Back in 1961, with swinging London and The Beatles about to break upon the world, little had changed in rural Ireland, where two small boys were playing cowboys and Indians. Tom, the more adventurous of the two scrambled onto the roof of a shed; "Bang! You're dead!" shouted his friend and Tom fell to the ground, hitting his head in the process. Neither could have guessed that Tom's adventurous spirit and his determination to succeed in business would soon lead this local shopkeeper's son onto the boards of international companies, to travel the world and to receive a telephone number salary. Nor that at the very peak of his success the impact of that apparently insignificant childhood accident would suddenly become manifest.
Tom's path to success on both sides of the Atlantic was rapid and spectacular, and during the 1980s he was amongst the most brilliant; a Senior Partner in a London-based investment bank. But then Tom was told that he was going blind as a result of his childhood accident. Refusing to admit it to himself and trying to hide it from his colleagues Tom finally lost his job and his money, falling eventually into severe depression and alcoholism.
However, Tom's will to succeed again conquered and he returned to University, discovered aspects of life, such as music and literature, for which he had previously not had time and reinvented himself with a new identity. Finally he was able to find a full and active role applying the skills learnt in his financial career to the benefit of others.
"Bang! You're Dead is an inspiring tale of triumph over adversity thatfollows Tom's early commercial success, the agony of his struggle against fate and his overwhelming enthusiasm for the new challenges that the future will bring. "Bang! You're Dead is a tale of laughter, tears, joy and hope.
Tom Pey is Policy Director for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, the world's largest providers of guide dogs for visually impaired people. A percentage of sales from the book will be donated to the charity.
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