Opinion Review

Book Review: Charlie by Elton Justice

Richard Todd
Written by Richard Todd

This is a tale of a young gay Scottish man who moves to countries unspecified in Asia and finds he is being persecuted, he claims, because of a Facebook message he uttered about a leader “He is an elected dictator”.


The primary problem with this book, which is presumably published by the author himself, is that the tale itself contains many unexplained “discrepancies”. Why for instance did he not move back to his luxury 3500 square foot penthouse in a “neighbouring” country, which was vacant, when he lost his job in “the Bubble” – his name for the country that starts persecuting him? Instead he starts a fast food business which relies on his parents support and which eventually fails? And why did a friend spend so much rebuilding the old Chinese shop front property for him to undertake this business?

But aside from the credibility issues the style of writing (best described as gushy) and the fixed opinions constantly repeated by the author make this a story that you know could have been told so much better. It should be up to the reader to come to the conclusion that Elton was being persecuted, not him repeatedly saying so. Many statements are cringe-worthy such as (In a reference to President Duterte of The Philippines) “For Western Leaders to criticise him when they don’t understand the country and its DNA is wrong. And at least he does it honestly and with dignity. He plays no evil games…”

Whether the author is persecuted by “the Bubble’s Central Bureau of Narcotics” agents because of his Facebook mention or because he is gay – or perhaps because he is a party boy frequently using drugs in “the Bubble”– we are non the wiser.

In summary, a tale of woe which could have been penned by a fantasist, made more incredible by the opinionated judgemental style of writing. An opportunity largely lost, sadly.

About the author

Richard Todd

Richard Todd

Richard Todd is the Express roving director who likes to report on the interesting parts of the world he visits when he is not in the office.

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