"Amazing ... uses humor as Shakespeare did - to lighten the load of a heavy, dark, and important story" (John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hitman)
"The archetypal innocent abroad, Daniel Simpson thought he could help the locals ... But his project became a study in modern corruption, with a learning curve so steep it was more like a suicide's screaming spiral." (Michela Wrong, author of It's Our Turn To Eat)
"A funny, angry and insightful indictment of modern media practice ... Simpson's writing demonstrates that we not only deserve better journalism, but that it's still out there: observing, investigating and informing with humanity and passion." (A.L. Kennedy, writer and comedian)
"A courageous quest in pursuit of truth ... A Rough Guide To The Dark Side is a telling memoir, which shows that while music has the power to change the world, it is the heart of the individual that truly makes a difference." (Michael Lang, co-producer of Woodstock)
Ever dreamed of changing the world? Daniel Simpson shows how not to do it.His memoir charts a gonzo career at The New York Times. Ambitious and idealistic, he was hired to report on the Balkans but quit within months, freaked out by his editor's zeal for starting wars. Disillusioned, Daniel went native in Belgrade. Together with the charismatic G, who'd appeared one night in lavish puffs of dope smoke, he decided to organize Serbia's version of Woodstock: a festival on an island in the Danube.Music could revolutionize the country. It was run by a wartime mafia, and most young people dreamed of leaving. But what if they made it Ibiza crossed with Glastonbury? To fund this transition, they hustled Daniel's contacts, but shady local businessmen had other ideas. Mr Big muscled in, and embroiled them with his henchmen.Why do good intentions go awry? With brutally honest humor, Daniel recounts his journey to the edge, and a desperate drug-fuelled quest for the truth. A Rough Guide To The Dark Side is a real-life trip through Balkan organized crime. More irreverent than McMafia, it has the vicarious kicks of Mr Nice and Shantaram, in the travelogue style of Bill Bryson or Tony Hawks, but with added bile and an overdose of hubris.