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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exploring the horrible fascination of war
I read about this in the Sunday Times a few weeks back and immediately bought a copy online. It sheds light on the life of a complex, inspiring figure, in a moving and compelling way.
Here I Am tells the story of Tim Hetherington's professional life as a war photographer, glossing over his early years in a few leaps and bounds and focussing on the 1990s until 2011,...
Published 11 months ago by John Fraser

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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Rubbish
"A lie is not another side of the story its just a lie"
Knew Tim for over 13 years, shared studio, worked with him all that time, was the sole editor and exhibitor of his major works, Liberia 2007, Infidel 2009 at Foto8 gallery, produced and exhibited Sleeping Soldiers and admired Tim's professionalism and ethic these guys (Junger and Brabazon included) now seem to...
Published 12 months ago by Jon


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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Rubbish, 4 April 2013
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"A lie is not another side of the story its just a lie"
Knew Tim for over 13 years, shared studio, worked with him all that time, was the sole editor and exhibitor of his major works, Liberia 2007, Infidel 2009 at Foto8 gallery, produced and exhibited Sleeping Soldiers and admired Tim's professionalism and ethic these guys (Junger and Brabazon included) now seem to lay special claim to. Did this writer bother to call, ask anything about Tim before he wrote a biography of his supposed professional life? No, he just followed the crass HBO documentary that effectively celebrates Tim's death rather than piece together the thinking, the work and the characters that Tim unified through his grace and talent whilst with us.
Jumping on the bandwagon to support a poor quality documentary that provides a platform for the film directors and this "author" is bad enough, its intolerable when you happen to know the real story. I gave it one star because with a hard back and paper inside it is a book after all but that's all it is.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 4 May 2013
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Very sadly I must concur with the earlier review written by Jon.

I've been fascinated by Tim's life and work for a while now and was greatly anticipating the release of this book. Unfortunately the book absolutely does not 'tell Hetherington's life story' nor does it 'recount Hetherington's life from his first interest in photography and war'.

I did not know Tim Hetherington and I never met him, but from my own reading around this subject it is immediately apparent, as hinted at by Jon's comments, that the trite popularised narrative of 'heroic war photographer' does not do full justice to the person he was.

The stories surrounding Hetherington's trips to war zones are reasonably well documented. I have watched Restrepo, his films from Darfur and Chad, and read 'A Long Story Bit By Bit: Liberia Retold' - this aspect of Hetherington's life has been the focus of most of the articles written about him following his death. Having become interested in Hetherington, I was hoping that this book would do what it claimed: to tell Tim's life story and to explain more fully his interest in photography and conflict.

There are, however, huge aspects of his story, which, as far as I am concerned, have been obscured. I was shocked to find that Hetherington's early life up until his mid-twenties was skipped over in a couple of pages in the book. His entire youth, from home to Stonyhurst College to Oxford University to several years of global travel is covered in literally two short paragraphs.

There are hints here of things which a fuller biography ought out to have elaborated on. For example, we are told that during his time at Stonyhurst he was "appalled by the frequent bullying and use of corporal punishment", and there he "learned to loath conflict yet over time felt compelled to understand it." This seemingly significant period of his life is never mentioned again. Perhaps it is unimportant, but it is implied that this apparent proximity to violence in some way influenced his future attitudes to conflict.

I understand that the Hetherington family may have been reluctant to speak to the author, but as far as I can see there seems to have been no great effort to interview anyone who knew him before his late twenties. Not one school or university friend or family member. There is no exploration of what had inspired the dreadlocked student (!!) into his postgraduate photography course at Cardiff - seemingly a crucial moment in his career.

The book is in essence a hagiography which continues to build on the mythology of 'Tim Hetherington, war photographer', as constructed after his death. I do not suggest that he was anything less than inspirational, and a hugely talented artist, but it saddens me to see such a distorted picture of the man created by this work.

For me there seem to be key aspects of Hetherington's character which are left unexplored. Much has been made of Hetherington's efforts to deal with his 'demons', which he seems to have described as his own 'destructive tendencies'. From what I have read, this often seems to have been confused with some idea of his 'self-destructive tendencies' which drew him into these war zones. In a more recent interview Sebastian Junger hinted that this was not the truth, but rather that his drive in his career was an attempt to leave behind his 'destructive' twenties and to make something of himself as a photographer.

Only one short section in the book deals with Junger's belief that Hetherington was a 'troubled' man, who he says: "was never psychically, physically, emotionally in the same place for more than three seconds." Junger suggests that he was driven forward by some inner torment which heightened his awareness of the pain of others, thus making him a good journalist. In another recent interview with VICE magazine, Junger states that Hetherington was "psychologically, very complicated and had some real veins of deep unhappiness running through him, real torment ... he was complicated. But he was a really, deeply good person."

I cannot claim to have known Hetherington and I do not know if these suggestions are true, or are merely speculation on Junger's part. Perhaps they serve only to add another layer to the romantic image of the 'gritty war reporter/action hero'. I simply hoped that this book would attempt to provide some sort of analysis of Hetherington's character, his ideas, his experiences and his approach to his work, however shallow, in order to explain his life and his art, alas it did not.

This book narrates the life and death of 'War Photographer Tim Hetherington', but I feel I learnt little about the life of the man himself.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exploring the horrible fascination of war, 9 May 2013
I read about this in the Sunday Times a few weeks back and immediately bought a copy online. It sheds light on the life of a complex, inspiring figure, in a moving and compelling way.
Here I Am tells the story of Tim Hetherington's professional life as a war photographer, glossing over his early years in a few leaps and bounds and focussing on the 1990s until 2011, and his time documenting conflict in Liberia, Afghanistan and, fatefully, Libya.
There's something about staring through a viewfinder that creates a distance but at the same time an intimacy, and this book does a wonderful job of exploring that boundary. Tim saw himself as a storyteller rather than a reporter, and that sense of his wanting to find a truth really shines through.
The book wrestles with pretty uncomfortable subject matter looking at the complexities of Tim's persona that make him - and many of his fellow photographers - inured to the dangers they place themselves in, daily testing the limits of fate, occasionally feeling almost invincible. I have a close friend who is a photographer and, though he's never done anything as extreme as Tim Hetherington, I've always been amazed by a certain fearlessness to his nature that this book goes some way to explain. That said, it also dispels the idea of war photographers as reckless thrill-seekers and shows that in Tim's case, there was a purposefulness to what he did and how he went about it, and a deep humanity too.
It also poses some pretty discomforting questions about our relationship - as readers and news junkies - to the subject matter that Tim and his fellow photographers risk their lives to bring to our attention.
For anyone interested in the mind of a photographer - and in reading an inspiring and ultimately tragic story - this is a must.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 19 Nov 2013
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Mr. K. RJ Graham (Cambridge, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Excellent account of TIm Hetherington's short and tragic life. Huffman takes you there so you can smell the cordite, experience the terror and share the brothers-in-arms comradery. Up there with the best
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The true Story ., 12 Jun 2013
This biography was well thought about . Well written about a man who loved his job but lost his life doing it.s great read.
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