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Last King of the Cross

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  341 ratings  ·  26 reviews
John Ibrahim's incredible life story told in his own words.

Last King of the Cross
lays bare Australia's most notorious underworld figure.

In the mongrel tongue of the streets, John writes of fleeing war-torn Tripoli with his family and growing up in Sydney's rough and tumble west - before establishing himself as a tough guy and teen delinquent, then a bouncer, enforcer a
Paperback, 374 pages
Published July 25th 2017 by Macmillan Australia
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4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  341 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pleasantly suprised.

Going in, i wasn't sure what id make of this book, having seen snippets over the years of John on the news, i thought the picture i had in my mind of what kind of personality he'd have would be reaffirmed, boy was i wrong, can honestly say i found it difficult to put this one down, it drags you in, especially because im familiar with so many of the locations he has referenced, i wish John all the best, he has certainly changed my opinion of him for the better.
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very interesting and insightful read. It's a great story about a young Lebanese kid from Western Sydney - single parent family, who worked hard and made something of himself. His methods might have been questionable at times, but he also reiterates throughout the book a message to young kids to make good decisions and not be caught up in the wrong crowd, gangs, drugs etc. He should start a new career in speaking to kids in high schools, he has the type of reputation that might get through to you ...more
Corey J
Jan 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Like the Ben Cousins book, it seems a bit self-serving and self-aggrandising. It paints Ibrahim as a loveable larrikin, if a bit of a bogan who at times glamourises violence. He seems to have had a rather lucky and unlucky life by measure - with events such as his would-be killer winding up shot in a stolen car; coupled with tragic suicides around him.

All up it is a decent tale of the old Kings Cross, and there's a good non-fiction book hiding there if you read between the lines.
Jan 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Good read and recommended for those who like true crime and underworld type genres. I did think John was a little contradictory in a few areas saying he hardly ever drank and didn’t do drugs and then in the second half he obviously drinks heaps and does a lot of drugs. Also thought he didn’t have much insight into what causes people to turn to gangs and violence - the marginalisation of non-Anglo Saxon people etc. All in all though it was a good read, especially to balance the sensationalism of ...more
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: listened
Apart from an excellent reader this had very little to offer. It appeared to be a day by day story of John IBRAHIM's life - in trouble from aged 11 - and all included the usual. The stealing, beatings, larceny, night clubs, money, girls, stand over men, guns, being on the end of beatings and guns, wayward family, nightclubs, drugs and of course the loving mother.
It was rather boring really; a man trying to justify a life of crime and violence and in between telling us how family was important an
Rhonda Fricker
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Peter Pan has left the building and is walking into a new theatre of adventure and challenge outside the rat race of entertainment and hospitality is that it?

Great read and very generous with details and reasons why! This is a fascinating story of one man's drive to succeed in a dog eat dog industry where only the strong and financially adept survive. This m an had a gift to attract followers and wealth and was able to build an empire by working in the trenches himself on the front lines of serv
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
John imbrahin starts off telling us no one would want his life then it seems tries to convince us otherwise. Autobiographies of criminals (I’m innocent - it’s a beat up!) are always caught up with their own sense of honour (I love my mum!). They’re such good guys deep down (I bash drink spiking rapists and just want people to have a good time). Only violent due to necessity (he started it!). This book is so contradictory (I never take drugs all drink alcohol except for when I get drunk, take pil ...more
Brooke Gould
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
this book had me laughing so much I had people staring at me in cafes!! I feel like it purposely was not edited correctly to reflect badly on the author. which is a shame. but the story itself. showed a wonderful insight into a world that was and how it lead into a world that now is.
it had funny moments. it had serious moments and even some romantic awe moments.
regardless of your personal opinion of the author. it definitely sends you into a time where people lived a completely different life
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've always been fascinated by the mystery and intrigue that surrounds John Ibrahim and his family, so was keen to read about it from the man himself. What a great read it was! John amongst other things, is a good writer! He set the scene of his life experiences so well that I felt that I was there living it alongside him! He has lived a life that is so different to mine, but I have nothing but respect for him. At the heart of it all, he is a loyal and hard working Australian who has been very s ...more
Chiro Pipashito T H
Sep 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
Absolutely rubbish. I expected from the memoir of a gangster an insight into how people get into this ind of business , how it affects their psyche and what are the long term consequences. But this is a book of Mr. Ibrahim's bragging- how he dealt with others while keeping his records clean. With 2 of his brothers in jail and most of his associates either murdered or incarcerated, this book really beggars belief. Ibrahim's self-aggrandizing is boring as hell.
Nov 15, 2018 rated it liked it
The book was much better then K thought it would be and the author came across as trying to be as honest about his life and himself as he could. There is a fair bit of gangster 'glamourising' but in the end he recognises it for what it is. I am glad too he referred to the past as the bad good old days because there is a tendency for people to reflect on the good old days a lot when it reality they were not always that good. A good read.
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A must read for anyone who has an interest in Kings Cross and Sydney's underworld. This book comes at a nostalgic time in Kings Cross's history in which it seems it is disappearing through poor government legislative choices and development decisions. Though this book is grammatically riddled with errors (shame on Pan Macmillan the publisher!) and has a few cringe moments, it is an enjoyable read and gives good insights into a world that exists only in the shadows of society.
Interesting story, which jumps around

