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  • Public Enemies

  • By: Mark Dapin
  • Narrated by: Henry Nixon
  • Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)

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Public Enemies

By: Mark Dapin
Narrated by: Henry Nixon
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Publisher's Summary

The gripping and revealing inside story of Australia's most notorious armed robbers.

In the Australia of the 1960s, '70s and '80s, armed robbers were the top of the criminal food chain. Their dash and violence were celebrated, and men like Ray Denning and Russell 'Mad Dog' Cox were household names long before Underbelly established Melbourne's gangland thugs as celebrities.

Both were handsome, charismatic bandits who refused to bow to authority. Both were classified as 'intractable' in prison, and both escaped. Cox was the only man to escape from Katingal, Australia's only 'escape-proof' jail. Soon after he broke out, he tried to break in again and rescue his mates.

Their story is one of violence (both men killed at least once) and romance (both men had lovers on the run - Denning had many girlfriends; Cox married into a Painters & Dockers gangster family); and humour: Cox, whose real name was the distinctive Melville Schnitzerling, lived on the run under the noses of the police in Schnitznerling Road, Warwick - a street named after his great-grandfather.

It is also a story of the unimaginably horrible life of boys condemned to 'institutions' in the 1960s, and the terrible conditions in Australian jails in the '70s and '80s. These were the hells where a whole generation of armed robbers was forged.

The final ending is both a tragedy and a redemption of sorts, as Denning betrays Cox and dies - not by the gun, but by the needle, and Cox becomes a model prisoner and, against all expectations, wins early release.

Mark Dapin brings his brilliant research skills and distinctive, powerful narrative style to a book that explores the life of these two men and the criminal world they inhabited. From armed robberies, shootings and bashings to prison barbarity and jail breaks, this is a pause-resisting, gritty story for fans of everything from Chopper's memoirs to the Underbelly series.

©2020 Mark Dapin (P)2020 W. F. Howes

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

All over the show, with a few laughs

Really hard to follow this book. It bounces all over the show, so many characters come in and out of scene scenes. You will struggle to make sense of who is who. Very little character description, so hard to visualize the characters in the book. A few funny moments and phrasing that made me chuckle. Overall I probably wouldn't recommend. Not one of the best books I Have listened to.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

It’s not a story book. But that wasn’t what I was expecting. I like fact and history. A good reminder of the fact that our society can and does make criminals. That doesn’t excuse the crimes that people commit, but if you add up the numbers of criminals who were subject to ugly and cruel boys homes; it sure does explain it.

The banality of evil comes
To mind. And I’m talking about police and corrections officers not the criminals.

Those of us who were not subject to that evil should be grateful.

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In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.