Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Oscar Trial eBook Series: Highlights from our Best Reviews

Resurrection

Ian Barber August 25, 2014
I think that Nick has hit the nail on the button. We have all been focusing on the night but the things leading up to Reeva being killed is at the core of his explanation. His version certainly makes a lot more sense than that of Oscar. To all the publishers out there shame on you, you are becoming like politicians, just want your bread buttered on both sides but can not stick your neck out and be brave. Support the man and even if he is wrong his version is concrete.

MCD July 18, 2014
There are a few surprises that I did not expect, including a plausible motive, or at least context, which may have led to the tragic shooting on Valentines Day 2013. The author picks away at the tapestry of the Oscar Pistorius Brand, posing interesting questions. Although some statements are controversial and the reader may not always agree, this is a well researched and cleverly written comment on Oscar's narrative that will get one thinking outside the box.

MsLynsky July 30, 2014
Resurrection is a must read for all those following the trial of Oscar Pistorius.
Nick Van Der Leek has certainly done his homework - it shows in his insightful
analysis of Oscar's image as the heroic disabled athlete and the way he unpicks
the layers of PR to suggest "another" Oscar to us.


His research into Oscar and Reeva Steenkamp's phone records and tweets shows
real insight into the potential mindset or motive of the fallen hero the night everything changed.

Chuchu September 20, 2014
It is amazing how this author has laid out this series, leaving nothing to chance. Everything is covered, he is saying what you are thinking and what no-one else will say. He has the background, life experience and character to bring out the truth. Very factual and analytical but also deep insight into the behaviors and personalities of everyone involved. Fantastic and creative research methods.

Revelations

Louis Podbielski Aug 26, 2014
Nick,
Bravo! I had not read the others in the series, and jumped in with Revelations, and what a ride . . . Many of us have been uncomfortable with what we have been seeing play out on the TV and in the media over the Oscar trial, and your book was a series of revelations that had me flipping back on my Kindle to reread.
The way that you have constructed your narrative, how it builds to the fictional few hours at the end . . . it was so vivid and authentic, it made my blood run cold.
This country needs more brave voices like yours.
Keep it coming!
Louis Podbielski

Maree Watkins Aug 21, 2014
I highly recommend Revelations. This in-depth book reveals a very likely scenario of what transpired the early morning Reeva was killed and the build up to her killing through ongoing intense arguing. Its a riveting read. This book reveals Oscar's narrative of 'fastest man with no legs', and the public persona he cultivated to protect this narrative at all costs, even killing and death. His blanket denial of his truth. The collusion by the media and society in general wanting to believe in this 'true' hero, is dealt with in-depth with much symbolism. And, we, the readers are invited and challenged to link this to our own narratives as people, as South Africans post-apartheid with multi-faceted levels of collusion regarding crime, politics, celebrity and our own denials deep within ourselves. The author must be a very clever and a brave person as he does not look fleetingly at the reality of Reeva's death, instead he wades deep beneath the superficial veneer of the Oscar narrative, Reevas killing and society's collusions. He asks some scary questions such as are we the general public complicit? He forces us out of our comfort zones and challenges us to be honest and to expose our blind denials and our general lying to ourselves in order to avoid our own reality. Thought-provoking and scary. 5 out of 5, worth the read! Go.read.it.now.

g_elle  Aug 14, 2014
Thought provoking, honest, well-written and researched! I watched the trial, dug deep for details to questions not answered and this book blindsided me! The author challenges you to examine the feelings associated with the crime and with the environment that would accept, without hard questions, the shooting. I questioned the media coverage worldwide and how we view our heroes and my role when I do so.Nick delves deep for answers that main stream media did not. It is a balanced accounting of how this shooting could happen and caution for the future. He dives deep into the dynamics of sports, thoughts surrounding our heroes that allow the bad behavior. The good, bad and ugly about what come have led to the fatal shooting. Your mind is exposed to the lives OP & Reeva lived in a 3 1/2 month time span that was not covered during the trial. It is a cold hard fact but the SA court system was exposed during the trial coverage. How will this affect future trials and the coverage? Our minds question, not only, the upcoming verdict but what this has shown, all of us, for the future who want justice! When you read this book be honest and question justice around the world and how we as viewers relate - I did! My wish for the books in this series-a movie (documentary) dedicated to Reeva Steenkamp, a beautiful life lost!

