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Oscar: An Accident Waiting to Happen by Patricia Taylor and Melinda Ferguson (Jacana Media)
There are three things I have learned from Patricia Taylor and Melinda Ferguson’s Oscar: An Accident Waiting to Happen:

1.    Trish Taylor is on very good terms with herself.

2.    She takes micro-mommying to an unbelievable level.

3.    Oscar P is not a nice guy. And he’s pretty unstable.

The last piece of insight, I more or less expected. After all, what else are you going to get from a book positioned as follows:

After one too many signs that his dangerous behaviour was endangering her daughter's life, by late October 2012, Patricia Taylor laid down the law, telling [Oscar] Pistorius to stay away from her family forever.

In her last conversation she warned, "Oscar... Something is going to go wrong. And it's going to happen soon... Your life is like this terrible accident waiting to happen."

But if you read this book (and I have, so you don’t have to) you’ll find little evidence of Sam Taylor’s life being threatened.

Oscar drove recklessly, and shouted, and had tantrums, and discharged a gun out of a sunroof, but unless I’ve missed something, he didn’t compromise Sam Taylor’s life. Beyond being an utter bastard to her.

Now, I’m no fan of Oscar Pistorius.

I don’t know whether or not he intended to kill Reeva Steenkamp, but I do know that he’s gun-happy and has poor impulse control. Not a good combination. I also think that he should go to jail because he caused the death of an innocent person.

Notwithstanding all that, this book tries – and fails – to portray Oscar as a monster.

Yes, he’s an egotist. Yes, he’s damaged. Yes, he’s selfish, angry, and a cheat. He’s probably got suicidal tendencies and he’s probably the worst choice of boyfriend for your adored teenage daughter.

But if Trish Taylor stopped trying to make Oscar out to be the AntiChrist and herself out to be Mother Superior, with Samantha cast as the vestal virgin, I’d take this piece of writing a lot more seriously.

The plot is as you’d expect: Sam meets Oscar, Oscar’s integration with the Taylor family, Oscar’s women, Oscar’s dangerous lifestyle, Oscar and the Olympics, Oscar and Sam break up.

Along the way, there are two unremarkable photo inserts and two anonymous psychologists (Doc A and Doc B) who analyse Oscar, plus a whole lot of helpful SA currency and education conversions for the anticipated overseas market.

Bottom line?

Oscar: An Accident Waiting to Happen was never going to be a literary masterpiece. It was always going to be little more than a tabloid, to be consumed with a large pinch of salt.

So I didn’t expect objectivity. But I did expect the self-satisfaction to be better veiled.

In what will prove to be a list of Oscar books as long as his ill-fated cricket bat, I’m looking forward to Mandy Weiner and Barry Bateman’s. Save your dosh for that.

Read more of Tiffany’s reviews on her book blog
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