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You Could Do Something Amazing with Your Life [You Are Raoul Moat]
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You Could Do Something Amazing with Your Life [You Are Raoul Moat]

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  409 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Winner of a Northern Writers Award

These are the last days of Raoul Moat.

Moat was the fugitive Geordie bodybuilder-mechanic who became notorious one hot July week when, after killing his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend, shooting her in the stomach, and blinding a policeman, he disappeared into the woods of Northumberland, evading discovery for seven days – even after TV track
Paperback, 224 pages
Published February 11th 2016 by Scribe UK
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Sam Quixote
Aug 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
In the early hours of 3 July 2010 near Newcastle, Raoul Moat, a 37-year-old bodybuilder/mechanic, recently released from prison, shot his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend with a sawn-off shotgun before going on the run; his ex would survive but the boyfriend died. Moat would go on to shoot a police officer (who survived but was permanently blinded – unable to cope with his disability, he committed suicide two years later) before being cornered by police after six days and killed himself with a sh ...more
Samuel Bigglesworth
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
How is this book not more famous than it is?

I stumbled across it in a bookshop and picked it up on a whim, and I can honestly say it is one of the best books I've ever read.

There are a number of literary devices in this book.

Each are used as they should be. For a reason and to good effect.

The first is experimentation with voice. You are addressed as if you are Roaul Moat, and as if you are performing the actions which he is (also known as second person). This puts you into his mind. This changes
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
In the early hours of 3 July 2010 near Newcastle, Raoul Moat, a 37 year-old bodybuilder, recently released from prison, shot his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend with a sawn-off shotgun before going on the run; his ex would survive but the boyfriend died. Moat would go on to shoot PC Rathband, a police officer (who survived but was permanently blinded – unable to cope with his disability, he committed suicide two years later). On the run for seven days, Moat camped out in the woods of Northumberl ...more
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-reviews
This true crime book provides a rare glimpse inside a killer’s head. It is a masterpiece of journalistic research, curation and editing.

To read my review in full, please visit my blog.
Mary Adeson
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'll be honest when I set out reading this book, I had already deemed Raoul to be a monster. I wasn't at all interested in exploring the mind of a killer, as I felt his actions were inexcusable. But it's my book group read for this month, therefore I gave it a try.

Hankinson has successfully demonstrated that behind a killer there is a victim, desperate to be loved and helped by anyone who is prepared to take the time to listen.

Raoul's story really saddens me, as it's a situation which was easil
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
The story of Raoul Moat was odd to say the least, in a fairly quiet summer the media had little to cover really, so a gunman on the loose quickly became the main topic. It also became one of those stories that seemed to spin out of control, with Gazza and Ray Mears both becoming unexpectedly involved (even if it did seem beyond belief). Which is probably why the title made me do something of a double take - it's certainly eye catching and probably not the kind of thing you really expect to see p ...more
Scribe Publications
Immersing the reader in Moat's self-justifications, You Could Do Something Amazing With Your Life [You Are Raoul Moat] is both an experiment in empathy and an exploration of the limits of empathy – holding the reader hostage in the echo chamber of an angry and confused man’s head.
Louis Theroux

Brilliantly written … Smart literary non fiction.
Jon Ronson, Author of The Psychopath Test

The media love the idea that a killer’s mind is somehow “impenetrable”, because it gives them carte blanche to fill
Apr 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommended to Kirsten by: Podcast Backlisted
Shelves: nonfiction
[2016] The choice to tell Raoul Moat's story in the second person, so it's like the author is talking to Raoul, really worked for me. The author states in the author's note that his aim was, "to stay within Raoul Moat's mind," so it makes sense that he only tells us things that Raoul Moat would have known. This necessarily means that there things missing (e.g. the details of the manhunt, how extensive it was, how they found Moat, etc.), and yet the story still feels complete in and of itself. Wi ...more
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Claustrophobic to say the least! The use of the second person POV was spot on. I felt trapped in the mind of Moat, eavesdropping on his agitation, frenzy, and obsessions. Seeing the world from his outlook makes you realize how our societies can unhinge and crush fragile people. It’s simple to demonize a killer but this book shows you Moat’s world view, his logic (or lack of), his heartbreaking loneliness and the insatiable need to be loved.
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
A second-person present-tense (mostly) account of the last eight days of Raoul Moat, who in 2010 murdered the boyfriend of his ex-girlfriend, shot his ex-girlfriend and then went on the run before killing himself, and while on the run shot in the head a police officer who subsequently also killed himself.

