The Crooked Beat

Adult
Rated 4.98/5 based on 90 reviews
From the squalid heroin dens and live sex clubs of Bangkok to the steaming underbelly of Calcutta, The Crooked Beat takes you to places few tourists ever see. Like Trainspotting set in the jungle, this is a modern day On The Road for the chemical generation. Hang onto your passport because the trip is going to be wild.
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Words: 68,320
Language: English
ISBN: 9781452333465
About Drew Gates

I sang in punk bands for 20 years and now I write books. I prefer writing - it is a lot healthier. All my favourite writers are dead.

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Reviews

Review by: blobmonster on Oct. 27, 2016 :
Trainspotting is a good reference point here (the movie more so than the book) - “Crooked Beat” has the similar squalid, hilarious, rolling-disaster vibe. Yes this is a heroin novel, although LSD25 has a strong supporting role and really steals the show in a few places.
This is a drug odyssey into Thailand and India in what feels like the early 90s. The narrator Dean tells us that he identifies as a “dope fiend” rather than a “junky”, which may be a reason why the story stays up and moving and doesn’t get boring. Mostly Dean is dealing and consuming, moving from place to place and meeting crazy travellers. There hardly seems to be a page go by without someone vomiting out a window. However all the madness is interspersed with some very nice descriptive passages of the landscape and a bit of introspection here and there.
A couple of times I felt Dean was in urgent need of a boot to the face which sadly was not forthcoming. For example he picks on a German girl who understandably doesn’t want to sit next to him and he beats up an Indian dealer for no good reason and it doesn’t seem to bother him afterwards. Mostly though I was sympathetic to the young fiend.
I think my favourite parts here were the descriptions of the Goa trance party scene. I liked that after every party there seemed to be people losing their mind and rolling around naked. It made techno seem raw and risky again.
Recommended.
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Review by: s4mT on Nov. 16, 2011 : (no rating)
Trainspotting with edge! Edgy, unadulterated and hugely compelling. Not for the feint hearted but defo for everyone else! -G. Haritharan
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Review by: Risiahs htamsa on April 22, 2011 :
Was a pretty good book,good narrative and it kinda sounds autobiographical.
But being a hindu, i felt offended to see my god sai baba being refered to as"odius wanker",well im sure the junkhead dean wouldnt like jesus to be referred to as an "odius wanker" would he?
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Review by: Ellie Cole on April 05, 2011 :
I agree with Bev and K. Gallagher. This book was very well composed. Grateful that it's free, but I would have paid for this without thinking twice after reading the preview.

Thank you. Looking forward to your next work.
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Review by: K Gallagher on March 10, 2011 :
What the hell? I really didn't expect this book to be of such high quality. Really liked it.
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Review by: Kandy M on March 07, 2011 :
Disgusting in parts but very well written throughout.
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Review by: Bev on March 06, 2011 :
Why is this book free? I would have happily paid good money for it - enjoyed it immensely.
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Review by: Jono Walters on March 06, 2011 :
This book was awesome, very reminiscent of early Irvine Welsh and HST. Bit confused about all the hermaphrodite references though.
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Review by: Ricky Williams on March 04, 2011 :
This book has really made me want to travel - don't know if I am so keen about all the drug abuse though...
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Review by: Jamie Kyle on March 04, 2011 :
I was linked to smashwords via underneaththestairwell - downloaded the crooked beat and read it in two days - loved every minute of it!
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Review by: Charlie Gordon on March 02, 2011 :
I am a big fan of Hunter S Thompson and this book was very reminiscent of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
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Review by: PRU on March 02, 2011 :
Got the link for this from underneaththestairwell. I am bloody well traumatised from the last post the author put on his blog.....loved the book.
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Review by: Peter Black on March 02, 2011 :
Very well written book, I read it in a day which is unheard of for me.
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Review by: Wayne Banks on March 02, 2011 :
Loved the book and the author is correct, Koh Pangan really was ruined by the full moon parties.
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Review by: Carly Newton on March 02, 2011 :
The start of the Crooked Beat starts in the same locale as 'The Beach' and really it is like a hardcore version of Alex Garlands book.
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Review by: Tony Little on March 02, 2011 :
Just as mental as the blog!
