Underworld Captain by Capt Alex Shannon

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by bloodgroup_o+, Aug 12, 2011.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Any other arrsers read this book? I bought it as the author is from Springburn in Glasgow like myself, and joined the Army to get away from the place and the associated dramas, like myself. The name Shannon on the cover of a Glasgow true crime book sent me curious as I'd heard the family name a few times through a relative who was in a childs home with the sister back in the 70's, the Captain part of it more so. Some events in the book are questionable, if you read it, it would appear he was mates with every major face in the east end (though to be fair this is generally how it goes up here, small world/limited gene pool/very long memories).

    Perhaps some arrsers know the bloke in uniform,formerly of Royal Scots, and it seems by a recent photo taken now TA Signals? He comes across as a good soldier, though to be fair most of Springburn would be pretty handy Infanteers if they gave up the H. If you haven't read it, I wouldn't bother unless you are from Scotland or have an obsessive interest in True Crime in Glasgow (I've met a couple of blokes from England on tour and courses etc who seem to know the murky history up here better than myself,only to find out they have bought every Ferris/Blink et al book on amazon, whatever floats your boat I suppose. There are no major criminal events/characters inside it which most Glasgow folk wouldnt already be familiar of, but if you want a general history of the violence in the past 40 years it touches on most of the major incidents. I found myself skipping a lot of pages out of boredom, but despite this, I did draw some comparisons to my own friends and my own area, and the conflict/interesting conversations that sometimes brings with being in the Army. Judging by all stories I've heard the bloke has done more than well for himself to get where he is and should be proud. Hopefully some of the local Peg have read a few pages and seen that there is still a way out of the young team, away from the temptation of easy money and away from the Jail. Not intended to be a review, I'm just feeling guilty for thinking it was slightly pish given the fact he's a local lad, and an Officer! Incidently if he reads this, my aunt used to hang around with Roseanne and Lynn (apparently)
  2. I'm sorry if you did not like the book, I tried to tell a story of a love life and the hardships of day to day life as a civilian or Soldier and I know some people may not like the content, but the last thing I wanted, was for it to be a run of the mill Gangsters life story as this is and was not the case when it went for publication I don't have any say on the cover, title or blurb on the back, whilst appearing at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Thursday 25 Aug 11 I told the the audience that you should not judge a book by it's cover and this statement is so true in reference to this book. All the stories contained are 100% true and if you want to meet me or talk to me then as a soldier you will know how to get hold of me. The point to the story is in despair there is hope and I'm an example of that and I don't mind talking to anyone as at the the moment I do talks for people with brain injuries or mental illness issues, to let them know or see that not always what you see is what you get but at the same time I'm a proud Springburn/Possilpark Man, no doubt just like you. So I appreciate your comments and wish you all the best, Take care and speak soon.
  3. Schaden

    Schaden LE Book Reviewer

    Did you manage to do paragraphs in the book or is also a wall of text?
    • Like Like x 2
  4. This wouldn't be the same certain officer who may have been in 32 sigs at one time?
  5. Cheers for the reply sir, if I knew you were appearing in Edinburgh I would have come to meet you just out of curiosity and to put a face to the name (plus it would be a quality skive from work) I have pm'd you anyway. I am about as proud to be fae Springburn as the other boys of 2Scots will allow me to be!!!
  6. I have read your comments regarding the book The Underworld Captain, I also have purchased and read the said book. I think you are missing the point here bloodgroup o+.the story is one of hope not one for glorifying the Glasgow underworld. the guy seems to me as a figure of inspiration to not just springburn but Glasgow as a whole. if you say you would like to have went to book festival to put face to name you would have seen his face in the book there are enough pics of him in and out of uniform. I too would just hope people would read more into the story than the under hand tactics to be gained in life. He is one of us and suffered the same as all of us, let's just give credit when it's due as after all we are Springburn boys, if the story can influence someone to join the Army from anywhere in Glasgow or the rest of the country or take the sad old road to ruin through drugs and drink then he and the book have achieved a lot more in life than most of us, good on him and well done to him and his story of hope, all the best to all the boys in the Royal Regiment of Scotland who make us proud.
  7. this is ******* spam
  8. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    Not sure what part you consider spam Gimp, but the book is for real and I also went to listen to Alex Shannon at the Edinburgh Book Festival as I found it strange that someone from my old ,Regiment could string a sentence together never mind a whole book!! :)

    It was a very good presentation and AS came across as a genuine guy with a genuine reason for writing the book. He uses the book to show how the love of his wife brought him back on track and back into the army, away from the 'gangster' lifestyle of the estate he came from, plus it shows that the army is somewhere that a person can pull himself up out of the mire and change his life. It is worth a read - try it.

    Anyway, the book can be found here, The Underworld Captain and will also be getting reviewed on Arrse in due course.

    AS had a good career, but it was one that always had a shadow of his family background hovering over it. Try the book and see for yourself.
  9. At least you actually do sentences.
  10. Certainly has a spam whiff about it.
  11. I did in fact get the message of hope from the book and that the Army offers a route out of the scheme for the lads, thought I'd pointed that out. I just felt that much of the book came across a bit typical of a glasgow true crime book. Clearly from Capt Shannons reply this was unintended and is more down to post publication. I'd also like to mention the parts I had to skip were the bits written by his co-author not the man himself. He is indeed one of us and has shown what can be done if given a chance, it is just my opinion that his story could have been better told, I'd be interested to read the book before it went to publishers and without the parts by david leslie.

    I have seen the pictures but it's a different thing meeting someone you have heard about than seeing their photo, and it's more polite to critique them in person than behind a screen. Maybe he still drinks in Springy sometimes, and I'd happily buy him a pint and listen to his stories of NI. My copy of the book has been given to a mate in the Peasy, you'll be glad to hear!
  13. That would be great if you could, I'll get my DII password sorted asap this week as it's dramas just now then I'll get in touch.