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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read from John Simpson
John Simpsons third autobiography takes the reader to the devastating warzone of Afghanistan. This book is the tale of Simpson's and therefore the BBC's entrance into war torn Kabul. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the way that John Simpson alternated chapters on his journey to Afghanistan with chapters on the presentation of the media world today. I admire the hard...
Published on 7 Nov. 2002 by Amazon Customer

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A rather dull set of musings
It is almost as if John Simpson has little to say and so spins his very few tales out into a long ramble with many dead end reminiscences - it all resembles an old Ronnie Corbett armchair story from the Two Ronnies. It is really frustrating and most uncharacteristically I am unlikely to finish the book first - life is too short.
Published on 8 Dec. 2012 by Dr. H. J. Ziman


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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read from John Simpson, 7 Nov. 2002
John Simpsons third autobiography takes the reader to the devastating warzone of Afghanistan. This book is the tale of Simpson's and therefore the BBC's entrance into war torn Kabul. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the way that John Simpson alternated chapters on his journey to Afghanistan with chapters on the presentation of the media world today. I admire the hard job that he has as a foreign correspondent and the team that surrounds him. John simpson is careful to praise those around him and highlights very clearly his job is more than a one man show. I appreciate the way he has shown the reader all the "tricks of the trade" and why things are they way they are in media. John Simpson also draws on his other two books developing the idea of the adventures he has had from the second volume to the development of the media and his position within in it from his first volume. These books are real adventures that contain a very thorough look at the media and the attitudes of todays society towards it, although Simpson works for the BBC he takes a very neutral view towards it and gives praise when it is due-in my opinion the BBC deserves a fair amount!. I would recommend any of his books for anyone who wants to understand the media world, enjoys adventures and thoroughly good writing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An easy but thought provoking read about war journalism, 22 Feb. 2004
By 
M. Ringrose (Northwood, Middlesex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: News from No Man's Land: Reporting the World (Paperback)
Interesting, compelling and humorous. John Simpson writes about life as a foreign war correspondent for the BBC, centred around the story of his reporting in Afghanistan from August through November 2001. But it's about more than events in Afghanistan...
John Simpson draws on thirty odd years of experience at the BBC, where he began in the 1960s and worked with veteran journalists of the time. He describes the many changes in the way news is reported and gathered, and indeed, in the change in our expectations of news reporting.
In particular, I found the discussion of the logistics of news gathering intriguing, and it has made me view television news reports in a different light.
I like the way John Simpson explains some of his frustrations when trying to get a short, interesting piece back to the BBC in London. The effort involved is really quite staggering, when you consider that the result is a report on an evening news programme which lasts from just 60 to 120 seconds.
My favourite anecdote in the book is where he describes the TV crew's attempt to cross the Amudarya river (the river formerly known as the Oxus). "Your ship", indicates one of the Afghan guides. 'But our ship wasn't a ship... All it was, was four large tractor tyres bound together with rope and supporting a wooden frame which was covered with straw.'
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Simpson - another gem!, 18 Nov. 2002
By 
This is the fifth book I have read of John Simpson's. All his books - and this is no exception - are articulate and extremely interesting insights into his working life as a journalist. This particular book deals with his famous 'walk into Kabul', John Simpson teases us by telling us the story in small segments during the book, whilst also discussing his very personal opinions on journalism, the BBC as well as many anecdotes. One thing I enjoy about his books is the way he talks about his own arrogance, pig-headedness, determination to get to the true story with such unusual honesty. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to be better informed about the wicked ways of the world. Amazingly, Mr Simpson keeps you entertained whilst educating you. He has such tremendous experiences as a journalist it would have been a waste not to put pen to paper.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars John Simpson, 20 Sept. 2006
By 
M. A. Paton (Wiltshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: News from No Man's Land: Reporting the World (Paperback)
Typical John Simpson. I know that he writes about the BBC a lot, but that's not really surprising as he's worked for Aunty most of his professional career. His writing style may be very conversational, but that adds to his books' personal, almost intimate, approach. As much as anything else, it's particularly nice for a journalist to take a swipe at his own, often pompous and self-congratulatory, profession.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Favourite Simpson, 3 Jan. 2012
This review is from: News from No Man's Land: Reporting the World (Paperback)
This is by far my favourite John Simpson book, and I've read them all now. He uses the various things that happen to him during the Afghan war to not only inform about this, but as a springboard to talk about other subjects, sometimes past exploits sometimes issues he considers important, such as teamwork and the various people who put up with him.Personally, I find this book inspiring because of the accounts about the other people he works with, professionals or locals. All of this is told in a friendly almost conversational style which makes it easy to read and connect with, a great feat given I have never been in war torn country. He is self deprecating and often tells his tales with humour, although I would not like to be between him and a story as he comes across as quite ruthless at times (necessary in his profession I suppose).

