Caught up in the social deprivation of Scotland in the Seventies, a young boxer leaves behind the violence, prison, drug addiction, deprivation and lack of opportunities and heads to London. It soon becomes apparent that the social stigma of being a working-class Scot in London is almost as limiting as the environment he has just tried to escape from. To quote from the book, "The only advantage of being Scottish in London is that the police don't know I'm black 'till I open my mouth". Our young protagonist decides to seek his fortune in Asia but soon finds himself in the wrong sort of company. After a brief spell teaching English in Japan he falls in with some heroin smugglers and begins a downward spiral working as a heroin mule. A chance meeting with some Buddhist monks on a remote island in Thailand restores his faith in humanity and brings a brief respite from the madness which has become his life. The grip of addiction proves to be too overpowering and he finds himself pulled back to life he knew before...which is not without consequences. A thirty-seven year prison sentence in Thailand's notorious Bang Kwan prison (the Big Tiger), gives him plenty of food for thought.
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