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(Chopper (John Blake) #1)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  880 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Bullied at school and growing up dreaming of revenge, Mark "Chopper" Read determined to be the toughest in any company. He became a crime commando who terrorized drug dealers, pimps, thieves, and armed robbers on the streets and in jail—but boasts never to have hurt an innocent member of the public. His story is one of violence, betrayal by trusted friends, and murder. To ...more
Paperback, 282 pages
Published August 1st 2002 by John Blake (first published 1991)
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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 ·  880 ratings  ·  61 reviews

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Dec 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
“I’ve dug a few graves in my time. But I’ve never gone so far as to make a man dig his own. There’s no need to go that far - it would be plain bad manners” - Mark Brandon Read.

Have you read many autobiographical books that begin with the author being stuffed into a car trunk at gunpoint before being forced to dig their own grave? That’s the chilling beginning to Chopper, From the Inside, the story of Australian criminal turned celebrity, Mark Brandon Read, AKA Chopper.

You may have seen the
Jan 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have ever read!

I am a huge fan of the film and Eric Bana who played Chopper (Mark Read) and I had always planned to read the book.

I wish i had read it sooner.

His stories and secrets were just incredible.
Even down to how he got the nickname Chopper.

Its a life I just cant imagine.
The gansters he speaks of and the violence.

Full of great quotes and facts about the criminal underworld.

Best bit was when he said the hardest man he ever met was from Glasgow!!

Such a
Apr 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Good read. Funny, half-truthful, and very entertaining.
Apr 01, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After watching the Film so many times over the years I thought I might aswell check out the book.
Its a great read if you`ve seen the film and even if you havnt this book shows how much of a dramatisation the film really was. So expect a very different account on events...good and gritty :O
Its ashame with Chopper that there have been many speculations made as to which parts of his accounts are actually true, but with the character that Chopper Read is you gotta expect a little exaggeration,
Mark Brandon Read is a charming sociopath with enough stories of violence, underworld culture, and the bizarre to fill a hundred beer-soaked nights of telling, or as he's probably more used to, a hundred days of 23 hour lockdown. Unfortunately each chapter of his "story" exists on its own, none of them in chronological order, much less coming together to form a plot arch. And he insists on ending chapters with really bad poetry. Still, you grow to like him despite his obvious lack of formal ...more
Jan 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Australia's modern day Ned Kelly (seriously, we love this guy) recounts some of his colourful history. People (police even) argue that ol' Chop-Chop's retelling of certain facts are far from factual. But as many Melbournian's will tell you, I know a guy who knows a guy who...

Well, that's a story for another day.
David Nathan
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was my holiday reading for a trip around Kyushu and in Taiwan, and I found it curiously enjoyable to read. Chopper was no Shakespeare but there's some nice turn of phrase and his story is as entertaining as it is both revealing and repulsive. While much of it could be regarded as self-justification for the binge of violence that was most of his adult life, he remains sufficiently restrained on self congratulation. Indeed I felt I learnt an interesting lesson, comparing the way he ...more
Josh Parr
An entertaining, but ultimately vapid affair.

“What you won’t have heard...”
“But I can’t say anything more about that...”
“You can’t fool Chopper Read...”

Expect to hear versions of these three lines make up the bulk of this tedious and narcissistic pulp novel. What minor thrills may lie within fall victim to a queasy, confused narrative; not dissimilar to humouring the ramblings of a drunken uncle at a disappointing family gathering. The novelty of the Chopper Read persona wears increasingly thin;
Jan 08, 2020 rated it liked it
If you can somehow appreciate mindless violence and benighted social circles, then Chopper is at least entertaining.

The book is full of hyperbolic bravado and rhetoric - its saving grace being that Chopper would never claim to be a saint or to be a moral compass for anyone. It was just his way.

However, his sentiments towards friends and family, and even respected enemies does resonate as truly human and offers a slight edge to the otherwise psychotic protagonist.

Without spoiling too much, the
Jessica  Micallef
This was like no other crime biography I have ever read. Normally I feel somewhat anxious about hearing the finer details of crimes. However, despite discussing some truly horrifying events, Choppers witty one liners and descriptions of underworld figures make this book a real laugh. It has a very conversational tone about it, as if he is sitting there with you having a yarn. I will definitely be reading more of his books!
Hannah Green
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Need to read the series. Was an interesting book with some slight humour.
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Chopper knows how to spin a good yarn. A surprisingly fun easy read.
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Cody Steele
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Chopper spent plenty of time in the clink, most of his time in fact. In the foreword, it states that Chopper only spent 13 months outside of a prison between the ages of 20 and 38, 94% of the time he was stuck in jail during what you'd think would be the prime of his criminal career. In the end, he died of natural causes which I guess is like the ultimate victory for a life long criminal...

For another 300 words on the book, checkout:

Cody Steele
John Dizon
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a follow-up of sorts to my tribute to Mark "Chopper" Read back on October 9th, 2013. I ordered his autobiography (which got put on my enormous back burner), and here's the review at long last. I was fascinated to find what Chopper and I had in common. He is two days older than me, owned a .44 Ruger Super Black Hawk single-action Magnum, was a published author and claimed to be absolutely fearless. Fortunately for me, that's where the similarities end.

Most of Chopper's book is
Alex Buchinsky
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of the most interesting characters to ever write a book. I suppose there is a good chance he worked with ghostwriter but either way this book is very entertaining.
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
I Read this book after being intregued by the film. As always a lot more happening in the book. Mark Brandon Read has not only become one of Australia's most feared underground figures, but also an infamous worldwide 'celebrity'. I loved both the book and the film and also begrudgedly admire 'chopper' himself for the openess and honesty of his colourful background. He doesn't pull any punches when he talkes about the gory events that he has participated in, such as, cutting off toes with ...more
Sep 03, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiography
Having rewatched the film recently, I thought it was about time that I picked up one of Mark Brandon "Chopper" Read's books. This is the first of ten (so far) and I don't think I'll get too much further.

