The autobiography of Gary Bell QC, one of Britain’s top barristers, who appears on the BBC TV show The Legalizer.
Gary grew up in a condemned Nottingham slum and left his tough comprehensive school without taking any exams to follow his dad down the pit.
He spent his teenage years as a drunken football hooligan known as Animal (for his terrible eating habits, not his fighting skills), and trying and failing to become (among other things) a miner, a bricklayer, and a fireman. After being convicted of fraud and sentenced to six months (he worked out how to fiddle pub fruit machines), he was homeless for some years before finally deciding to make something of himself. He then took O and A levels and hitch-hiked to Bristol University as a mature law student in his mid 20s going on to become a barrister and, twenty years later, achieving the rare honour of being appointed Queen’s Counsel.
His preposterous story contains some fascinating details of the many major cases he has worked on and is extremely funny, very moving, and utterly life-affirming. 378pp