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Deadly Waters: Inside the hidden world of Somalia's pirates [Paperback]

Jay Bahadur
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

28 May 2011

What are the lives of modern day pirates like outside of the attack skiffs? How do they spend their money? What clothes do they wear and what is their drug of choice? Deadly Waters takes us to the heart of Somalia, where Jay Bahadur, the intrepid 25-year-old author has ventured where most journalists fear to tread. As the 'go to' journalist for all major media, and with unparalleled access to all the major players, from government officials to local residents - and of course the pirates themselves - Bahadur sets out to discover who is behind the masked menaces who appear on the news.

Exploring the politics and history of the self-governing region of Puntland, Bahadur looks at the challenges facing this troubled mini-state as piracy rises - and examines how the UN and other bodies are attempting to deal with the scourge of every sea-faring nation. Evocative and incisive, Deadly Waters is a highly original analysis of the international pirate crisis.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books (28 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846683637
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846683633
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 310,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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A punchy and impressive debut. Deadly Waters is a brave and timely book that reaches far behind the glib newspaper headlines to uncover the hidden world of Somali piracy. (Justin Marozzi, author of The Man Who Invented History)

This is remarkable investigative journalism. It takes somebody of much daring to venture where he did and come out of it unscathed with such a story. I congratulate him. (Michael Nicholson OBE, former ITN Senior Foreign Correspondent and author of Welcome to Sarajevo)

Bahadur's revelatory journalism and astute analysis of causes and solutions prove far more informative than any TV footage about the contemporary piracy problem. (Booklist)

Vivid and intelligent ... a balanced and fascinating portrait (Stephen Robinson Sunday Times)

A welcome addition to the limited literature on Somalia and piracy. (Andrew Anthony Guardian)

Book Description

A unique insight into the daily lives of Somali pirates

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive debut 15 Jun 2011
By Ar-dub
I bought this book as soon as it came out, and was not disappointed. At the onset of the piracy explosion, the author quit his market research job in Toronto and bought a ticket to Somalia, spending months on the ground and meeting some of the most notorious pirate bosses, including Garaad Mohammed, the man responsible for the hijacking of the American cargo ship Maersk Alabama. Buying his way into their good graces with bags of the narcotic leaf "khat," Bahadur tracks the pirates in their coastal bases and constructs a financial statement for one of the gangs he encounters there. The book is also full of interesting analysis about the causes of piracy and tactics that the international community has tried to combat the problem, as well as the author's recipe for a solution.
All in all, an extremely exciting and fascinating read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The dispiriting truth about pirating 8 Aug 2011
By T. Burkard VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Jay Bahadur hit on a novel way to break into journalism: he wrote the defacto rulers of Puntland, a tribal fiefdom in Somalia where piracy has been rife. President Farole, whose authority is not recognised by any other government, was happy for a chance to give his side of the picture to the world media, and delegated one of his own sons to be Bahadur's bodyguard all of the time he was in Somalia. And one can well understand why he would: Farole has to maintain order in Puntland on a budget of $20 million per annum. Were it not for the inherent stability of the medieval clan system (which still holds in Puntland, unlike in the South of Somalia), his job would be impossible.

It seems that Farole's desire to suppress piracy is genuine. Legitimate enterprises will not create the investment Puntland needs until piracy is eliminated. And most of the population are against it: little if any of the ransoms paid to pirates benefits anyone beyond the closer relatives of the pirates. And even then, the amounts the pirates get for risking their lives is derisory: the luckiest ones might make enough to build a respectable house and buy a Land Cruiser, but the money doesn't last long. The pirates Bahadur interviewed were among the more successful ones, and as soon as they got their hundred dollars, they were off like a shot to buy some more khat (the local cocaine substitute).

Bahadur has really done his research. In fact, the amounts paid for ransom are chickenfeed. It simply isn't worth it for shipping companies to hire mercenary guards.
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2.0 out of 5 stars None the wiser 12 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was intrigued to read this book after watching the recent Hollywood movie about Captain Richard Phillips. I have to say on the whole I was disappointed with Jay Bahadur's account and didn't really come away with much of an insight into the world of Somali piracy. There is no doubting the author's determination but sadly he didn't come close to penetrating the inner sanctum of the Puntland Pirates. In conclusion I would suggest reading newspaper coverage if you want to really learn about this topic.
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1 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I'm upset AND disappointed... 17 Jan 2012
I love pirates! It was watching all those "Pirates of the Carribean" films which got me hooked. Evading Her Majesty's navy, searching for treasure, drinking rum and sailing the high seas. It just comes across like really good fun. So imagine my disappointment when I read this book.

Gone are the swordfights with fellow pirates and in come kidnapping people and holding them for millions of US dollars ransom. Don't bother looking elegant blunderbusses but you will see loads of loaded bazookas and AK-47's. It's just another sign that society loses its innocence too quickly...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging read 13 Aug 2011
By The Lazy Book Reviewer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this book it was easy to reaqd and very engaging. The author has done a great job at looking at piracy in Somalia as well the other surrounding issues. I was left wanting to read more which in my book is a great thing.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid 8 Sep 2011
By Giles Van Leuwen - Published on
Bahadur casts light on the character of the pirates as well as the economic realities fueling their desperate racket. A solid and engaging read. Loved it.
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