A Prayer before Dawn

Written by Billy Moore
Bamboo Sinfonia 2011

Reviewed by Sandra Gibson

You know that feeling you get when you’re watching a horror film? The hero and heroine end up at a spooky castle with a seriously unfriendly servant and a host who looks smoothly treacherous and somehow or other our naïve couple develop the irresistible urge to go to the dungeon and you’re there saying, “No…No!!” Well this is how I felt when I was reading Billy Moore’s A Prayer before Dawn. Billy didn’t say “No, no, no…” to rehab and by chapter three has come off the hard drugs. But what does he do next? He goes to Thailand. He goes to Thailand and ends up in quite a few dungeons, not least the one in his own mind. The brutality in his childhood is only touched upon; the solution to his problems: drugs, becomes the theme of his subsequent life.

This is a relentlessly active account of a Liverpool man’s experiences in Thailand’s underworld of kick-boxing, drug dealing and prison. It’s like having your head kicked in, ceaselessly, from every direction which is exactly what this man’s life was like. Surrounded by characters in various stages of self-delusion, he tells his story without any self pity, without any sentimentality, acknowledging that all the choices were his.

After a while you become punch-drunk with it all but I was left wondering what happened next, how Billy would become rehabilitated in the UK, how he would cope with the new choices open to him, so the story kept me engaged.

You don’t often come across someone who has met Sylvester Stallone and lived like Rambo.

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Sorry Comments Closed

Comment left by Lee Robinson on 18th July, 2012 at 0:30
The first time I met Billy Moore was in Liverpool prison over 10 years ago, he was in the neighbouring cell. The next time we met was in Bristol where we shared a "dry house" in our attempt to live life drug free. In active addiction you become someone your not and i'm glad to have had the chance to know the "real" Billy Moore whom not only has exeeded his own expectations but also those of his family and friends. A true reflection of "The Hero's Journey". A true, gritty and somewhat surreal story.

Comment left by Johnny hart on 26th February, 2013 at 20:29
I have had the pleasure to meet billy........remember......your armley block penpal ?? Well done fella for beating your demons

Comment left by Antony on 13th December, 2013 at 20:39
I was there in BKK prison with him (i'm Tony the fat italian guy with blue eyes that He'd mantioned in the book) and i can assure you that all He wrote down it's absolutly all true.

Comment left by Sandra Gibson on 14th March, 2014 at 16:22
Thank you, Lee, Johnny and Antony for reading and responding. It makes it all the more real.