I have just finished “Oscar: An accident waiting to happen”, and I can't even begin to tell you how utterly disgusted I am by it's author Patricia Taylor.
Oscar Pistorius's trial has ended, sending him behind bars for five years for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp. It's not enough, it's not nearly enough by my book. At the end, he will be out, and have a chance at life again. Nothing will ease the suffering of the Steenkamp family for the rest of their lives. Throughout the entire trial, they have honored the memory of their daughter with dignity and respect, calm acceptance and quiet sorrow. They have endured months of gruelling testimony surrounding their daughter's death, having to sit just a few feet away from her killer. Their pain doesn't end there, and it won't for a long time to come. For there will be other people like Trish Taylor out there, money hungry – ambulance chasing vultures, scrambling in the dirt to fill their pockets in the shadow of their tragedy.
Lets start at the beginning. This book is BADLY WRITTEN. The writer behind it is Melinda Ferguson. Apparently she is published something before, but after reading this, I can honestly say – No thank you, I don't want any. The sentences are short and harsh, obviously embellished in a melodramatic kind of way with their descriptions for the purpose of eliciting an emotional response. She wasn't telling a story, she was creating a drama with Trish Taylor as the heroine of this disaster. Naturally, because of the entire situation, she didn't achieve the effect she was going for. It backfired, big time.
I don't know what I have expected when I started reading, my expectations were low, but still this vulgar idiocy managed to disappoint even those.
Taylor starts the book with a weak justification on why she feels the need to share her opinions with the world. She says that she wanted to do so a long time ago, but the time wasn't right. Nobody would buy a book published by a jilted ex's mother, or believe her accusations of a golden boy. Now, when the golden boy turned dark, I guess she judged the times have changed. To bad the book was still a testimony of a jilted ex's mother. That didn't change.
Trish Taylor desperately tries to portray herself as a woman of great moral standards and motherly affection, that single-handedly saved her virtuous daughter from the clutches of an evil man. “ Thankfully I had confronted him in late October, just three months before the killing, and had ordered him to stay away from Sam, and leave our family alone.” - Never mind the actual testimony made by her daughter, that the reason for the split was his cheating. What fascinated me was the fact that P. Taylor claims that they were over the moon and welcomed him in their house at the beginning of the relationship with her daughter, and that she worried about his disability. She didn't worry about the fact that her 16 year old daughter was dating a 23 year old man, or saw any possible problems arising out of that, nope... just his prosthetic legs....
Something else that was truly remarkable was the fact that Patricia Taylor brazenly claims to KNOW what was Oscar Pistorius thinking, and feeling at certain parts. Now, he may have communicated with her and shared his experiences, that made her draw certain conclusions of her own, but she doesn't say it like that. She TELLS the reader how he felt, and then provides her 'expert analysis' of his mental state, she even goes so far as to bait the reader with unsubstantiated ideas. When she talks about Oscar leaving 200 balloons, and spray paints I LOVE YOU TIGER on the driveway of his ex's house, she concludes with this: “Others might have labelled this obsessive behavior.” Others might say that the sun is green an the oceans red, too.
One thing was obvious from her testimonial, that Oscar Pistorius lived the A-lister lifestyle. He was famous, he had money, arrogance, liked beautiful women, fast cars and guns. So what if he did? A lot of people like women, fast cars and guns. That alone is nothing shocking, and can be taken by no means as an indicator of future events. If it could, 90% of the male population of the southern United States would be behind bars.
And this is it, this is the moment where Trish Taylor and Melinda Ferguson join forces to desperately try and create something out of nothing. Taylor talks about how Pistorius lead them on for a long time, but then by her own words admits that there were situations that would label his relationship with her daughter problematic at a very early stage. The entire book is difficult to follow, as it doesn't stick to a chronological order, rather jumps from time to time as it suits the writer. It's peppered with 'words of wisdom', and quotes that should suggest the depth of character of Trish Taylor, but sadly read as patronizing fodder to fill blank pages.The writing duo also lack original content. I cant even count how many times you stumble upon the words: "According to", as they take other people's work and research of this case, polish it up, rephrase it and try to sell it off as a part of their own. Truth of the matter is, there isn't anything in there that would reveal the future, no dark monsters under the bed, just a troubled relationship between a (too) young girl and a man, narrated by her meddling mother.
The last thing about this book, that saddled it with enough lead to sink it to such depths of unachievable new lows was the condescending way she talked about Reeva Steenkamp and her family. She made sure early in the book to say that her daughter was a natural beauty, a wispy blonde never lacking for male attention, while Reeva was described as having mousy brown hair and having to work hard to get where she was. Oh, don't get me wrong. She made all the right noises at all the right times, and was more then appropriately outraged and saddened by what happened to her, but I have read this book, and I can tell you, I am not fooled for a moment. The not so subtle hints about Steenkamp's family financial status, and Reeva's dedication to help them didn't go unnoticed either, and would possibly give her an extra mark on the emotional scale, if she didn't lament how Oscar Pistorius never spent enough money on her daughter. Even a published writer and all the flowery scented prose couldn't hide the stench of bitter bullshit that wafted off her words.
I want to tell you that I HAVE NOT PAID FOR THIS BOOK. If I haven't had the chance of getting it off a friend, I would have never read it. After seeing the short interviews with Trish Taylor, I have decided I would NEVER give her a dime. There is one thing that I will guarantee you however, that the label of a MORBID OPPORTUNIST will stretch farther and last her a hell of a lot longer then the royalties of this pathetic book.