Read of the Week

Year Of The Turnip

John Dobson


Review: Brian Joss

I had some sympathy for Jason Brydon, aka the Jasonator, when he made his debut in the Year Of The Gherkin (reviewed: 2012).

Brydon, a 20-something guy is self-obsessed, brand conscious, bone idle, and waiting for opportunity to knock.

Sadly it didn’t and he was fired from his rep’s job at 2Dye4 Paints in Durban, because as his boss pointed out, he was as “useful as a turnip”.

And the Jasonator didn’t want that as his epitaph.

So now we find him in the Eastern Cape living with his parents and serving drinks to the old drunks at the Port Alfred Country Club, mainly his dad and his mates.

Jason is also a reluctant father, after having a child, Sapphire, with his former girlfriend, Heather, and she wants him to pay maintenance. But he’s not that keen.

Meanwhile, he becomes entangled with Phumeza but dumps her without explanation when his old pal Greg Dawes offers him a house-sitting job at a mansion in Tamboerskloof, owned by a Greek bond trader.

But there are strict conditions attached: he has to look after a pair of French bulldogs (that eat only Woolies food); he is not allowed to drive the Audi Q7 and definitely no wild parties. So Jason agrees. But what Jason says and does are two different things.

After a brainstorming session, Jason and his pals set up Igloo, an events company.

Surprisingly, it takes off and suddenly the Jasonator is the man and even rates a place in Cosmo’s most eligible bachelor feature. But can his run of prosperity last?

The Jasonator bares his soul in his diary, the format in which the book is written.

There’s lots of dark humour in this satirical tale.

You’ll chuckle out loud and groan in despair when Jason carries on regardless, trying to con his mates, the staff of Igloo, and charm the chicks, admittedly with some success, except for Phumeza and Heather, of course.

The Year Of The Turnip is an entertaining read and I’m looking forward to the next one, even though I do dislike Jason, and unlike the curate’s egg, he has no redeeming features.

* Dobson is a Western Province rugby coach and an LLB graduate.