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on 7 January 2013
This is a book written by a journalist going through a particularly difficult time in his life, so he starts to write about his life to try to make sense of it. For me, he grew up in Africa so I felt I could relate to him. The way he writes about his experiences of reporting in Africa are outstanding, but at the same time there is the story of his father's friend woven into the book. This book blew me away and it was this book that has influenced my reading now of so many books written by journalists.
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on 27 October 2011
Wow in this wonderful book Aidan Hartley interspaces his own life story with that of one of his father's friends who died before Aidan was born . He manages to depict life in 1940s Africa and Arabia as well as to give us some of the most harrowing tales from modern day Somalia and Rwanda. He manages this without sickening us although some details may haunt you for while. This is essential reading for any one tryig to come to terms with the results of the actions of the west in Africa and Arabia.
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on 27 December 2010
I could not put this book down until I had finished it. Amazingly believable but shocking account of war zones in Africa, mingled with a touching and poignant story. I wish I could find the book Aidan Hartley wrote subsequently about his life on an African farm, but it seems impossible to get it.
This book is a very humbling read, and makes the reader ever more aware of the decadence and waste in Western society.
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on 12 June 2013
A hard book to read but completely absorbing. It spins between his, his Father's and his Father's friends life in post colonial and colonial Africa and the Middle East. The end is harrowing and the love story with Africa and his first girlfriend touching. I do recommend it, but you will be mentally bruised by the end.
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on 23 November 2014
This book's pages were so brown that it was unreadable. Even charity shops didn't want it. The book was described as 'good.' I realise that a seconhad book is going to have flaws, but even for a penny plus p&p it should be readable. We have only the description to go on, so they should be accurately described.
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on 22 April 2014
Really entertaining and interresting memoir of the author's experiences living and working in Africa. It also delves into details of his family's history of colonial service in Africa and the Middle East. Well written, humorous and honest this book is well worth reading.
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on 29 September 2014
Enjoyed the intertwining of family history and personal experiences in central Africa. Fast pace but also the author shows professional detachment from what he saw - as he says, that was the only way to continue.
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 2 June 2004
An excellent read but I was disturbed to discover (from The Sunday Telegraph on 31st May 2004) that parts of this are fiction. Notably the trip that the Hurds are meant to have made to Rwanda, which never happened. So I now find myself questioning whether the author has broken my trust in it as work of non-fiction. Sow hat is it? Fiction or non-fiction? Or neithe beast nor fowl?
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