over a long period of time, despite being attacked from many directions and losing his material wealth, Graham Cook manages to turn his life around. This book is not only a fascinating read there are all the ingredients to make a riveting film.
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on 21 February 2014
Initially, I was intrigued by the title of the book, and after reading chapter one, it struck me that here was a boy, Graham Cook, who already had more than his fair share of problems. However, when it emerged that he could run a successful business, it seemed that he was going to make a life for himself, and I was 'hooked'. When even more problems emerged, I began to think that if this had been a novel, it would have been unbelievable. As the story continues, it becomes even more convoluted, but I could not put the book down, and wanted to know more about the man himself.
The book deals with his family problems and clashes with his experience of the courts in Napa, California and San Francisco, involving crooked lawyers and biased judges. I was really amazed by his tenacity!
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