|Book review: James Siddall's Dystopia|
|Saturday, 20 July 2013 17:37|
Review by Sibongiseni Dladla
James Siddall, well known South African writer, took time out to launch his new book Dystopia (MF Books) at Exclusive Books, Westville Pavilion, recently. Described by Sunday Times Fiction Awards 2013 finalist Steven Sidley as “raucous, funny, frightening and sad, Siddall’s raw pen tears into the heart of personal dysfunction.”
James Siddall was once regarded as the “golden boy of SA journalism” who also had two Comrades marathon bronzes medals under his belt and was once voted as one of the country’s most eligible bachelors by Cosmopolitan magazine.
In Dystopia, however, Siddall describes his recovery from drugs, alcohol and other sorts of abuse. The book is the reflection of his life when he was involved in the merciless world of drugs. As he remarks in his book, “The more outrageous my writing, the more alcohol-fuelled and irresponsible my behavior, the more I was lauded”.
Also present in the crowd during his launch in Durban was Melinda Ferguson, a Feature Editor of True Love magazine, who helped him pull through this difficult time in his life and career by believing in him. Writing this book has been cathartic, according to Siddall. “I hope it will matter to some people,” he says, adding that he plans to share his story as a motivational speaker, talking about addiction to corporates, schools and other organizations.