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The Worst Date Ever: War Crimes, Hollywood Heart-throbs and Other Abominations Paperback – Unabridged, 3 Jul 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; Export ed edition (3 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230737129
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230737129
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.8 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 494,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'A small African war, headache of foreign editors and reluctant publishers, has never been captured to such hilarious and heart-wrenching effect.' -- The Spectator

'As a juxtaposition of two very different worlds of journalism it's fearsomely entertaining.' -- Metro

'Extraordinarily amusing and gruesomely inappropriate...a comedy that is truly funny.' -- Observer

'Full of scurrilous asides about the famous.'
-- Private Eye

'Hilarious.' -- Red

'Hysterical, heartbreaking true story'
-- Chortle

'Very funny.'
-- The london paper

`An amazing true story you could not make up.' -- Prima

`Jane Bussmann's romantic odyssey from Hollywood to Uganda is the funniest thing we've ever read.' -- Instyle

`Marrying vociferous rage with self deprecating humour...this is a marvelously maverick approach to the investigation of war crimes.' -- Marie Claire

Review

'Hysterical, heartbreaking true story'

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Not Pepys on 21 July 2009
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book because I've always liked Jane Bussmann's writing - she neglects to mention in her book that she's one of the few journalists who could turn out an interview with a celeb filled with the usual tripe and make it readable.

So I knew it would be interesting, but I didn't expect it to be superb, and I don't say that word lightly.

The sharp Gonzo-esque humour draws a savage line through the madness of Hollywood, before turning to the Apocalypse Now-on-steroids uber insanity of Joseph Kony's LRA and African politics.
There are probably better, more detailed books about the war crimes perpetrated in Uganda. There are certainly more worthy ones. But I imagine few draw you in and then smack you the way this does. Bussmann is so ordinary, it makes the horror of Kony's brutalised child army and the Ugandan government's complicity in the LRA's atrocities, more real. If Jane, a scatty journalist of fluff, can see the problems, then why the hell can't the experts? African politics, that's why.
Bussman's self-deprecating humour is what brought me to the book in the first place, and it's essential to leaven the mix - without it the human suffering is unrelenting. Not that she rubs the reader's nose it in, far from it - her writing is remarkably elegant. This is dark stuff, drawn brilliantly.

Read it. you won't regret it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jaylia3 on 17 Aug 2009
Format: Paperback
Like the rest of the world, the economy in the U.S. is not in great shape now and I decided that since I can't afford to actually travel I would give myself the illusion of visiting England by reading the London Times Literary Supplement. In it I found a review of this memoir, which made me wild to read it, and since I couldn't bear to wait until 2010 when it will be out in the U.S. I ordered it here on Amazon UK. The author is a comedian but there is some grim material in here and Bussman manages the amazing trick of being both tremendously funny and deadly serious at almost the same time.

Bussman got tired of hanging around Hollywood during 2003-2006, which she calls the Golden Age of Stupid, interviewing (mostly useless) celebrities. She decides to radically change her life by following a peace negotiator (really cute--and very useful) to Uganda so she can write an article about him, but after scraping together the money for a plane ticket he doesn't show up. Not for a month or two anyway--he's now back in Hollywood. Bussman is left to kill time in a cheap Ugandan hostel, so she decides to try doing some investigative fieldwork while she waits for the chance to interview/date her negotiator. She teaches scriptwriting at an AIDs orphanage, meets numbed victims of the warlord Joseph Kony, and interviews anyone--even very scary people--who might be able to help her figure out why for 20 years the Ugandan army has been unable to prevent Kony from kidnapping children as young as four and forcing them to fight in his militia.

Being a celebrity journalist isn't completely useless preparation for her adventures.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By scherazhade on 5 July 2009
Format: Paperback
they lied when they said funny couldn't be deadly serious. this book proves it. a brilliantly goofy quest for love which ends up in africa exposing the dark heart of the west.

jane bussmann is at the forefront of a new kind of writing - gonzo journalism by women. she's hunter s thompson and bob woodward squeezed into killer heels.

Top read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By London Bookworm on 9 Aug 2010
Format: Paperback
This isn't the sort of book you can pigeonhole - funny but also tragic, a love story but not, true but unbelievable. So it's the sort of book you stumble on by accident and then discover what a superb piece of writing it is. I learnt more about African wars and the politics of aid than I have from a dozen docs on the subject and had many good - and often shockingly politically incorrect - belly laughs along the way. Jane does deserve to end up with someone like her hero one day and I hope she does. Till then I hope she keeps writing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. W. Field on 11 April 2010
Format: Paperback
After 5 years wandering in the psychic wilderness after the death of his last host, Dr. Hunter Thompson, the spirit of Dr. Gonzo. somehow made its way to Los Angeles and took control of the weak, damaged mind of a celebrity journo-hack called Jane Bussman. As smooth moves go, this was up there with Graham Greene quitting the day job, or Groucho Marx deciding he liked that moustache after all.

The first part of this book is a relatively engaging story of the author's time as a celebrity interviewer in LA. The description is great, the observations acute. The only problem is that all it tells you is that LA is the shallowest most self obsessed place on the planet, majoritively populated by strung out fame-junkies. Spread over 108 pages this insight gets a little thin. It does however stand reasonable comparison with much of Thompson's later work, which would arguably stretch insights of similar depth (vis. Just Say No Kids) over much greater distance. Bussman appears to understand, consciously or otherwise, the central tenet of Gonzo; that the author's process of discovery becomes as much part of the story as the analytical message of story itself.

The second part, the author's adventure into Uganda, will perhaps stand as one of the founding texts of Gonzo journalism. A certain, rather reductive understanding of the artist, as a troubled soul who looks into the abyss so that we don't have to, describes Bussman's role in this drama perfectly. The range of experience, black humour, white humour (for racial balance), and unbelievably tasteless humour is outstanding. The genuine political insight, that the war is a convenient arrangement between the government and the rebels, is also quite original, at least in the public press.
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