From the mouth of one of Sydney's most colourful bar owners, this is a side of life that not many experience when out for a night in on the town. From backroom chats to turf tussles and trips abroad. An interesting story that jumps from one anecdote to another.
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A must read for people who take interest and have reasonable historic knowledge of Kings Cross and its notable figures. It is written with heart and raw emotion. I thoroughly enjoyed the puzzled relationship between John and Sam. The hilarious stories involving police, girlfriends and celebrities make it hard as a reader to put the book down too.
Manan Younas
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good read, interesting writing style.

Good interesting read, candid, narcissistic but eye opening! Regardless of the legitimacy of facts, writing style is very interesting which makes it a great read
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Overall an enjoyable read. A little slow and repetitive at some points though. The story tends to flip flop as well which makes it a little hard to follow such as the references to the Royal Commission.
Feiz Najmi
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Written from the heart and pulling no punches John shows us he isn't like the one sided character from Underbelly but many faceted. Strong yet vulnerable. Smart yet so dumb. He bares all in his version of events and because of this, you feel he is telling nothing but the truth.
Sep 04, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Poorly written, self agrandising, contains some interesting anecdotes about The Cross and Oxford street in their heydays.
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Found it hard to put down. Great read
Elisa Grant
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly interesting... particularly for anyone who partied in the X and Oxford St in the 90s/ 2000s
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great insight into a very different life
Nicole Hodges
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fascinating insight of decades in the Cross and the changing criminal environment only a king like John Ibrahim can give. Whatever you may think of his innocence or criminality.
David Thompson
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Not a bad book, I thought it would be a bit slow but it’s full of honesty.
Megan P
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have thoroughly enjoyed this book especially since I knew the X around the same time. Some very funny stories. I would love to work with John as I do like how he works (maybe not the violent side).
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Insightful in so many ways. This book provides insight into, the Cross, legislation, business, Australian history and the criminal underworld and leaves you wanting to know more!
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable read that was difficult to put down. It almost acts as a history book for The Cross spanning nearly two decades.

Frustratingly John sometimes barely scratches the surface of what could be some very juicy stories, for legal purposes he can't delve too far. I'd almost preferred he waited till a point that he could truly tell-all (if such a time ever occurs). I'd certainly be buying that book if it ever comes out.
Amanda Fraser
rated it it was amazing
Aug 10, 2017
Mary Davis
rated it liked it
Jan 02, 2019
Tim Hamill
rated it liked it
Apr 01, 2018
rated it really liked it
Nov 05, 2017
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“During this time I also start investing with the Sydney entrepreneur James Miller, the creator of Sumo Salad and one of those smart people that can see ahead of the curve.” 0 likes
“Now that I do have my own club, I’m working on improving every aspect.” 0 likes
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