Music Connection Magazine
In this memoir subtitled How to chew on a crazy childhood and avoid choking, magazine editor and singer-songwriter Niki Smart recounts her often tempestuous upbringing, including an insane continent-hopping childhood with an unstable mother, growing up in South Africa during the "kill a white man era" and her dreams of moving to America to become a popstar. Smart writes vividly about her struggles as an artist, associations with big name bands, and her ultimate arrival at personal catharsis. REVIEWED by Mark Nardone
Portland Book Reviews
In her memoir Hell Camp
, Smart relays tales of her traumatic childhood, marked by her mother's lack of boundaries, manipulations, abuse, and fear mongering regarding her children's deaths, and her own wild, promiscuous years as a young adult.
But, in a way, Hell Camp
is also more than a memoir. It takes place largely in apartheid South Africa and gives intense and often brutal insight into the social and political climate of the time. The violence and upheaval in South African history is a great juxtaposition to Smart's story, the craziness of the time and the craziness of her life working in conjunction to present a very vibrant, almost frightening, picture. REVIEWED by Ashley McCall
Laguna Beach Indy
In "Hell Camp" Smart spills out her intense, cringe-provoking tales. While her own behavior is shocking, and her mother's borders on criminal, Smart's spot on, spunky, self-effacing humor keeps her story from turning into a "poor, poor pitiful me" saga.
REVIEWED by Robin Pierson
A Wild Memoir - OC Insite
Niki Smart's turbulent upbringing in South Africa is just about the craziest I've ever read and I'm still not sure how she lived to tell the tale. "Hell Camp" features one of the most maniacal mothers on the planet, too many death-defying experiences, many of them self-inflicted, and all this within the political upheaval in the transition from apartheid to the cultural stalemate that is post-apartheid. REVIEWED by Randy Kraft
Recommend as a "hot" summer read." - LagunaBeach Magazine