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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 with 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 organized crime. In essence, it’s Fear and Loathing in the Balkans, but with added bile and an overdose of hubris.

“A funny, angry and insightful indictment of modern media.”
A.L. Kennedy

“An uproarious story that has an important message.”
Phillip Knightley

“Amazing … uses humor as Shakespeare did.”
John Perkins

“A courageous quest in pursuit of truth.”
Michael Lang

“Like a suicide’s screaming spiral.”
Michela Wrong



Press Release
19 Aug, 2012

“Why a young reporter quit The New York Times to start a Summer of Love. Daniel will be speaking across the U.S. in September, followed by events at UK venues in October. See here for details, or follow his blogging at Dark Side Dispatch.”

Publisher’s Briefing
A one-page AI sheet

“Zero Books, an imprint of John Hunt Publishing, distributes to the trade in North America via National Book Network (as well as through Ingram and Baker & Taylor); and in the UK and Europe via Orca Book Services (and through Bertrams).”

Promotional Flyer
Double-sided PDF

“Daniel dreamed of transforming the Balkans, but instead got some mind-blowing visions of organized crime. Available from August 2012; ask your local shop to order stock. ISBN: 978-1780993072 – retail cover price £9.99 | $16.95″