So a strange book, then. Hankinson's reason for using the second-person present tense wasn't entirely clear. The only other books I've read in that tense are those adventure gamebooks for kids t
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I can remember how disgusted I was with the media circus that surrounded Raoul Moat at the time he was on the run from the police and it was only because an increasing number of friends were reading this book that I picked it up, otherwise I wouldn't have. I dislike the glorification of something so sinister.

This book takes an interesting stance though - addressing you as Moat you start to sense what things might have been like in his shoes without compromising the fact that he was a selfish mi
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, 2018
a completely random find while I was sitting in the library before work so this should be interesting

really gotta stop reading such intense books in such a short space of time and I NEED TO STOP STAYING UP TIL 3.30 TO READ BOOKS TOO
Brian Hamilton
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Hankinson has written a book which, by dint of its first person narrative and 'found document' essays, draws you in and never lets go.

The techniques employed here test the limits of empathy then draw you beyond, as the book progresses and Moat (vs. the world) draws inevitably towards his end game Hankinson drops in parenthetically clipped phrases which, without fanfare, draw a spotlight onto Moat's incredibly skewed view of events around him and the controlling impulses of those he interacts wit
Martin Rowe
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a strange, interesting, and uncategorizable book! It's not a work of fiction, since it sticks closely to what is known about Moat. It's not a biography, since much of the book is from Moat's often self-protective and unreliable perspective. Yet it's not an autobiography or plain reportage, either. It's more artful than a transcript of the last few days of a man's life, and it's rawer than something like "In Cold Blood," because this book allows for Moat's repetitious, monomaniacal, self-reg ...more
Jamie Homer
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a very unique take on a true crime novel - for me at least. I really enjoyed it, if that’s the right phrase to be using. I remember the events well, being broadcast live on tv as the manhunt happened. I remember thinking it was a tragic loss of life on all counts as well.

I had read reviews that said the book dragged in the middle. I don’t feel that was the case. I felt it became garbled and repetitive in the middle. Which given that this was an attempt to put the reader into Raoul Moat’
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is unlike any book I’ve ever read. It’s uncomfortable and compelling and the author’s choice to write in the 2nd person of a killer is bold. It’s like being in the guy’s head as he rationalizes all of his actions. You see things from only his point of view and nothing else (the exceptions being comments on things he claimed, like being harassed by police and arrested over 100 times in a year, with comments that he was arrested 12 times in a ten year period).

When I was done reading, I thoug
Beth Harris
Okay, this was okay to read so I’ve given it 3 stars. At first I thought the style of how the book was written was ridiculous, I thought in my mind that writing as if the reader is the bad person was stupid and very risky. All it takes is one idiot to read it and then want to reenact the whole scenario but it was very informative using audio recordings and written logs that Moat had written whilst on the run.

I do NOT believe in giving glory to this man. I don’t think he’s a man, I don’t like him
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
'It upsets you, and it's happened for years, but nobody ever tried to help you with it. Nobody ever turned around and said, look, Raoul, you've got this problem.'

the ever fascinating, unending question since the birth of criminal profiling of what made a monster. is it an innate thing, existing in one's persona or is it the system, the environment or the (lack of) upbringing that turn one into monstrosity?

to live in his head space, in Raoul Moat's for eight days before his death was at times inf
Amy Westgarth
Dec 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I really liked the concept of telling the story as if the reader IS Raoul Moat. Actually being him and saying what YOU did rather than what HE did. That was really interesting and did help show his motivations.

