A follow-up to the bestselling A Prayer Before Dawn about Billy's imprisonment in Klong Prem prison, the 'Bangkok Hilton', which details his life in and out of prison here in the UK, his battles against addiction and his path to redemption.
'This time I am telling the story of my life both before prison in Thailand and what followed once I was back in the United Kingdom, my cancer diagnosis, more prison time and, finally, redemption. I am trying to understand aspects of my childhood that had a role in my eventual downward spiral into addiction, pain, misery and loss'
Billy Moore spent three years in Klong Prem prison in Thailand, popularly known as the 'Bangkok Hilton', where he witnessed acts of extreme violence and sexual assault. Eventually he found purpose through taking part in Muay Thai boxing tournaments in jail. Here, he found 'a wall of human community' amongst the elite boxers and regained his sobriety.
He was granted early release by the King of Thailand having excelled as a Muay Thai boxer in inter-prison tournaments. But back in the UK and a decade later - with his demons resurfacing - Billy's past caught up with him. He was caught and convicted of a bizarre burglary, carried out in his underpants while high, and was despatched to HMP Walton under then home secretary Theresa May's three-strikes rule. Billy has spent almost twenty-two years in various prisons, but since then, he has not only survived cancer, but also gone on to become a powerful advocate of boxing and anti-knife crime initiatives in the Liverpool area, training young boxers.
A Prayer Before Dawn was made into a film directed by Jean-Stephane Sauvaire and starring Joe Cole, of Peaky Blinders' fame. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017, but by the time it went on general release, Billy was back in prison in the UK.
In this follow-up to Billy's first international bestseller, an autobiography set largely in Thailand's infamous prison system, Billy sets out to explore his experience of childhood abuse that would lead to a life of drug addiction and near-constant incarceration. After Billy's sentence in Klong Prem prison was commuted as a result of his extraordinary success as a Muay Thai boxer, he returned to the UK.
In this vividly told story, Liverpudlian Billy contrasts his first-hand experience of one of the cruellest prison systems in the world with his experience of UK prisons. The result is, in part, a shocking expose of the inadequacy of care and the lack of humanity in British prisons. But Billy's story is mainly one of rehabilitation, recovery and redemption. Rich in detail, honesty and humour, his book is a fast-paced, unputdownable read which shows how the human spirit can endure and eventually thrive.
Praise for A Prayer Before Dawn:
A relentlessly active account of a Liverpool man's experiences in Thailand's underworld of kick-boxing, drug dealing and prison. It's like having your head kicked in, ceaselessly, from every direction, which is exactly what this man's life was like. Surrounded by characters in various stages of self-delusion, he tells his story without any self pity, without any sentimentality, acknowledging that all the choices were his. . . . You don't often come across someone who has met Sylvester Stallone and lived like Rambo. - Nerve
Praise for A Prayer Before Dawn:
Much more than just another sorry tale of misdirection or a series of bad decisions in a foreign land, A Prayer Before Dawn [has] heartfelt elements of self-betterment, vulnerability, and moments of strength that gave his character depth and a believable connection with the reader. - JetLi.com