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

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  667 ratings  ·  73 reviews
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 tracker Ray Mears was employed by the p
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Paperback, 224 pages
Published February 11th 2016 by Scribe UK
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  667 ratings  ·  73 reviews


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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 change
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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
Nigeyb
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
Lee
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Utterly brilliant. Chilling, deeply sad and occasionally inadvertently hilarious. Think of something like Chopper redone in Newcastle as a 'choose-your-own-adventure', with the choices already made by Raoul Moat as they happened in real time, and your chaotically violent fate long decided. As Louis Theroux suggests, it's a test of the limits of empathy for a deluded and ruined man whose every act (such as battering his girlfriend multiple times and gunning people down) is self-justified and twis ...more
Kimbofo
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.
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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
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Sarah
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic. I’m not sure how to even put into words how brilliant this was - it’s like Hankinson went inside Moat’s head and manages to put the reader in that position too. Unfathomably sad and intense, this is a book I won’t forget for a long time to come.
Kevin
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
Paul Dembina
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Extraordinarily good. I raced through this. Reminded me of Gordon Burn's superb book on Fred and Rosemary West - Happy Like Murderers
Joy
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
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رحاب
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.
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
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carissa
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Yesterday a young co-worker was reading In Cold Blood across the break table from me and I showed him mine...this book that made sleep impossible last night.

True crime from inside the mind of the true criminal.

"your whole body language should have told them you never hit a little kid. You were tried, convicted and crucified before you even got to court...so you wrote Jeremy Kyle and asked to go on there and do a lie detector test on TV...you are the most innocent bloke around, but your best was
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Kirsten
Apr 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommended to Kirsten by: Podcast Backlisted
Shelves: nonfiction, male
[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
Tom
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fascinating read, the author manages (as best as anyone can) to get inside someone else's head and display the hope and fears of someone who turned out to become a killer. I do think that this book does manage to humanise Moat without absolving him of guilt. A sad and possibly preventable story that makes you think about the fact that anyone could turn out like this given the circumstances of their life and upbringing.
Ugh
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
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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
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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
Lauryn
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, library, 2018
2018 thoughts:

a completely random find while I was sitting in the library before work so this should be interesting.

really gonna have to 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

2020 review, insp by the 10 year anniversary of this incident:

This truly is one of the greatest nonfiction books I've read. I think about it a lot, despite not owning a copy of the book and having only read it once 2 years ago.

It really forces
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Hayley
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
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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’
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Ross Maclean
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
An enthralling read that’s suspenseful in the way that it rattles towards its inevitable outcome. It is also insightful in its depiction of frustrating marginality against a system that crumbled under pressure. There’s tragedy not just in Moat’s actions but in a man who recognised his own failings but failed to follow through on addressing them. Hankinson’s use of second-person narration is a masterstroke of confrontational immersion that needles and challenges you to find sympathy for someone w ...more
Joanne Sheppard
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Although I review novels, I don't often post on my blog about the non-fiction I read. I'm making an exception for Andrew Hankinson's You Could Do Something Amazing With Your Life [You Are Raoul Moat] because, although it's effectively true crime, it reads like a brilliantly written novel.

The only difference is that this time, we all know how the story ends. Raoul Moat, after hospitalising his former partner Sam (who was also the mother of one of his children), murdering her new boyfriend Chris B
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Sally Larkin
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is such a difficult book to review and it made me feel very conflicted. There’s no doubt it is a gripping book written by an extremely talented and original writer, but it deals with an extremely difficult and controversial subject and the author walks such a fine line sometimes to be fair to all concerned that it clearly took a great deal of skill to do.

The book is written in the second person, the author refers to Moat as ‘You’ throughout which puts the reader in Moat’s mind and position.
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Harriet Furze
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
What would you do if you knew that in nine days you would have killed three people and then yourself?

Written from Raoul’s own recordings documenting his psychological state of mind, his correspondences and his actions, Hawkinson gives us access into the inner workings of Raoul Moat’s mind in the leading days to his death and the terrible murders he committed.

Whilst we can never know exactly the reasons why individuals can commit such crimes, this novel does go far in exploring that Moat is more
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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
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Hana
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was an easy and quick read.

The narration swaps from stream of consciousness from the perspective of Raoul Moat to the sharp voice of reason, the narrator. It's really insightful and gives a clear insight of this killers victim complex and narcissism. In his mind, nothing is his fault and his violent rampage was rational. I know the intricacies of this case quite well so could fill in the blanks - the whole book is told from Moats experiences making it almost claustrophobic in nature. As a
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Kendal Jones
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'll admit, if this book hadn't been a book club read for this month, I probably would have never picked 'You Could Do Something...' up (or even been aware of its existence).

As someone who has never dipped into the true crime genre, I didn't really know what to expect, although I'd guess that this book deviates from the traditional format.

YCDSA follows the last few days of Raoul Moat's life, an infamous killer from the north of England in the '00s. Hankinson's portrayal of Moat is layered and nu
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Amy
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'd really recommend this book to anyone interested in true crime. It is told in 2nd person narrative, unusual for this genre, but it works well and keeps the reader engaged.
This book didn't make me think differently about Raoul Moat, and I don't believe this was the author's aim either - but highlighted some topical issues around men and their sometimes unwillingness or inability to access mental health services, drug and steroid abuse, toxic masculinity, domestic violence and perceived victimi
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Hal
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An extremely good creative non-fiction work. There's a sense of smallness to the whole book, never leaving the same small area, a constant repetition of the same set of topics. The voice given to Moat is interesting partly for how predictable it is. I used to take phone calls for an emergency service, and the anger immediately followed by denial, and constant repetition of phrase or ideas is really recognisable from aggressive, almost always men, who would call. One small thread I found interest ...more
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