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Review by: Crystal on March 02, 2011 :
Yep here from underneath the stairwell so here is my rating!
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Review by: Jasmine Letts on March 02, 2011 :
Thanks for the book!
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Review by: Stu Graham on March 02, 2011 :
Like most people here, got this link from the blog so here is my rating.
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Review by: Melissa Green on March 02, 2011 :
Loved the blog and love the book, I think the entire blog should be published for that matter.
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Review by: George G on March 02, 2011 :
Author asked for a rating on his blog so here it is!
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Review by: Stan Furtado on March 02, 2011 :
http://underneaththestairwell.com
Don't know why the author hasn't linked this yet.
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Review by: Jeffrey Murdoch on March 02, 2011 :
Underneath the Stairwell blog is just as bloody crazy as this book, love both of them!
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Review by: Julian Williams on March 02, 2011 :
Same here, Underneath The Stairwell
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Review by: Lincoln Gillard on March 02, 2011 :
Got this book via a link on Underneaththestairwell - the author asked for a rating so here it is
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Review by: Serena Jacobs on March 02, 2011 :
Good work!
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Review by: Julia French on March 02, 2011 :
I saw a movie that Drew Gates made years ago in Sydney. It was called 'Flange Desire' and was a lot like an early John Waters movie ala Pink Flamingo's, Female Troubles etc. Loved the book.
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Review by: Elise McDonald on March 02, 2011 :
LMAO!
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Review by: Katie Gates on March 02, 2011 :
Is all the stuff about hermaphrodites true?!?
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Review by: charles Jobs on March 02, 2011 :
OK a few questions I have for the author of this book:
-Is it true?
-How did you survive?
-Was Alex a real person?
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Review by: Si Richie on March 02, 2011 :
This book is completely bloody insane! Loved it!
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Review by: John Lydon on March 02, 2011 :
Couldn't put it down - I would love to travel to the places mentioned.
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Review by: Rafa McClaren on March 02, 2011 :
I enjoyed this book so much I went to GoFuckYerself's website and bought the hardcopy. Also bought several of Chris Walter's books as I read a review that called him 'the white Iceberg Slim.'
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Review by: Dave Malinga on March 02, 2011 :
Five stars.
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Review by: PRU on March 02, 2011 :
I went to school with Drew Gates in Hong Kong back in the 80's. Googled him to see what he was up to and was pleasantly surprised to find he had written a damn good book.
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Review by: Clive Goldman on March 02, 2011 :
Based on the subject matter I really didn't expect the author to be so articulate. Very skilled story teller.
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Review by: Janie Ferguson on March 02, 2011 :
loved it!
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Review by: Laura Nimmo on March 02, 2011 :
oh man this book took a little getting used to as it is completely out of my 'comfort zone' once I got over that I loved ever minute of it - a real eye opener thats for sure.
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Review by: Ashley Sarah on March 01, 2011 :
I bought this book years ago when I was living in Vancouver. Lent it to a friend who lent it to a friend who lent it to a friend. We all loved it. So happy I can get it for my phone out here(cook islands) just as great as the first time I read it.
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Review by: Ivor Johnson on March 01, 2011 :
I am a big fan of GoFuckYerself Press and bought a copy of this book at the launch back in 07. Long since lost the hardcopy so I stoked that I can read it again on my ipad.
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Review by: David Jackson on March 01, 2011 :
Great book - highly recommended.
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Review by: Mike Ready on March 01, 2011 :
Normally I would not read a book on my phone but made an exception for this one on recommendation of a friend. Spent last week ready it on the train to work, laughed out loud several times which if you know me is very unusual.
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Review by: Nathalie Newton on March 01, 2011 :
could not put this book down, read it in one day on my ipad. really, really good.
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Review by: jeremy murphy on March 01, 2011 :
Finished it last night, now my wife is reading it. The author wrote on his blog 'please rate at smashwords, a small price to pay no?" this is better then 9/10 books that I have read in the last year, so yes this is a very small price to pay.
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Review by: Brod Torrens on March 01, 2011 :
WTF?! I thought this book was going to be about drummers or something - pleasantly surprised though.
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Review by: Jimmy Saywell on March 01, 2011 :
Shades of Bukowksi, Hunter S and Burroughs - three of my fave authors, now I can add Drew Gates to that list.
