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on 19 February 2013
Firstly, I admire Paul's bravery in creating a good life for himself despite his totally deprived and abusive upbringing in a children's home, no one would have blamed him for ending up wallowing in self pity on drugs and alcohol, or even dead like so many other children in his shoes. I also find it amazing that he had the courage to share his story with us in this book and also in front of the public and the courts that eventually brought some justice to those that inflicted this ghastly ordeal.

The reason I gave it 3 stars is because, whilst fortunately for him he wasn't put through as much abuse as some of his friends, it also meant we didn't really see as much insight into what it was really like to be molested by a pederast and the like first hand and what psychological effect this type of abuse had. Paul was fortunate to some extent in that he was a fighter, he fought back and through sheer will and determination refused to let the system beat him, somehow creating a somewhat normal life for himself. This was not the case for his brethren in care with him and it would have made for a much more insightful piece if we could have been given a feeling for what it was like being inside some of their heads.

Overall a sad book, I was horrified to learn this sort of institutionalised abuse happened not too far from where I live and definitely an eye opener that I would recommend. It left me wanting to learn more about some of the other victims that suffered even worse abuse.

Thank you for reading my review.
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on 31 May 2013
I found this to be an excellent story - if that is what someone's childhood nightmare actually is - but was horrified by some of the things that Paul and other boys at the home endured during their time within this home when what should have been a safe, caring and loving environment, was it appears for most of the time promoting and allowing brutual and sadistic behaviour towards minors by adults in positions of trust whom should have known better but who in fact violated most if not all all of the children involved basic rights to be cared for in an appropriate manner, especially when they held a position of trust and were being paid to watch over these children. Even when the adults concerned were taking to court many many years later and prosecuted it appears they were treat with more respect than they ever bestowed on the boys within their care. It was shocking and gripping from start to finish and I am amazed that Paul has survived to tell his story. People like Paul speaking out are helping to put right a lot of wrongs that have been swept under carpets or ignored for far too long. Well done for telling your story Paul warts and all and getting people to sit up and take notice at last! You are obviously one of life's survivors.
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on 24 August 2012
This book has humbled me so much. The account is desperately saddening, yet so inspiring because the author has not allowed himself to wallow in self pity (although you would have been justified to do so).

The author was abandoned by a mother who was incapable of accepting blame. He was then betrayed by people who chose to abuse their power to make themselves feel better. He also endured the greater pain of watching other vulnerable children suffer the same fate whilst growing up. He was let down by a system who should have looked past the veneer but didn't.

I felt so much anger and disgust at the people who abused him; they should have known better, they KNEW what they were doing. Their light /lack of sentence is an insult to the value placed on the children who lost their childhood and in most cases ended their lives.

Amazingly, the author learned self control, resisted to go down the `revenge route' and channelled his courage into rebuilding his self esteem to the point he was capable of becoming a loving husband and father.

This book will remain a source of inspiration to me and other victims of abuse. I can only thank the author for taking the time to write this book despite the pain it must have caused to put words the ghastly catalogues of injustices. Writing a book to the end is an achievement in itself especially for someone who has missed out on education.
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on 21 July 2014
Just finished reading this amazing True Story by Paul Connolly, its one of them books that you simply have to finish, I have had the PLEASURE of speaking with Paul personally, and he is a really nice genuine Guy, who after reading this his debut book, (for the 2nd time) I might add, I can really say that I have nothing but admiration for the way he has dealt with his life, and I wish him and his beautiful family everything that is good about this world, god knows he's seen the dark side.
I am now embarking on reading Paul's Follow up book "Beating The Odds" so far so good Paul, Now whens the MOVIE OUT? I would love a part in it with you Mate.

