El Dorado?  No!  Heathrow Airport  By:  Tony LevyEl Dorado? No! Heathrow Airport by Tony Levy
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on November 20, 2017
Pages: 378
Goodreads
four-stars

Former Security Guard, Tony Levy reveals the shocking truth of life inside one of Britain's busiest airports. He exposes the pressures faced by its 76,000+ staff, the traits of pampered celebrities as they pass through the terminals, and the weird, wonderful, and sometimes shocking behaviour of other passengers. Tony delivers his unique portrayal in a sometimes comedic manner, and it was this humour that relieved the intensity of life inside Heathrow's bustling terminals.

 

 

 

 

 

El Dorado?  No!  Heathrow Airport

By:  Tony Levy

 

Do you have any unusual fears of phobias?  Something which really does not make a whole lot of sense, but scares you anyways?  Well, you are not alone!  Most of us have an odd fear which can make us very apprehensive and produce a high level of uncomfortable anxiety.  For me personally, it is when I have to go through airport security.  As soon as I see those gates and x-ray machines my pulse starts to quicken and heart begins to race.  Sweat beads up on my forehead and my palms grow clammy.  Considering I have absolutely nothing to hide, I would classify this as an unreasonable fear.  With this in mind, my interest was piqued when I saw a book by author Tony Levy entitled El Dorado?  No!  Heathrow Airport.  For those looking to discover what really happens behind the scenes of one of the world’s busiest airports…this may be the eye opener you have been looking for!

El Dorado?  No!  Heathrow Airport is a non-fiction book which explores the author’s real-life experiences while working at Heathrow Airport.  He essentially splits the book up into three different sections: 1) Passengers 2) Security Officers 3) Management.  Each section is filled with real and often hilarious anecdotes from his time working as a security officer at Heathrow Airport.  While his stories reveal many ridiculous antics by passengers, they also expose some worrisome practices by staff and management.  From the severe pressure which is put upon security officers, to the blatant nepotism and numerous “shortcuts” which could occur depending upon the individual who may be in charge at any particular time.  While Tony himself states that the vast majority of staff were excellent and would do anything to ensure passenger safety…it does still fill the reader with trepidation.  Be that as it may, the stories are quite entertaining and make it difficult to put the book down as one is always wondering what will happen in the next short tale!  My favorite recount was probably the “Lorrie Wheels.”  I can actually formulate a picture of this encounter in my mind-and it is pretty funny!

You can get a pretty good sense about the author by reading his book.  He seems to be a very diligent and no-nonsense type of individual.  When working for the public service those character traits can often run someone afoul with others…particularly management.   There is no shortage of these “struggle with management” type of episodes contained within the book.  I certainly understand why Mr. Levy included this material.  You cannot give a proper “behind the scenes” look into something unless you cover it entirely.  Warts and all!  Nevertheless, I personally preferred the amusing and often wacky passenger anecdotes as opposed to the more serious side of the book.  That I realize is just a personal preference however.

There were two issues that did present themselves as minor problems in the book.  First of all, there were some errors which should have been discovered and corrected at the editing stage.  There were not many, but mistakes tend to impede the flow of any book which is written.  Secondly, the book can be somewhat repetitive in parts. I do believe this is due to the obvious thorough nature of the author.  He seems to want to totally ensure that the audience understands his points, and in so doing will repeat himself in places.  Nevertheless, neither of these issues significantly impacted the total enjoyment I had while reading this book.

For non-fiction lovers who are eager to get a behind the scenes look at what really happens at a busy airport, El Dorado? No! Heathrow Airport is a must read.  I would absolutely recommend this book to adult readers.  I believe adults of any age would find it to be quite enjoyable and informative.

4 out of 5 Flying Stars for this one!  ****

Buy Your Copy Here!

About the Author:

I am a 66 year old former Prison Officer who was born in Tottenham North London back in 1951 After a failed first marriage I am now happily married to my wife of 25 years and my best friend Jacinta and since we both took early retirement we live in the sunny Costa Blanca Spain, where I am currently writing my third and fourth books and it was the place where I found the time to write El Dorado? No! Heathrow Airport

I have always been interested in literature and reading books is one of my favourite ways to pass the time with a glass of Vino here in Spain.

But me become a writer? You’ve got to be joking yet here I am now writing about my life. Weird or what?

Why did I become a writer? It’s a bloody good question and I’m not sure I can really answer it.

I won a writing competition for my local newspaper when I was 15 years old but that not really writing is it?

Then again when I was 40 I won another writing competition about why I wanted to run the London Marathon and my reward for winning the competition was to have to run the London Marathon, people would say I often open my mouth before thinking of the consequences but on this occasion I opened my mind and wrote.

Contained in my first book A Turnkey or Not? is a chapter all about my running the London Marathon so I won’t reveal the pains I went through running it but suffice to say Simon Pegg in his film Run Fatboy Run captures the pain of running a marathon too well.

So why did I become a writer?

To be honest it was none of those things above, I think there is a book within every one of us but its finding that motivation, mine well mine was a TV program that depicted prison staff as thugs and villains and brought the whole profession into an unbelievable world of disrepute.

At the time I was a Principal Officer in the UK prison service and was so enraged at the programs portrayal of how UK prison staff behaved that I was still raging the next morning at work, when one of my staff who had previously suffered many yarns about what really goes on in a prison from myself and other old timers in the service (I was in my early fifties but had seen over 20years service and was regarded as an old timer buy then), said

‘Tony you really should write a book about your experiences and tell the public what really goes on within the enclosed walls of a UK prison’

‘You know you’re absolutely right’

And that was my spark, but it took me several more years before actually completing the book.

I wrote my first book ‘A Turnkey or Not’ back in 2011 and it was published and received some fantastic reviews. It’s an autobiography of my 25 year career working for HM Prison Service.

Six years later I realised that my first book left many unanswered questions and mainly the one about my real quest to find my own El Dorado as I moved towards retirement, and so my second book ‘El Dorado? No! Heathrow Airport’ was written whilst I was recovering from prostate cancer here in Spain and it was published in November 2017. It’s receiving incredible reviews; it’s an exposé of what really happens at Airport Security and how passengers, celebrities, staff and management behave at and during the security screening process.

Both books are memoirs and relate some very funny incidents which have all happened to me throughout my life.

But again the end of my second book does not answer my quest to find El Dorado, so after retiring to live in Spain I realised I had to write a third book as my search had become a trilogy, so my third book is about moving to Spain and living amongst ex-pats in retirement. Warts and all revelations of what my fellow ex pats get up to in the life of Sun, sea and lots and lots of vino.

My style of writing is anecdotal memoirs looking back on my life and what I and many of my colleagues got up to. Hopefully written with humour (but that is up to you the readers to decide if that worked)

The good thing about writing anecdotal memoirs is that you do not have to write to any order, I can remember and incident write down a chapter heading or title and then go back and develop the chapter any time I like.

In fact I have two books and at least 40 chapters on the go at any one time and I just dip in and out whenever I get the urge to write and complete a chapter.

In that way once completed I can decide the chronological order of each chapter to make it a flowing storyline.

This is partly why I don’t really consider myself a writer for me a real writer has a storyline and characters and each chapter has to follow each other to make it a flowing read but not only that you also have to develop each character. A fictional book must have a start a middle and an end and all must flow into each other, now that is real writing to be able to develop your story and make it flow then put in believable character boy that takes skill and a real imagination.

Whereas for me it’s just my jumbled memories from my past that I can eventually put into a chronological order

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four-stars