A Vicious Love Story: Teddie Dahlin – book review

A Vicious Love Story by Teddie Dahlin (Little Acorns)

We previewed this expose on the Sex Pistols’ Sid Vicious a short time ago, you can read that article HERE.

My first impression (after seeing a flier advertising this book) was that it was another average ‘kiss and tell’ auto-biography using the fame of a celebrity to bring attention and money to the author.

I was, however, wrong.

For me the test of a good piece of literature, be it biographical or fiction, is whether it holds the readers’ interest and whether it is written well. A Vicious Love Story is a good story and is all the more admirable because it makes a book out of events that took place mainly over a period of two days, but without running out of steam or losing the readers’ interest. It is also an intriguing angle to see the Sex Pistols (and Sid in particular) as described by someone who didn’t know them as a fan or as a fellow member of the punk scene at the time. Dahlin never professes to have been ‘the one’ for Sid, and nor does she claim he was the ‘the one’ for her, admitting that their relationship, had it continued, may well have ended badly. Far from using Sid V’s fame to build create the drive of the book, it is their relationship that is the focus. Had the book been a work of fiction that never mentioned Sid’s name, it would still have been just as good a work of literature as it is now.

As it stands, the piece is limited to the main events which occurred over a short period of time and this does limit it in terms of length and content. Dahlin has countered this by gaining quotes and comments from relevant people who were either there on the Sex Pistols’ Scandinavian tour or who were connected to Sid at that time. This creates an often humorous banter as those asked to comment reply to the text and contribute facts that sometimes contradict each other. These contributor comments also serve to tell the majority of how Dahlin’s connection with Sid V came to an end (with his untimely death).

It is not a book all about getting with Sid Vicious, it is a story of how someone who knew nothing about punk (and didn’t like what she did know), was torn between following a reckless pursuit of a love she knew might not last and doing the ‘sensible’ but much more mundane thing of creating a stable life.  It is a book about how even after having known someone for one day, it is possible to love them, both as a friend and a lover.

A recommended read for someone interested in punk and/or the Sex Pistols and a book that holds interest for someone who likes neither, but has an appreciation of human drama.

You can acquire a copy of the book HERE.

All words by Lizzie Alderdice. Read more from Lizzie HERE

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