The concept of this first book is really an introduction to the life and (jail) time of Chopper Read. Unfortunately, there's little detail and no real indication of where, when and how each event mentioned occurs. It reads like a who's who of Australian Crime but, since I'm not an Australian and
Nov 25, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I honestly don't know how to describe this book. I've worked with some pretty hardened and dangerous criminals within my capacity of Pagan prison minister, but none of them have come across *quite* as "bigging up on themselves" as this Mark "Chopper" Read.

The guy thinks he's superman or some sort of avenging angel akin to "Dexter" but with a far more skewed moral compass. Maybe it's an Aussie thing. I don't know. But I finished the book thinking "What a plonker!" basically.

It was also poorly
Beau Johnston
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
I really enjoyed this book. I remember seeing the occasional story about him on the news when I was a kid, and my parents saying "Imagine running into him in a dark alley". Parents say the nicest things to their kids at bedtime.

As an adult, I couldn't begin to imagine how his victims would have felt when they opened their front door and found Chopper standing there.

Story-telling is an art-form, and I have to say that Chopper has mastered it.
Ainsley Thrasher
Jun 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Mister Reed obviously isn't a professional writer, but his book gives you the impression he's sitting across the room from you shooting the shit with you. His stories from his life are interesting and sometimes unbelievable. Often he gets repetitive, but it's not so bothersome it ruins the book. The series has over 8 books in it now I believe. I don't know if I could read them all but I do have the first 3. I started buying them for my boyfriend and got into it myself.
Mar 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Australian non-fiction, crime
Recommended to Lanier by: Sasha W.
The follow-up to Read's Best Selling first installation to Chopper's true life of crime. Some consider him a vigilante, most know his stories are partially embellished, but either way, he knows where the bodies (or their parts) are buried and he never denied the really gruesome acts of leveling the playing field.

Quick, easy reading and, at times, he realizes he's gained an audience and can be a bit self-promoting. Funny, horrifying and a bit of the Keystone-Cops Down Under.
Lollipop Lollipop
May 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Autobiographies..
Having seen the film, I was not that impressed.
Reading the book, as normal with most life stories, it was far better than the film. I would reccommend this book to whoever has seen the film, because it is far more involved...and quite a lot more personal, with regard too Mark Brandon Read's opinions and feelings, of some of the times he spent incarserated, and of his so called Friends.
Well written and easy to read, a very good read..
Mar 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Australian non-fiction, crime
Recommended to Lanier by: Sasha W.
Aussie loose canon on a killing and maiming spree like no other. Chopper Read has an ingratiating way recounting his dirty deeds, even with the cops and those guarding him in prison. Not the most well-written novels, however he makes you laugh while he and the world wonders how he could've evaded incarceration for so long.

Jun 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Only brilliant because if you saw the movie- the real Chopper writes how he speaks- a cadence Bana totally nailed- all crazy and repetitious with a few big words and cliches thrown in. You can't not love him. Read has a million stories, most of them dubious, but who cares?! This guy is hilarious, though he can get a bit tedious at times.
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
What a delightful book. Equal parts bizarre, tantalizing, outrageous, and hilarious, not to mention more than a bit insightful into the criminal mind. It helps that Australian history is a fascinating subject to learn, and Chopper's story is no less part of the big picture. This is what Chris Moltisanti wishes he wrote.
Chopper has interesting stories as someone who has spent the better part of his life in jail, however his writing and education lack terribly as he repeats his points and dribbles on trying to explain what he means with lack of detail. Chopper is a good poet and can do poetry on the spot he may have been a good free style rapper. Anyhow to sum it up good insight, lousy writing!!
Alan Galli
Apr 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Currently reading this and having much fun doing so and all the time engrossed in what the next page entales, Chopper seems a good guy with a wity head and mouth to him as well as his very violent and threatening demeanour, once finished this will swiftly move on to the sequal and others, will reccomend this to any reader of true crime books.
Ed Pope
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a great read and an interesting insight into Chopper's background. Chopper says "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story", so you're never sure how much he adds to the story to make it interesting. Either way it is a great read for anyone who likes Australian crime stories.
Apr 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Getting into the warped mind of 'chopper' was interesting. He puts his dark humour into his real life criminal antics and grabs hold of you from the off! His brutal honasty and sarcasm had me from start to finish!
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Chopper 1 5 May 18, 2008 01:29AM  

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Mark Brandon "Chopper" Read is an Australian ex-criminal who wrote a series of semi-autobiographical and fictional crime novels.
--from wikipedia

Other books in the series

Chopper (John Blake) (10 books)
  • Chopper 2: How to Kill Friends and Influence People
  • Chopper 3: Hell Hath No Fury Like a Mate Shot in the Arse
  • Chopper 4: Happiness is a Warm Gun
  • Chopper 5: Don't Go Breaking My Legs
  • Chopper 6: A Bullet in Time Saves Nine
  • Chopper 7: Empire of the Gun
  • Chopper 8: A Bullet in the Head is Worth Two in the Chamber
  • Chopper 9: Some Don't Like it Hot
  • Chopper 10: A Fool and His Toes are Soon Parted
“Referring to another crim he knew. "Tiger...I used to tell him he should use some of his money on plastic surgery and a face lift because he is dog ugly. He had a head like a robber's dog.” 4 likes
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