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War Reporting for Cowards Paperback – 5 Jun 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray; New Ed edition (5 Jun. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719560020
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719560026
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 402,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Chris Ayres has invented a new genre: a rip-roaring tale of adventure and derring-don't (Toby Young)

Ayres' wry humour, intelligent writing and constant admission of his own incompetence makes this book a great, but horrifying read. (Wanderlust)

'Hugely entertaining' (Metro)

'A sharp and off-message look at the war in Iraq.' (Publishing News)

A memorable new voice (Independent)

Ayres [writes with] engaging honesty (John Simpson, BBC World Affairs Editor and bestsel)

'A miracle of observation' (The Times)

What a snivelling piece of s**t (Operation Freedom)

'Reminded me of the granddaddy of the genre, Evelyn Waugh's novel Scoop ... truly indispensable' (New York Times)

'War is hell. But through the eyes of Chris Ayres, it's also funny as hell' (Playboy)

'Hilarious' (New York Times)

'Ayres's book stands out as a new sub-genre. He is disarmingly (pun intended), honest and hilarious about his lack of stomach for the fight.' -- (What's On In London: Joe Cushley)

'At once hugely entertaining, and surprisingly, a better insight into the sheer awfulness of war than any gung-ho adrenaline junkie could ever achieve.' (Metro, Siobhan Murphy)

'Ayres' book stands out as a new sub-genre [of war reportage classics] . . .He is disarmingly (pun intended) honest and hilarious about his lack of stomach for the fight' (What's On In London)

'Brilliant' (Nuts)

'[Ayres] has the knack for evoking the weirdness of life on the front line and finding humour in the horror.' (Glasgow Herald)

Book Description

Chris 'risk averse' Ayres saw journalism as his ticket to schmoozing with celebrities and penning pompous opinion pieces. Instead he landed a plane ticket to Iraq.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
One journalist's tale of his experience of the controversial "embedding" scheme during the Iraq conflict.
In what is part autobiography, part war memoir, Ayres pulls no punches in expressing his fears and he is particularly good on the contrast between his journalistic life, most recently involving celebrity parties and expensive restaurants, and the privations of life in the war zone, complete with sandstorms, foxholes, too little sleep and meals ready to eat (MRE), not to mention the ever-present threat of imminent death.
He is candid about how quickly he comes to admire the quiet professionalism of the Marines and his exhilaration, almost in spite of himself, when he finds himself in the thick of the action.
While Ayres admits that ultimately he failed miserably as a war correspondent, I suspect "The Times" may have pulled off a masterstroke by embedding a journalist with such a different background, since he has produced a unique slant, both on the conflict and on the nature of war itself. The quote used for the title of this review is an indicator of his response.
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By A Customer on 7 July 2005
Format: Paperback
I found War Reporting for Cowards to be an excellent read. It is clearly written, informative and funny. I especially suggest this book to someone with an interest in combat journalism.
It is not so much about the war, but about the author's reaction to being on the frontlines. That is why I liked this book so much. Being in the British armed forces, his story struck a cord with me. However I can't imagine anyone not enjoying this read.
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Format: Paperback
A very un-put-downable and powerful description of how a person who has an ambition to do one thing suddenly finds himself doing something quite different. The contrast of the media world of drinking, capuccinos, writing, dotcoms, celebrities and deadlines with the horror and fear of a war situation, and feeling out of place, is compelling to say the least. Equally compelling is the description of how Chris attempted to carry out his 'day job' faced by fear and logistical issues. Loved it.
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Format: Paperback
honesty, humour and originality. some compelling observation..ayres' description of the world trade centre office workers who jumped to avoid being burned alive is masterful and horrific. his honesty about the gut wrenching fear that seemed to accompany most of his professional life, particularly in battle, is often too painful to read. despite the title, mr ayres is most certainly not a coward.
anyone contemplating journalism as a career, whether or not as a war correspondent, should read and learn.
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Format: Paperback
Finally a true to the heart account of what it's like going to war and hating every second of it. Chris Ayres dumps the typical, 'I'm a pretentious reporter - going to war to experience the human tragedy,' attitude. Instead we get an unadulterated look into how a self proclaimed coward reacts to extreme circumstances -often turning around and running the other way!!
A Fantastic book - I would highly recommend
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Format: Paperback
This book is funny - funnier than the Iraq War and anthrax scares and 9/11 should be. Chris Ayres does a brilliant job of giving enough historical context and journalistic research to feel like we're getting some new understanding of events that we've heard a lot about while also making the story personal. The questions of cowardice that he brings up are interesting - I especially liked the chapter where he talks about coming from a long line of cowards. War Reporting for Cowards is like a new kind of gonzo journalism - but instead of rushing to be part of the action, all Ayres wants is to get out of harms way. It's beach reading that you can feel virtuous about: you'll get all sorts of good gossipy bits on Ayres' own life and behind-the-scenes newspaper stuff, but there's enough serious in there to make it good for you and your brain!
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Format: Paperback
Finally a true to the heart account of what it's like going to war and hating every second of it. Chris Ayres dumps the typical, 'I'm a pretentious reporter - going to war to experience the human tragedy,' attitude. Instead we get an unadulterated look into how a self proclaimed coward reacts to extreme circumstances -often turning around and running the other way!!
I would highly recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback
War Reporting for Cowards is hilariously honest. Chris Ayres proves that he suffers from being himself more than other writer today. I was laughing out loud with every twist and clumsy turn of his book. He's a metrosexual who's gone through 911, anthrax, and the frontline of the Iraq war by the age of 30, AND who can write about it in a comical way....which is why this is a must-read for anyone. Fantastic!
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