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BOOKS
Hysteria vs drugs intoxication
Reviewed by Peter van der Merwe
Published: 02-AUG-05

Johannesburg - Al Lovejoy is not the sort of man you would want your daughter to bring home.

An utter reprobate, he spent his childhood honing the criminal skills which would later serve him well as a self-confessed drug smuggler and crime boss.

Now, he claims in his autobiography - Acid Alex - (Struik Publishers, South Africa), he has seen the error of his ways after facing up to some grim realities. Whether you choose to believe it or not is up to you.

What is beyond dispute is that Lovejoy’s debut literary work is nothing if not a compelling read.

Lovejoy spent most of his childhood flitting between orphanages and reform school, and as an army recruit, was more familiar with the inside of a series of military stockades and psychiatric institutions than the workings of a rifle.

Then he stepped up a gear, moving into the world of hard drugs. Lovejoy pulls no punches as he describes his path from being a dealer in Cape Town nightclubs (where he took as many drugs as he sold) to being head of a syndicate to smuggle Ecstasy from Europe – all financed with cannabis smuggled from Africa.

It is a story of child abuse, brutal institutions and wild rebellion, veering between religious hysteria and narcotic intoxication, taking us deep into the violent underworld of Cape Town gangs and international organised crime, behind the cold bars of prison – and out the other side.

It’s a trip beyond your wildest imagination – but not for the faint of heart.



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Financing Black Empowerment Partnerships 2006
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