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Gary will be appearing on BBC 5 Live’s Afternoon Edition sometime after 2pm today to talk about his past as a homeless man, convicted fraudster and football hooligan, his present life as one of the country’s top criminal defence barristers, his work for Pork Farms and Asda, and (probably) his ongoing battles with weight, bed-wetting and his fear of the dark (and his book, ANIMAL QC: My Preposterous Life.

(You can read a free chapter of the book here).

I think Sarah Brett and Dan Walker are doing the interview – Dan is a well-known football nut, and Gary (genuinely one of the funniest nicest and most interesting people I’ve ever met) shares his love of the game.

In fact, here’s a shot of the great man in action:

GB FOOTBALLING

Gary Bell QC demonstrating his Billy Bremner skills and Billy Bunter physique.

It’s a pretty big deal for a small publisher like Monday Books, and it follows hot on the heels of his appearance on BBC Breakfast yesterday:

Following that TV appearance – in which Gary was closely quizzed about his weight and his past as a football hooligan and convicted fraudster, as well as his current career as a highly successful criminal defence barrister – the Amazon sales ranking shot up from around 6,800-ish to 179.

He was for a time the No2 ‘mover and shaker’ in the chart, too – beaten only by that pesky Harper Lee:

Gary mover shaker

For more Monday Books news and general chit-chat, please subscribe under ‘EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION’ at the top right hand corner of the page, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter via @mondaybooks

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…are very good.

Libby Purves, presented of BBC Radio Four’s Midweek show, called it ‘An extraordinary yarn… a great autobiography’ and suggested that ‘Marvel Comics could take Gary Bell on’.

(You can listen again to Gary – and the great Julia Donaldson, Michael Booth and Iain Sinclair – by clicking this link.)

Angela Epstein interviewed Gary for the Telegraph, and praised the ‘unvarnished candour’ of ‘his riotous new autobiography’.

We are hoping that additional reviews will appear in various places soon, but in the meantime the all-important reader reviews have also started appearing on Amazon.

Hard to beat this one:

I heard Gary Bell on Radio 4 this morning, and downloaded his book on Kindle a few minutes later. And couldn’t put it down, read the whole book today. One of the best and most entertaining autobiographies I have read in a long time.

You can read a free chapter of the book here.

You can also find out why he was (and in some circles still is) known as ‘Animal’ here.

Animal_QC_ early reviews

For more Monday Books news and general chit-chat, please subscribe under ‘EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION’ at the top right hand corner of the page, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter via @mondaybooks

 

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ANIMAL QC – the life story of a most unusual criminal barrister, Gary Bell QC – is published on Tuesday (and is also available for as an eBook).

We’ve teamed up with Good Reads to give away two free copies of the book.

All you have to do is click on the following link and put in your request (the people at Good Reads decide who get the books):

GARY BELL’S ANIMAL QC – FREE COPIES VIA GOOD READS

If you’d like a sneak preview of the book (we’ve chosen a key turning point in Gary’s life) please click on the following link (and please feel free to share it with friends):

ANIMAL QC – FREE CHAPTER

For more Monday Books news and general chit-chat, please subscribe under ‘EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION’ at the top right hand corner of the page, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter via @mondaybooks

Animal QC full jacket

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PARAMEDIC STUART GRAY – author of our book A PARAMEDIC’S DIARY – was on duty in London on July 7, 2005.

Actually, he was in the operating theatre at St Thomas’ Hospital practising his intubation skills on people undergoing routine surgery when the garbled messages started coming in.

Then the hospital’s Clinical Director interrupted the surgical team to tell them that all operations had suddenly been cancelled, and Stuart quickly got out of his scrubs and into his paramedic’s green.

in the ambulance, he heard the chilling radio call, ‘There are a lot of people with blood on them coming out of Russell Square tube station… make ambulances, one hundred.’

‘I almost didn’t believe what I’d just heard,’ he writes. ‘One hundred ambulances? It made no sense. The streets around us, just south of the river at the bottom of Westminster Bridge, with Big Ben just across the water, were as they are every day – calm and normal, full of people strolling along in twos and threes, chatting on their mobiles, hailing cabs.’

He spent the rest of the day watching – and doing – heroic things to save the lives of the terribly injured victims.

Here – in a free extract from a different part of the book – Stuart discusses a phenomenon that really bugs him…

Paramedics Diary

Diary of a Paramedic

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THE HEALTH SECRETARY Jeremy Hunt this week suggested that people who don’t attend their GP appointments should be charged, and that the price of drugs should be included on prescriptions.

Our book SICK NOTES – by the GP and Pulse columnist Dr Tony Copperfield – dealt with both of these questions and many more.

Please click below for a free extract.

SICK NOTES – FREE CHAPTER

SICK NOTES is the hilarious, shocking and occasionally tragic truth about the working life of a British GP, written for the lay reader. Dr Tony Copperfield is an average GP in an average town. He spends his life fighting off the worried well armed with internet print outs and health pages torn from newspapers, dealing with youngsters with meningitis, worrying about swine flu, mopping up vomit, shouting at bureaucrats and banging his head against the brick walls of the NHS. Perfect for anyone who has ever wondered what really goes on in a GP practice.

‘A wonderful book, funny and insightful in equal measure, and an ideal gift for all doctors and those brave enough to use them’ Dr Phil Hammond (Private Eye magazine’s medical expert and all-round TV doc)

‘Hilarious and poignant… reveals what goes on behind surgery doors’ The Daily Mail

‘Original, funny… an incredible read’ The Sun

‘Copperfield is simply fantastic’ British Medical Journal

For more Monday Books news and general chit-chat, please subscribe under ‘EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION’ at the top right hand corner of the page, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter via @mondaybooks

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ANIMAL QC – the extremely funny, disarmingly frank and, at times, very moving autobiography of the leading criminal barrister Gary Bell QC is published next week (and is already available for pre-order as an eBook, too).

For a sneak preview – we’ve chosen a key turning point in Gary’s life, which appears in Chapter Eleven.

Please click on the following link (and share it with friends):

ANIMAL QC – FREE CHAPTER

 

Gary in his study

Gary during filming for his BBC TV series The Legalizer / picture by Jamie Wiggins

 

For more Monday Books news and general chit-chat, please subscribe under ‘EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION’ at the top right hand corner of the page, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter via @mondaybooks

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Marine Steve Birdsall, in a picture believed to have been taken the day before he died.

MARINE STEVEN BIRDSALL died five years ago today in the searing June heat of Afghanistan.

He was shot by a sniper as he covered Royal Engineers who were working on his camp’s defences, and although he was flown to hospital in the UK there was nothing that could be done for him.

He was twenty years of age, and had a glittering future ahead of him.

He left behind a loving mother and father, and a tearful younger sister, Melissa. ‘Liss’ was convinced that the big brother she idolised would not come home; tragically, she was correct.

Steven had deployed at around the same time as his close boyhood friend Tom Sephton, of the Mercian Regiment.

Steve and Tom together on a night out.

Tom was himself killed a few weeks later.

As with all twenty of the servicemen and women who feature in At The Going Down Of The Sun, we are privileged to tell Steven’s story via the memories of family, friends and comrades, and to share some of his letters home from theatre – they show something of the character of this fine young man.

Steven Birdsall letter 1Steven Birdsall letter 2

 To receive updates on this and our other forthcoming titles, subscribe under ‘EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION’ at the top right hand corner of the page, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter via @mondaybooks

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