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Review by: Patto hennessy on March 01, 2011 :
I know it is a cliche but this book was a real rollercoaster ride. A really fun, messed up and well written rollercoaster ride!
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Review by: Michelle Rodrigues on March 01, 2011 :
Reminded me a lot of The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thomson - bloody great read.
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Review by: Kit Duffy on March 01, 2011 :
Great book, engrossing, fascinating, and hilariously f****d up from start to finish.
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Review by: Adrian Arknell on Feb. 27, 2011 :
Unreal! Loved this book from the first to last word. And Jeremy I did notice similarities with the beach although the crooked beat struck me as a lot more authentic and with a hell of a lot more drugs.
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Review by: Clive Stanton on Feb. 27, 2011 :
couldn't give it a ten so gave it a five!
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Review by: K Gallagher on Feb. 27, 2011 :
I just read through all the reviews and am surprised no-one mentioned 'The Beach' by Alex Garland. The start of the Crooked Beat starts as the same as The Beach and really it is like a hardcore version of Alex Garlands book.
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Review by: Chantelle Watson on Feb. 27, 2011 :
I read this entire book on one sitting during a train trip from Calcutta to Delhi. My ipad ran out of batteries and there was no where to recharge it until I got home(Delhi) I rank this book up with Shantaram.
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Review by: JANE on Feb. 27, 2011 :
HIGHLY ENJOYABLE READ
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Review by: Mark on Feb. 26, 2011 :
Irvine Welsh is my favourite writer and this book reminded me a lot of Trainspotting which isn't really that surprising seeing as the blurb says it is 'like Trainspotting set in the jungle.'
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Review by: Pru Ohallaran on Feb. 26, 2011 :
I used to live in Bangkok and I remember the Golden Supermarket! I live up North now in Chang Rai, but I have to agree with Drew Gates, the full moon parties in Koh Pangan completely wrecked it. Koh Tao is much better now, Pangan is just like bloody Phuket - leave it out!
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Review by: Jim Ainsley on Feb. 26, 2011 :
The curious thing about this book is that it really made me want to use the drug that he writes about. Not that I ever would - it's more a testament to his writing that I would consider using something that in my everyday life I would not even consider.
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Review by: Kandy M on Feb. 26, 2011 :
Reminds me a lot of Junky by William Burroughs - definitely has a modern day 'beat' feel to it
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Review by: Bev on Feb. 26, 2011 :
haha! I knew Drew when he was singing in a punk band in Toronto. Tried to buy his book at Pages in T.O. but it was always sold out. Glad to finally get a copy - thanks smashwords. loved the book, highly recommended
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Review by: Jono Walters on Feb. 26, 2011 :
The author of this book has a blog that I am a subscriber too, if you liked the book you should check it out at http://underneaththestairwell.com - don't know why he hasn't linked it to this site as it is damn funny
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Review by: Ricky Williams on Feb. 26, 2011 :
man this book has it all. disgusting, insane, horrifying and very well written.
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Review by: Jamie Kyle on Feb. 26, 2011 :
It has been a long time since I have read a book that I could not put down(having it on my mobile made it a bit more convenient) I couldn't wait to read what happened next, very skillful story teller
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Review by: Julian Williams on Feb. 24, 2011 :
One thing that I noticed with this book is that it mentions the Clash a lot. Even the title of the book is from a Clash song.
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Review by: Katie Gates on Feb. 24, 2011 :
This book really makes me want to travel to the places mentioned.
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Review by: charles Jobs on Feb. 24, 2011 :
Even better the second time I read it!
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Review by: PRU on Feb. 24, 2011 :
I have been a subscriber to Underneath the Stairwell for a while now and downloaded this book when it was first mentioned. Completely forgot about it and remembered it was on my phone yesterday. My wife is pissed off because I have spent the last two days of our holiday reading it in the hotel room.
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Review by: Charlie Gordon on Feb. 24, 2011 :
This book reminds me a lot of Irvine Welsh or Hunter S Thompson. At first I didn't like the ending though, now that I have had time to think about it I really like the ending. There is nothing worse when someone tries to moralise in a book and The Crooked Beat steered well clear of that.