Where it fell apart a bit is that where events aren't known e.g. what exactly was said during the stand-off, this was left blank or as 'you answer him'. I know this was in an effort to portray only the true facts, but it would have made a better read if something probable had been put in
Bert Zee
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it
I started this book thinking it was a true crime book, I was wrong, it takes a recent crime and turns it into a strange but interesting novel of the events...

It's almost like a stream of consciousness in the main characters head, it's told in a rather odd way that at first I found quite bizarre and unenjoyable to read but by the end I actually liked the style. I think if I'd known more about the case and guy it's based on I'd have gotten more out of it but as it is I liked it for what it was, no
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really, really good. I can't imagine how it was to write this, can't imagine the research and headspace.

I feel as if maybe I was fortunate in that I had never actually heard of Raoul Moat, giving me an objective outlook on the whole 'experiment in empathy' thang.

A solid 4.0 for ambition and execution.
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a true crime story, of a sort. It's the story of the last week in the life of Raoul Moat, the British murderer whose manhunt was a media sensation in 2010. It's told mostly in the second person, a style choice I thought would be irritating, but instead found very effective. Overall: compelling and unsettling.
Oct 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Whipped out a bookmark for 'You Could Do Something Amazing With Your Life [You Are Raoul Moat]' and wound up not even needing it.

Pretty powerful reading about a man who was flatly labelled as a callous murderer undeserving of sympathy. It might change your mind, ever so slightly.
Emily Hutchinson
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
With an interest in true crime this looked fascinating and I wasn't disappointed. This was something totally different from other true crime books and I really enjoyed it. I spent most of the book thinking ' this is a bit odd' but I thoroughly enjoyed the unusual approach.
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nightmarishly empathetic, reserving judgement except for the drowning tide of guilt Moat has trouble treading by the end, the kind that allows for less and less punctuation, until it comes to a full stop -

god, this book is sad.
Benjamin Farr
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
What an incredible book. Absolutely captivating! Unlike anything I have ever read before.
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
This book is about the last days of the killer Raoul Moat and is written in quite a unique way; told as if YOU are the infamous murderer.

Back in 2010 Raoul Moat was released from prison and proceeded to go on a rampage, attempting to kill his ex girlfriend, shooting dead her new boyfriend and also blinding a police officer by shooting him at point blank range. He than managed to go on the run for a number of days, camping out in the forest with the help of some friends.

This book provides an inte
I wasn't entirely sure why I picked this book up. I had no interest in Raoul Moat, and found the glorification of his police-hating crimes to be distasteful, and yet this book piqued my curiosity.
It is well researched true crime, using a lot of first hand accounts and documented evidence which reminded me of 'I'm Jack' (which I read a few months back)
I thought the use of 2nd person was cleverly done and the additional commentary was appropriate. While Moat is still not a sympathetic character,
Ceinwen Haydon
May 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have just finished this remarkable book. The second person narrator voice works beautifully. The author successfully walks a tightrope between creating an understanding of Raoul Moat without making any excuses for his violent assaults and the appalling effects that these had on his victims. He is highly reminiscent of men that I encountered when I worked as a probation officer in HMP Long Lartin and a CJ social worker in HMP Saughton (Edinburgh), and later as an ASW/AMHP in psychiatric emerge ...more
Peter Gasston
May 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook, non-fiction
A phenomenal piece of true crime writing that tries to make the reader understand the context of Raoul Moat’s final days by putting you into his thoughts, in a second-person account. It works horribly well. At times you start to feel pity for Moat, until the editorial voice interrupts and points out the contradictions in his own account, and reminds you of his violent actions in the past.

I would put this up there with the writing of Gordon Burn in books such as Happy Like Murderers in not only
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