Most of the people who did not enjoy this book were concerned about the frequent mentions of the BBC. It is true that there are many mentions, not always positive. This seems reasonable to me given that he has worked most of his life for them. I liked all the beeb talk as it gave some interesting insights and a side of the long standing debate that I have not previously heard, but I can understand that it would irritate others. Perhaps the problem is that this book is not exactly autobiography, like a couple of his others, but nor is it a straightforward text on the Afghan war. Essentially this book is a loose collection personal reflections and opinions bound together by the over arcing narrative of his experience of the Afghan war.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A look behind the scenes of tv journalism, 2 May 2003
In this, his third "autobiographical" book, John Simpson focuses on the business of TV journalism. This is overlayed with tales of his latest expedition to Afghanistan including how he was smuggled behind "enemy lines".
Once again, he has written an entertaining book and has taken an open and honest approach, being at times quite self-critical. I have however docked him one star for being too praising of the BBC. For my taste, he dwells too much on this and I personally think it takes from the book. However this is one small negative among a large collection of positives.
For anyone who has ever wondered what a tv reporter does when they are not on-screen, this is an excellent book. Similarly, if you have ever wondered exactly how someone like John Simpson manages to pop-up in the middle of a battle field, or how you would survive in Baghdad when it is being bombed, this is the book for you.
Highly recommended, despite the strong pro-BBC stance.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative, enlightening, surprising., 28 Oct. 2003
"News From No Man's Land" attempts to unravel the hidden world behind the stories and the cameras of the BBC's world news reporting activities.
The book appears to alternate between tales of Simpson's exploits in Afghanistan and other places, and in-depth looks at TV news journalism by turns. Simpson's clear and, at times, humourous writing style makes this read quite entertaining. One of the startling things he reveals is just how much preparation, and money, is involved in foreign reporting.
The book amounts to nice exposé of TV journalism, coupled with some insightful looks at the workings of Central Asian countries, notably Afghanistan and Pakistan. I also liked Simpson's descriptions of the crazy, corrupt and seemingly arbitrary process of gaining visas for such countries.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really two books in one - and yes, that does work, 23 May 2010
By 
N. Young (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: News from No Man's Land: Reporting the World (Paperback)
This, John Simpson's third book, is in fact two books - an account of his experiences in Afghanistan in late 2001 culminating with his famous walk into Kabul after the Taliban had fled interspersed with his own, anecdote-heavy opinions on how journalism (specifically, TV journalism) operates in the modern world. The latter part formed the basis of his second book, the excellent `A Mad World, My Masters'.

As ever, Simpson comes across as an intelligent man dedicated to finding out and telling the truth, which includes many self-deprecatory asides which if anything serve to make him seem incredibly honest and impartial - if he can tell us things about himself which do not present him in the best of lights, then (the reader can confidently assume) he must be the right man to report the news in a frank and unbiased manner.

But does the `two books' idea work? In this instance, yes it does - in each chapter, Simpson tells the reader more about his Afghan experiences and then reflects on what he has learned about television journalism during his long career with the BBC. And he successfully manages to maintain a balance between the two while always keeping the reader interested.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating accounts from behind the scene, 12 May 2006
This review is from: News from No Man's Land: Reporting the World (Paperback)
News from No Man's Land is a fascinating read as it relates events and facts not normally included in the terse, seconds-long reports in news programmes. John Simpson gives not only comprehensive accounts of the events leading to and during the Afghan War, but also a fair and unbiaised analysis of the politics behind them.

A very good read by any standards.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A rather dull set of musings, 8 Dec. 2012
By 
Dr. H. J. Ziman "Dr Harry Ziman" (Chester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: News from No Man's Land: Reporting the World (Paperback)
It is almost as if John Simpson has little to say and so spins his very few tales out into a long ramble with many dead end reminiscences - it all resembles an old Ronnie Corbett armchair story from the Two Ronnies. It is really frustrating and most uncharacteristically I am unlikely to finish the book first - life is too short.
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News from No Man's Land: Reporting the World
News from No Man's Land: Reporting the World by John Simpson (Paperback - 3 Oct. 2008)
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