Buy it now Donate

A Solitary Confinement

A true story about Guillain-Barre Syndrome by
Robin Sheppard

Laughing In The Dark

March, 2020

If you thought ‘the diving bell and the butterfly’ made you cry then this will really mess you up. You will be laughing and crying in all the wrong places. For this is one man’s first-hand account of the search for the humorous side to his illness, without the use of his hands……….or his body for that matter!

In his extraordinary first ever book Hotelier Robin Sheppard tells his own account of a special journey. Going from having ‘the world at his fingertips’ after the purchase of London’s coolest of clubs, Home House, to being diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, which affects over 1000 people in the UK a year, and losing touch with his fingertips entirely.

The disease kids the immune system into getting the wrong message and attacking itself. It paralysed him from the neck down in record time, striking without notice, or permission.

Robin’s book A Solitary Confinement will have you laughing out loud and simpering throughout in equal measure. He tells his story in the only way he can, with a black sense of humour, punishing wit and saucy belligerence.

It’s the very personal story of how he went from running some of the world’s most luxurious hotels to being left confined inside his own body without the use of his arms, legs, or any movement at all…….Even his speech went missing; and how he decided to fight right back.

By looking at the illness from within Robin tells his tale in a way anyone can understand and empathise with, while drawing dollops of inspiration at the same time.

Robin said, “People cannot imagine what it feels like when your body shuts down so quickly until you are at the point where you think to yourself ‘this is it….i’m off’. The story deals with a serious illness but by putting it into my own words I tried to find a humorous side to my catastrophic situation and show others that no matter what happens in life there is always something worth being alive for. Yes things could have been different but with a dash of determination and strong support from loved ones I made sure I was going to win and not be conquered by the illness.”

The book will touch your heart and your funny bone. Robin’s story looks at his wry view of the world from the bedside while he was unable to move a muscle.

Robin continues, “The thing with such an illness is that it can affect anyone at anytime. It doesn’t matter how rich or poor you are, whether you are famous or supremely fit. I met people on my journey through the illness and recovery that I would not have encountered in any other circumstances and I am so grateful for the bonds that were tied and the enduring kinship. I am still in contact with many of them to this day, and am determined to preserve the alliances.”

The disease still affects Robin, instead of playing rugby for fun he now watches from the sidelines. He will pretend that it has not forced a complete life change and that it has just slowed things down a bit.

For many years he ran several magnificent five star hotels and has been in the hotel industry for over thirty years. He has won hotel of the year prizes along the way and carved out his career working up through the ranks until founding his own hotel chain with some of his chums.

Robin also founded the iconic Bristol blue Ty-Nant mineral water business back in the 1988 and sold it on at the right time. He has been an inspiration and role model for many up and coming beginners in the hotel industry.

Robin’s book A Solitary Confinement can be purchased for £10.99 from the ecademy website or from All proceeds are being donated to the Guillain-Barre Support Group to help raise awareness

Note to editors
For copies of the book for review, press packages or images of Robin Sheppard please contact Kara Hanko at Black Cat Publications Ltd. at 0845 009 1023.