Chuchu September 20, 2014
As time goes on with this case, you can see which of these authors you can trust. I have found so many Journalists and others who seem to be questionable with their alliances and motives. An independent freelance journalist/writer can be unbiased and tell the truth. Why aren't we getting the truth from the other authors/journalists? This information deserves to be out there for Justice for Reeva and everyone in in South Africa. I truly hope everyone reads this series. There is power in numbers people! Make a difference and make your voice count. Understand what is going on here and how you contribute.

Jane Vaughan August 22, 2014
Wow, this book makes you think more than twice about spin, truth, news and the images of celebrity, this is the fourth book in the series and I am riveted. Nick explains his view of the events, and in am in awe, I wish more writers and reporters had the honesty and integrity to discuss what so many won't, I'm looking forward to the next. Thank you!
Reeva in her own Words

Chuchu September 20, 2014
If you are looking for the truth and all of the facts you won't read anywhere else, than this entire series of ebooks by Nick are for you.All of these other books on Oscar are holding back. It's easy to spot the behind the scene alliances with others. You can trust what you read here. This guy cares and nothing is going to stop him from getting the truth out there.

Melanie July 30, 2014
This was an uncomfortable read for me - I came away feeling voyeuristic and intrusive. And deeply sad... Van der Leek brings Reeva back to life; hammering home the fact that she was so much more than the evidentiary "specimen" the court case has all but reduced her to.

Recidivist Acts

Jacques Steenkamp June 17, 2014
As a reporter covering the Oscar Pistorius trial I found this eBook to be a very interesting read. It's clear that the author spent a lot of time researching and subsequently compiling it. I found that Van der Leek's analysis of Pistoriushit home and I especially enjoyed the part about the study relating to 911 callers and how you can differentiate between a guilty and innocent person by the words they use. But the book is also well written and I sincerely hope that it receives the necessary notice from publishers. Because given the platform and resources, Van der Leek could turn this into an even better, more in-depth look of what is indeed going to become known as the crime that shook the world.

Indigovenice August 1, 2014
This is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in the Murder Trial of blade-runner Oscar Pistorius. The author examines questions such as what may have motivated Oscar to commit the crime-of-the-century in South Africa, as well as Oscar's meteoric rise to fame and fortune and subsequent fall from grace.

The book exposes a Media myth surrounding Oscar, that of a squeaky clean poster-boy which added pressure to the already turbulent inner life of Oscar even while he appeared to enjoy all the advantages of health, wealth, success and the love of a good woman. And the reader discovers how his deeply hidden emotional issues caused him to throw it all away.

It's a story that underpins human folly at its most tragic. A lesson perhaps, that in spite of life's outward blessings the dangerous denial of his darker inner self went on to shape the man who was to shoot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to death on Valentines day 2013.

The eternal question of: what will a man blessed with health, wealth, beauty, good fortune and the love of a good woman do with his life remains a…
Rimstim July 10, 2014
Ok. This time I'm really impressed. I read the previous piece as well (this book is part of a series of books on the Pistorius debacle) and it was good. But the author scales new heights with this work. Powerful, insightful and exhaustive, Recidivist penetrates into the heart of this modern SA tragedy. By exploring motive and some of the psychology behind the legend of Pistorius the author has succeeded in creating a work that will remain relevant long after the verdict has been delivered. Check out the comparison with Lance Armstrong. Very interesting.

Restitutio

Jane Vaughan October 11, 2014
I have just finished Van Der Leek's fifth ebook in the Pistorius series, Restitutio, and, what a ride! I'm sure that I will never forget this book. It's a sort-of coming of age book symbolizing SA, Oscar and life in the 20teens, where the western world appears to lost all of its objectivity except the mighty $$$. The author introduces many paths of thought, and has been mostly objective, drawing similes between the various expectations of the players (points of view), to SA culture, international sports, political correctness, and, occasionally acting as a devil's advocate. Van Der Leek is always trying to close the circle, to lead us back to Reeva's loss, and Oscar's karma, whatever that may turn out to be. This quest for truth by Reeva's friends & family may not end in a SA courtroom, with its human propensity for error, it may end decades from now when Oscar meets his final Judge. This book is worth every penny and then some, for it entails the reader to think about the cultures our societies have created with branding, pseudo-heroes worship, and the pending value of losing hero status to the loser Oscar. Worth reading again, at least once more. HIGHLY recommend reading this brilliant series in sequence.

