- 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)
War Reporting for Cowards Paperback – 5 Jun 2006
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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)
'[Ayres] has the knack for evoking the weirdness of life on the front line and finding humour in the horror.' (Glasgow Herald)
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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
anyone contemplating journalism as a career, whether or not as a war correspondent, should read and learn.
A Fantastic book - I would highly recommend
I would highly recommend this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hilarious - loved this book.
Sounds like an interesting job.....beats working in an office any day!
Chris Ayres is genuine! The first war reporters actual account when he professes when he was bricking it! The warts and all story was very personal and yet quite funny. Read morePublished on 6 Jun. 2013 by MJS
Toby Young may have been the originator of Loser lit. Chris Ayres however is the master of it. Very entertaining.Published on 1 July 2011 by Len Collin
I'm very glad I kept at this book - I really didn't like the way it began in the war zone, I thought it would stay there and simply get repetitive. Read morePublished on 5 May 2009 by Chris Miller
This book has a lot of substance, but is too heavy on confessions of personal foolishness. It has gripping eyewitness accounts of the 9/11 attacks, the Anthrax bio-terror scare,... Read morePublished on 29 Mar. 2008 by Brian Griffith
I got this expecting to read a fast-paced insight into war reporting at the frontline in Iraq, thus giving reason for the author to be the self-confessed coward that he apparently... Read morePublished on 14 April 2007 by Deano
Truly unbelievable that anyone could be so naive and ill-prepared for entering a combat zone or that The Times could rely so heavily on such an inexperienced journalist for its... Read morePublished on 25 Aug. 2006 by Bridgemagoo2