Do nothing. The memoirs of Fx by Nikhil B. Lakhani and Frans Merkx

This book is insanely hectic. It was difficult for me to read in parts as there was plenty of racism, violence, swearing, injustice and generally difficult subject to read about. This is not the type of book I usually read but I do feel that it raised issues that I am interested in and to be honest I couldn’t put the book down.

When Zahid was a young boy growing up in Bradford he experienced a difficult and traumatic childhood. His mother was Dutch and his father was from Pakistan. My heart went out to little Zahid and his brothers and sisters. His mom worked 3 jobs and although she tried hard to look after them all, she couldn’t help but fail them. Sadly, their predicament came about after Zahid’s mother confronted the cheating, womanising father by taking a taxi to Scotland with the children and beating the dad with pots and pans. She got some of my respect for doing that! I can see the serious nature of this but the poor kids must have been so traumatised. The mother made sure the father left the family home after that and she struggled to bring them up herself. The father went on to be a complete inadequate father in every sense of the word and let his children down very badly. He was a violent man towards his children and I feel that him leaving the children penniless just added to the difficulties of their young lives. They were abandoned by all the people that should have cared for them. I found the part about his friend Caleb Black to be very touching and this in a weird way seemed to have been where he learnt to have love for own children and family. Caled Black’s family were a good influence on the young Zahid. His own father and later his brother Lateef regularly beat him.

As he grows up and moves to Holland with his mother and siblings, his life takes on a lot of paths that are less than ideal. He goes from being bullied to the bully and shows a strong aggressive and unpleasant personality, although deep down he seems to be a frightened and wounded small boy. When Zahid turned 18 he legally changed his name to Frans Zid Merkx. He is called up to do national service in the army and things go from bad to worse. He shows his dark controlling side by beating up a fellow soldier and from then all the other soldiers fear him and he takes their food vouchers and makes them earn them back.

He goes on to have 4 sons by different women and spends time in and out of prison. He even has a successful career as a pop star. His career takes him in and out of trouble. He has highs and lows and goes from being wealthy and travelling the world to being penniless in prison.

This is a wonderful book that although not the type of book I usually read, it is worth reading and very interesting to see how someone’s life can be so full of drama and highs and lows.

Throughout the whole book I always felt that he was a nice person who may have had a death wish and loved living life on the edge and that was the only way he knew how to survive. At times Frans Merkx was his own worst enemy.

He did know love and most certainly loved his 4 sons and Nadia. I am not sure he loved anyone else in his life (in my opionion) but did care for his family and even his father. When his father died when he was 20 he was brave and showed he was better than what his father was. He did the right thing and was not disrespectful to his dying father. I think that alone shows he is a good person. I also can understand how he felt detached from his dad but did the right thing by being respectful.

The book is called “Do Nothing” but he did plenty and has lived a very “full” life. Frans Zid Merkx has been treated unfairly for most of his life but he has also not had the best role models. He has an amazing amount of determination and drive to succeed. I can’t help wonder how his life would have turned out had he had a better start in life.

The racism he had to endure and the ill treatment of his family were unthinkable.

This is quite a difficult book to read in parts but it is also a thorough and well written book with a lot of detail. I am happy I read it.

niki x

You can also find my review on Amazon.

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