Only 5 STARS to offer you Paul, if there was a million that wouldn't be enough

God Bless You x
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on 21 May 2015
This book is very truthful. He says how he did things to people and how ashamed he was after doing it. He went through so much as did the other children at the home. It's just a shame that he and some of his siblings ended up there, only to be abused, or had to watch the abuse of others. He came out of this and has shown those evil people he wasn't going to end up the way they expected him to. He's now a professional trainer, married and has two boys. He's seen much of the world thanks to magazines and tv shows wanting him to show his Boxerobics which he created. He's come a long way since being told to leave the home. Good luck to him! :)
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on 18 February 2015
An opportunity to walk alongside a successful survivor as he openly shares the shambolic, mindless influence of those who were well rewarded for the horrors they inflicted on innocent children, those who had already been emptied of identity and love by their own families. Certainly never self pitying, he tells of his determination in pushing himself on through life without the love and security he so needed and deserved. The choices and consequences he uses to illustrate his mindset and growth are easy to connect to. Many of us will relate to his emptiness, but also to his drive to somehow find the key to being our own version of the 'successful survivor' too. (Peaceful power to you now, Paul. Enjoy EVERY day.)
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on 12 May 2013
What an inspirational story! Absolutely delighted that Paul Connolly has found the courage to write this book and even better - that he has a fabulous family, who obviously love him and look up to him! Things that many of us take for granted, Paul has had to work hard for, and now, thank goodness, he has his happiness to reward him, having endured so many horrible situations and characters. I, personally, would like to shake him by the hand and tell him that he is loved and admired by more people than he will ever know, as I am sure this book will have the same effect on others as it has on myself. I will think about this book for a long time and certainly will not take anything in my life for granted anymore. Well done Paul! Walk tall and take care but most of all - enjoy your life!
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on 29 February 2012
I enjoyed this story as it was revealing, interesting and compelling. Despite his apparent fame I had not heard of Paul Connolly before. On the one hand this is a poor children's home boy abused by his guardians story. On the other hand it's a fight to find who really lives inside the author's skin.

Connolly's life started badly and for a while it went downhill. Following a dreadful childhood Connolly fends for himself and does well. I was afraid of Connolly the bruiser as he seems capable of ruthless violence. He is keen to point out that he is never cross unless crossed. Stil he's an intimidating character.

Given Connolly's poor reading and writing skills, this book must have been ghost written. It has a very repetitive style in which the same thing is said in two or three differet ways in every chapter. Read his book and you will see what I mean.

I liked the book and I admired Connolly for his staying power and success. Read this book!
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on 14 August 2012
The naysayers have a point. The writing isn't clear and crisp. Paul isn't always a sympathetic character. There is a fair bit of brutality - something I'd usually avoid in a book.

However, the fact the writing is a bit rough just adds to the character for me. I think Paul is an amazing man and I was disarmed by his honesty throughout the book. His life story should help us all to think about people's circumstances and background, especially when they have done well for themselves, or when it may explain how they react to particular situations.

The narrative keeps moving. I wanted Paul to do well. At several points I had to stop reading because it was so intense that I needed a break - but went back as soon as I could.

I really recommend this.
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on 14 January 2014
I read this book on the basis of lots of positive reviews and accept that I'm in the minority. For those that have thoroughly enjoyed the book and found it engaging/inspiring I wouldn't want to take that away from them, but it just wasn't for me (each to their own).

The story itself I thought was commendable, and I have a lot of respect for Paul for turning his life around. As far as being "The Most Amazing True Life Story You'll Ever Read", I didn't get that myself. Having finished it, I don't feel inspired or like I've read something that I have to tell everyone about. This isn't a story that will stay with me.

I started to roll my eyes with references to being successful with women, giving people what they had coming to them, and Auntie Coral's telling him he's not worth anything etc. It was like "yeah, I get it, more story now please...".

As for the delivery, I didn't think the constant use of foul language was necessary, even to convey true anger. It would have proved how far Paul had come to be able to express himself more eloquently and succinctly. I would have given more stars for that alone.

(I'm now going to browse Amazon for a more amazing life story and try and justify my own assessment of this one.)
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