Book review: “Guards Gone Wild” by Loh Teck Yong

Jimmy's evergreen glen and glade

Guards Gone Wild is about a security guard’s experiences in the private security industry in Singapore.

Before anyone chips in at this point and asserts that the politically correct term “security officer” should be used, let me assure you that the author Teck Yong has clarified this issue in his book.

After all, he is a veteran who has worked there since 1999 and has seen the various policy changes taking place within the industry over the years.

His clarification in the book confirms my own realisation that there is no real difference between “security guard” and “security officer”.

When I first picked up his book, I must confess that I already have some preconceived ideas about security guards.

My perception of them is shaped by my personal encounters, some of which are less than positive.

For instance, I had my bicycle wheel-clamped by a security guard some years ago…

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Get Guards Gone Wild! @ Books Kinokuniya

Guards Gone Wild! is a collection of short stories about my adventures as a security guard. The abuse and scamming described in the book, incredible as they may sound, really happened.

If you wish to know more about the lives of security guards and support a local writer at the same time, you can purchase a copy of my book from Books Kinokuniya outlets in Singapore.

You can also place your order via their webstore.

Loh Teck Yong

Knife, Truck And Security Guard

longkang

Earlier this year, I did an interview with the Long Kang Kitties, a podcast group based in Singapore. The following is the blurb written for the interview.

While some people view security guards as low class people not fit to socialise with, we at the LongKang hold no such illusions! This week we invite Loh Teck Yong, author of “Guards gone wild!” as a guest. The ex-security guard/wordsmith spills the beans on what it is REALLY like working in the security industry in Singapore, from getting threatened with a knife to being almost literally thrown under a truck, this old guard had plenty of stories to tell!

We also covered the new law that will penalises guards who fall asleep on the job. How will this affect the industry and more importantly, the already cash-strapped guards whose livelihoods are wholly dependent on their security licenses?

If you wish to listen to the podcast, you can visit the Long Kang Kitties’ soundcloud site.

Loh Teck Yong

* I grabbed the above image from the Long Kang Kitties’ Facebook page. It’s their work, not mine.

Help! I Need Ideas!

singlit

Singapore is having a literary festival next year. It’s called #BuySingLit. And there’s an open call for programmes. Interested parties have to submit their proposals by 23rd of this month.

The #BuySingLit festival is looking for programmes that say Singapore literature is engaging, interesting and representative of our cultural identity. The festival also wants to promote the message that Singapore writers and publishers and booksellers have an important role in bringing our stories to all.

Programmes may include but not limited to author talks, workshops, performances, panel discussions, book clubs, pop-up stores and cosplay etc. All programmes must be held in Singapore during one or both of the #BuySingLit weekends.

Now, I face 2 problems. Firstly, I don’t have anyone, not one single friend, to assist me so I can’t do anything big. An author talk maybe, but nothing like a workshop.

And secondly, my book is a non-fiction memoir about my work as a security guard. Unlike a YA fantasy novel or a children’s storybook, there isn’t room in a non-fiction memoir for dress-up games or puppet shows.

So I am stumped for ideas about what I can do for a programme. Feel free to share your ideas with me.

Loh Teck Yong

* I grabbed the above image from the Buy SingLit Facebook page.

 

Guest Review: The Art of Self Defense – bears a striking resemblance to a real life martial arts cult

FlixChatter Film Blog

GUEST REVIEW by Russell Johnson

Writer/Director: Riley Stearns
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola, Imogen Poots, David Zellner 

Synopsis: A man is attacked at random on the street. He enlists at a local dojo, led by a charismatic and mysterious sensei, in an effort to learn how to defend himself.

I met Jesse Eisenberg when I was an extra on the film End of the Tour when it was filming in Minnesota along with Jason Segel and Joan Cusack. As an extra I was instructed not to approach him, or talk to him and especially don’t ask for a picture. I stood next to him. He smiled at me, shook his head and acknowledging me, said hello. That was the extent of us meeting. There are well founded reasons for this set etiquette and overzealous celebrity worshipping fans is just one of them. That is not me. Of course, most…

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Looking Back

book4

We had a good run, my book and I.

September 2018

I received 500 copies of Guards Gone Wild! from the printers. When they were delivered to my flat, I felt a sense of nostalgic happiness like, I was a child again, receiving my Christmas present for the very first time.

Guards Gone Wild! is my book. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

October 2018

I managed to convince Select Books, a local distributor, to carry and help me get Guards Gone Wild! into the bookstores.

November 2018

Good news! Select Books informed me that both Times and Kinokuniya, 2 chain bookstores in Singapore, have agreed to retail my book in their stores!

And in this month, I also had my book reviewed for the very 1st time! And despite my worries, it turned out that the reviewer liked my book.

#SWFatSWFreviews 5:

I received a random email a few weeks back from Loh Teck Yong, security guard and self-published author, who wanted to mail SLS a copy of his new book. I thought, what could go wrong? and then last week, a 200 page soft cover volume popped up on my table.

I just read it! the book’s self published, the man honestly needs an editor to clean up some of the self-referentiality and order the nonfiction narrative a bit, and the tone is a teensy bit pompous and overwritten…

…but hey, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Guards Gone Wild is the security guard’s Kitchen Confidential – you’ll find out about the dank underbelly of guard agencies and condo / mall management, the intricacies of merry-go-rounding and WYSIWYG and the mysterious world of 24-hour guards. tales of rogue Operations Managers and dodgy church fundraisers and macho Old Guards speckle the episodes of this idiosyncratic creative nonfiction collection. Loh Teck Yong is a slightly less powderful Anthony Bourdain, if Bourdain was locked in a box with no aircon for 12 hours a day, 72 hours a week, and screamed at by rude Singaporeans all day long.

you can get this book from the author at guardsgonewild at Gmail dot com.

– Joshua Ip, 11 November 2018 Read the rest of this entry

Obituary Of A Book

I have heavy news to announce.

Last year, my book Guards Gone Wild! was accepted by 2 chain bookstores in Singapore. Namely, Times and Kinokuniya.

When I made that announcement, it was the proudest moment of my life as a writer.

Well, today, my distributor informed me that my book was removed from all Times outlets in Singapore.

The reason was due to low sales. They had to make way for new titles.

Now, my book is only available at Kinokuniya outlets. Of course, it could also get removed from their shelves if sales are bad.

Maybe I have come to the end of my journey as a writer.

Loh Teck Yong