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John Ibrahim takes first prize at Sydney Crime Festival for his controversial memoir

John Ibrahim has been awarded his first literary prize at the Sydney Crime Festival for his debut book, Last King of the Cross.

The nightclub baron took home the coveted prize for his memoir, which details Mr Ibrahim’s riveting life story, from fleeing war torn Tripoli to becoming a nightclub king on Sydney’s Golden Mile.

‘This is my first literary award and I am humbled,’ Mr Ibrahim said. 

‘I’ve done a lot of things in my life, but this is a new experience.’ 

‘This is my first literary award and I am humbled,’ Mr Ibrahim said after the coveted award at the Sydney Crime Festival

The book detailed Mr Ibrahim's riveting life story, from fleeing war torn Tripoli to becoming a nightclub king on the Golden Mile

The book detailed Mr Ibrahim’s riveting life story, from fleeing war torn Tripoli to becoming a nightclub king on the Golden Mile

Mr Ibrahim bought his first Kings Cross nightclub at 19, his girlfriend, Sarah Budge (pictured), also owns a bar of her own in Potts Point.

Mr Ibrahim bought his first Kings Cross nightclub at 19, his girlfriend, Sarah Budge (pictured), also owns a bar of her own in Potts Point.

Mark Morri, chair of the judging panel, said, ‘The judges found the book lively, and also informative. It’s in the tradition of immigrant autobiography, but takes that in some interesting directions.’

‘It tells us a lot we didn’t know about how Sydney worked in recent decades.’

He praised Mr Ibrahim for using his narrative voice as an instrument of changing public understanding of the world in which he was a part of.

Mr Ibrahim’s publisher, Pan Macmillon Australia, cited the work as ‘an incredible life story told in his own words.’

‘In the mongrel tongue of the streets, John writes of fleeing war-torn Tripoli with his family and growing up in Sydney’s rough and tumble west – before establishing himself in Kings Cross,’ the publisher wrote.     

‘Crazier than Goodfellas, more compelling than The Godfather, Last King of the Cross is a colourful crime saga like no other and powerful proof that truth is always stranger than fiction.’ 

When accepting his award, Mr Ibrahim said he was glad he didn’t “burn up on entry”, Nine News reported.

“(My) second concern was that this would be a police sting, a very elaborate one, but one (nonetheless).’

“I’ve seen this kind of thing on TV…I’ve been told I’m very elusive…I’m half expecting Taskforce Raptor to be abseiling from the ceiling at any moment.” 

John Ibrahim was rewarded for the fruits of his labour when his memoir was awarded first prize at the Sydney Crime Festival

John Ibrahim was rewarded for the fruits of his labour when his memoir was awarded first prize at the Sydney Crime Festival

The nightclub baron took home the coveted prize for his memoir entitled The Last King of the Cross

The nightclub baron took home the coveted prize for his memoir entitled The Last King of the Cross

Mr Ibrahim used his narrative voice as an instrument of changing public understanding of the world in which he was a part of

Mr Ibrahim used his narrative voice as an instrument of changing public understanding of the world in which he was a part of

Mr Ibrahim bought his first Kings Cross nightclub at 19,  and his girlfriend, Sarah Budge, also owns a bar of her own in Potts Point.

The win comes after a judge ordered lawyers for colourful Sydney identity Tom Domican to tie court documents to the front gates of Mr Ibrahim’s clifftop mansion.

Mr Domican is suing Mr Ibrahim and Pan Macmillan Australia for defamation over the best-selling memoir.

The 75-year-old claims the book portrayed him as a hitman, a drug dealer and a violent criminal who took part in gang wars in the 1980s. 

Other finalists for the coveted prize included, including Campbell McConachie, Tanya Bretherton and Michael Jenkins. 

The Sydney Crime Festival is an annual event held to explore what crime can say about humanity, both contemporary and historical.

Other finalists for the coveted prize included, including Campbell McConachie, Tanya Bretherton and Michael Jenkins

Other finalists for the coveted prize included, including Campbell McConachie, Tanya Bretherton and Michael Jenkins

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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