On Saturday, 5 September, former gangster turned inspirational speaker John Pridmore will be at Books & Books for a discussion and signing of his latest book, Gangster’s Guide to God.
‘I was born in the East End of London. At the age of 10, my parents got divorced and I made an unconscious decision not to love anymore,’ said Mr. Pridmore. ‘At the age of 13 I had started stealing. By 15 I was put in a detention centre (a youth prison). I left home having been released. My only qualification was stealing, so that’s what I did.’
Mr. Pridmore found himself in prison again at the age of 19 because, as he said, ‘the way I dealt with my pain was with anger. I was always fighting.’
They put Mr. Pridmore on 23-hour solitary confinement as a punishment while in prison, but he emerged from confinement bitter, and even angrier than before.
‘I liked fighting so I thought I might as well get paid for it,’ said Mr. Pridmore. ‘I met some guys who seemed to have everything and I started to work for them. These were the guys who ran most of the organised crime in London. To my shame I was involved in massive drug deals, protection rackets and vicious crime of all sorts.’
Mr. Pridmore had what he had been after: money, power, girls and drugs. However, he felt that something was still missing.
‘[I]n 1991 I had a dramatic life-changing experience after thinking I’d killed a man outside a central London pub,’ he said. ‘I knew I had to change my life … I now work full-time for God. No one pays me. I live completely off his providence, telling my story all over the earth.’
In his new book, Gangster’s Guide to God, Mr. Pridmore reveals the secrets to encountering God and finding meaning in life.
Once a vicious and dangerous gangster, Mr. Pridmore left his former life on a quest for truth and found it in God. In Gangster’s Guide to God, he talks about the reality of the criminal underworld and the journey to his new life. The result is a kaleidoscope of hope, and a take on what it means to be a Christian in the 21st Century.