Fed up with recycling press releases for the New York Times, Daniel Simpson had a bash at solving the Eastern Question by staging a music festival on a Serbian island. My own experience of such things is limited, but even in the best of circumstances it can't be easy. In Serbia in the early 2000s, besides the usual problems of money, drugs, bureaucracy, rampant egos and organisational snafu, there was the minor complication of the country being largely run by the mafia. Oh, and the weather didn't help either. Though his style and a few of his substances remind one of Hunter S Thompson, Simpson comes across more bemused than enraged; the frenzied epilogue to his book, which reads like a succession of Raoul Duke's Monday morning diary notes, is a marked break in the style and (on first reading, anyway) much less appealing than the rest. Most of the time, Simpson lets the weirdness of events speak for themselves (the adviser who corpses during interview is a particular delight), with much engaging commentary from G, his partner in the enterprise, and various enlightening asides on everything from the zombie horrors of professional journalism through the art of Balkan swearing to the craft of stashing drugs in one's personal tubing. If you do happen to be touring the dark side, you could do much worse for a guide.