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Review by: Peter Black on Feb. 24, 2011 :
5 Stars!!!1
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Review by: Wayne Banks on Feb. 24, 2011 :
I bought a copy of this book back in 08, lent it to a friend and never got it back. Stoked to find it online for free - don't know about that blog though!
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Review by: Carly Newton on Feb. 24, 2011 :
The blurb really didn't do this book justice - made me think it was a memoir or something. It is like a modern day On The Road though and very easy to read which is hard to pull off.
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Review by: Tony Little on Feb. 24, 2011 :
If you downloaded this book please rate it!
Thats what the author has on his website so I am here to rate it because I fucking loved it. Seriously well written with a pace that didn't let up.
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Review by: Crystal on Feb. 24, 2011 :
Really, really enjoyed this book. I think it would make a great movie too. Thanks for the free download.
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Review by: Jasmine Letts on Feb. 23, 2011 :
A bloody good book. I spent a bit of time in Goa/Anjuna and it really is like it is described in the book. No idea why this hasn't been written about before.
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Review by: Stu Graham on Feb. 23, 2011 :
I want to get hiiiiigh-igh!!!!
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Review by: Melissa Green on Feb. 23, 2011 :
I know you aren't supposed to, but I have already passed this file onto several of my friends
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Review by: George G on Feb. 23, 2011 :
THE AUSTRALIAN BUKOWSKI!!!!!!
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Review by: Stan Furtado on Feb. 23, 2011 :
I don't understand why this book wasn't published in Australia? He had to get it published in Canada - I dunno, this book is much better than any local stuff I have read in years.
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Review by: Jeffrey Murdoch on Feb. 23, 2011 :
Is this the same guy who does the blog? both are masterpieces of black humour.
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Review by: Julian Williams on Feb. 23, 2011 :
This book reminds me of Irvine Welshs' earlier books - Trainspotting, Marabou Stork Nightmares or Acid House - same sort of writing style/subject matter, although not written phonetically
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Review by: Lincoln Gillard on Feb. 23, 2011 :
haha yeah i was linked to book from that mental blog - the writer asked for people to rate the book which is the least I can do seeing as it was free
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Review by: Serena Jacobs on Feb. 23, 2011 :
this book was linked from a blog that I subscribe to. the blog is completely f#@$ed up just like this book is f%$#ed up! Both are written with intelligence and skill though.
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Review by: Julia French on Feb. 23, 2011 : (no rating)
I have been to a lot of the countries mentioned in the this book and can confirm that it is an authentic rendition of the parties and people that go to them. Koh Pangan really was ruined by the full moon parties - I haven't even bothered going there since 1995.
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Review by: Elise McDonald on Feb. 23, 2011 :
This book reminded me a lot of Hunter S Thompsons fiction or Charles Bukowski. Loved it!
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Review by: Stan Higgins on Feb. 21, 2011 :
i need a drink
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Review by: Katie Gates on Feb. 21, 2011 :
I followed a link off a blog that I assume is the authors - the blog is bloody insane! completely out there just like this book, but very refreshing at the same time.
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Review by: charles Jobs on Feb. 21, 2011 :
I read this once on my ipad and just read it again on my cell on the way to work. It had me laughing out loud on some parts which isn't the best when you are on a bus full of depressed salary slaves.
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Review by: Si Richie on Feb. 21, 2011 :
Oh man! I knew Drew years ago and heard he had written a book. Tried to get a hard copy but no luck. I knew it was going to be mad but I didn't expect it be so literary. Hope he is still alive somewhere.
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Review by: John Lydon on Feb. 21, 2011 :
funny as hell
horrifying in parts
written with skill
5 stars
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Review by: Rafa McClaren on Feb. 21, 2011 :
To be honest I don't know what to make of this book - it was so full on and crazy. Very well written though and I read it in a day which is unheard of for me - usually I take a week.
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Review by: Lisa Winter on Feb. 21, 2011 :
LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!
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Review by: Dave Malinga on Feb. 21, 2011 :
oops...here's my rating
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Review by: Dave Malinga on Feb. 21, 2011 : (no rating)
One of the best books I have ever read. Good job.
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Review by: Sophie West on Feb. 21, 2011 :
I couldn't put this book down - loved every minute of the ride!
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