Acid Alex - by Al Lovejoy

Posted 2006-03-15 @ 12:10:37 In articles > reviews

Hailed as the greatest intrinsically South African piece of literary work this decade;Acid Alex will have you laughing, cringing, and crying all in the space of one super smooth chapter.

A warning. That’s what first got my attention. ’ENTER AT OWN RISK’ : You gotta have balls to put that in the opening of your first book. Not delivering the goods runs the high risk of churning into cheese. But this aint no cheese and wine do, darlings no. This is a braai and a button pipe. A pocket of pills and a party. An all expenses paid holiday in a penitentiary of your choice.
Believe me - it delivers, and is not recommended for the weak-stomached.

This oke’s hectic life is enough to keep the pages turning - family abuse into reform school, graduating to some prestigious prisons, smuggling drugs and witnessing the beginnings of some of today’s well known Cape Town gangs, whilst holding down an IT job between episodes of anarchy and mayhem - that’s enough material to deliver.

But not neccesarily why I see it as such an essential read. Al has served his experiences of logical / illogical, agnostic / spiritual extremes in such an original, raw, human heart beating way that I see it as the most relevant and freshest piece of South African literature I have come across. It speaks like the author speaks. It is written with bleeding passion and brutal honesty in his charismatic and conversational prose - exposing parts of the past 30 odd years of S.A underground culture.

It even contains a glossary of indigenous and amusing south african slang, which made me snicker out loud, and remind me of the less gritty but somewhat parallel Clockwork Orange.

Acid Alex will have you turning chapters late into the night. It will give you nightmares, hope, disgust, outrage, a laugh and probably the thankful realisation that your life is not nearly as fucked up as this mallit’s!

I found it refreshing to read a book set in S.A, that is un-PC and without the media-cliched version of the apartheid and post-apartheid era. It did its job and made me feel proudly South African.

Now, if I can just let that pre-vomit settle..I’ll sum this all up as best I can - with the words of Koos Kombuis, who wrote the forword and lived in Al’s kitchen, ’God, what a trip.. what a literary turn-on’

For more cool shit and yah, visit the ‘psychedelic, roeker-bookclub in cyberspace at



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Acid Alex - by Al Lovejoy
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