MCD November 23, 2014
I have read 3 of the first five books in this series. Restitutio is by far the longest, and I did find I had to try and keep the momentum going to get through it. In some ways that epic journey very much emulates the long saga which has been the Oscar trial. However the ending in this book was by far better than the current (and hopefully temporary) ending of the disappointing verdict and underwhelming sentencing.

Good points: Juror13, as usual, gives a very good, factual and balanced analysis of other case laws, relating those verdicts to this trial. I especially enjoyed Laurie Pieters-James' account of the Dirk Prinsloo story (the details of which were a bit sketchy for me until I got the lowdown from this book). Nick van der Leek shares some very personal own life excerpts, which always touches a nerve, forcing one to take a long, hard look in the mirror whilest taking stock of life and our place in this world.

With consistency, the commentary is always brought back to Reeva,who also had a place in this world. She's gone now. What has become of the space she occupied, the air she breathed? Lest we forget, these books will be a reminder.

Transcendence

Joan
November 14, 2014
Reading non-fiction books to me, is more than just getting to know what the writer intends telling me about the subject, but also getting into the head of the writer and his/her thoughts on the subject. Reeva Steenkamp's killing was best followed during the televised trial and it seemed a waste of time and money to write books on the subject and then expect readers to pay good money for these books and take precious time to read those books.

For me it was educational to read Nick Van Der Leek's books, all of them of which I found some of them page turning exciting and some more than that. A lot of what he wrote drove me to tears and made me feel emotionally drained, however he wrote many things which I found educational. I took a real hard look at my own life, after reading how Nick explains that you should take the journey yourself and not make the readings and pictures you read and see your journey. Am I right? I then realised I also had a hell of a journey throughout my life and had obligations towards my husband and my daughters. I then knew one thing for sure, that most people in life are lucky to make a success of their lives.

We are all dependent for our outcome on genes, our upbringing and our environment. About the genes we cannot do much, we are born with those. What I realised is your mother plays the biggest part in how you will turn out as a wife, husband, lover or simply a person. Some of what we see and learn from our mothers, shackles us for the rest of our lives. I think in Oscar's case, he loved his mother dearly, but her shortcomings made him overly condemning towards his girl friends.

He wanted to shape them, and especially Reeva into his own mould. She was supposed to be his trophy, but was not totally to his expectations.  He wanted her to be there for him 24/7 and to not have her own life; he wanted to possess her completely. After reading Transcendence, so many couples and even single people came to mind. I know now that the sad part of relationships is locked up in our own expectations of others.

Lisa Wilson described Reeva perfectly and I quote: "For people like Reeva who are nurturers and fixers, it is easy to be stuck in a cycle of wanting to find somebody who needs healing". I realised with a shock that is exactly who I am, but never knew that much of myself until I read the definition. I now know why I had a failed marriage to some extent and could have prevented it, if I knew that I was too caring. I am only very thankful that I have two great successful daughters and made a good job of raising them. I mention these things, as to convey to the two authors that what they write is not simply a story, but also have an impact on the reader in a way they could not foresee.
Thank you so much, looking forward to the last two books.


#RS

December 24, 2014
I have to wonder if Reeva really and truly confided in any of her friends about her relationship with OP. I don't think anyone really knew what was going on and if he was the "one"? This book is the seventh in the series and another good read. Well done to Nick and Lisa.

Restoration

December 23, 2014

I just could not put this book down. The authors have done a tremendous job of giving another side to what happened that fateful night. I have read all the books in the series and highly recommend this one and the preceeding seven. Love the humour as well.

To view this series click here.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Authors Discuss Mendacity [AUDIO 1/4]

Above: The late great Terry Pratchett, who churned out two books every year. His Discworld series comprises 40 books.