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Jason Staggie Discusses His Transgressive Novel Risk

RiskPenny Haw of Business Day describes Jason Staggie’s debut novel Risk as a “fast-paced transgressive novel” and compares it to that of “Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club), Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting) and Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange)”.

Haw spoke to Staggie about Risk in which bored students play a real-life game of risk involving “missions” such as “sleeping with prostitutes without protection and navigating ganglands without a phone or money”.

“I wanted to comment on what it is like living in Africa in an extreme, transgressive way [...] Youngsters want to make a difference but don’t know how to go about it. I wanted to ask real questions; questions which don’t really have answers yet,” Staggie told Haw.

INSPIRED by the work of Quentin Tarantino, Jason Staggie wrote his first full-feature screenplay when he was a 16-year-old schoolboy at Groote Schuur High School in Newlands, Cape Town. He didn’t show it to anyone, not even the “great” English teacher who recognised his talent for writing and repeatedly urged him to make more of it.

“I didn’t know how to go about writing a screenplay; how to set it out or structure it. So the play was really just handwritten dialogue with lots of dashes, colons and semi-colons,” Staggie says. “But I knew I wanted to write and make movies. I wanted to be Tarantino.”

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