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My War Gone by, I Miss it So Paperback – 5 Aug 2002

4.7 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Paperback, 5 Aug 2002
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan; New edition edition (5 Aug. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552771333
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552771337
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,351,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Anthony Loyd's first book is a vivid, haunting account of the war in Bosnia from 1993 until 1996, from where he reported for the Daily Telegraph and then the Times as a special correspondent. However, what separates it from standard reportage is the war Loyd was fighting on a personal front, which drove him to seek war as a "final absolution of self-responsibility". While snipers shot people indiscriminately Loyd, living on whisky-chased adrenaline, fought to understand the compulsion he felt to be there and struggled to shoot the pictures that were the pretext for his presence. It is this battle, set against the brutality that tore the Balkans to shreds, that gives the book its anguished focus and embattled majesty.

Loyd gradually reveals a fractured upbringing, which culminated in the death of the father from whom he had been torturously distant for many years. Five years in the army did little to relieve the embittered emotional hangover that had become his burden, and in indulging the impulse that propelled him to war he was following in the footsteps of generations of males in his family. In addition to the stimulation engendered he was also fighting a heroin dependency that reared up when the buzz of the danger passed.

The descriptions of mortar-damaged flesh in Bosnia do not depart easily from the consciousness of the reader, who is left shuddering at the damage they must have inflicted on the author. Loyd, though, free from the constraints of newspaper journalism, writes with an angrily articulate physicality that throbs with a challenging compassion one longs for him to apply to himself. He finally achieves a redemption of sorts, and in the process has written one of the most uncompromising and personally honest accounts of the ugliness of war that puts to shame complacent apathy. Brave, provocative, essential, but not for those who take cream in their coffee. --David Vincent --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Battlefield reportage does not get more up close, gruesome, and personal. . . . The fear and confusion of battle are so vivid that in places, they rise like acrid smoke from the page." "New York Times"
"Loyd s strongest writing is in his descriptions of carnageof the sound and smell of shellfire; of the sexual release of blasting away with an automatic machine gun . . . This is pure war reporting, free from the usual journalistic constraints that often give a false significance to suffering. And Loyd waxes eloquent on the backblast of his war time, a heroin addiction that begins before his arrival and becomes the only way he can survive his breaks from the fighting." "Salon"
"Both beautiful and disturbing." "Wall Street Journal"
"First-rate war correspondence . . . [in] the great tradition of Hemingway, Caputo, and Michael Herr." "Boston Globe"
""My War Gone By, I Miss It So" moves at the pace of a thriller. Why bother reading war fiction when you can read such intense reporting?" "LA Weekly"
"[Lloyd] has written an account of its horrors that will wipe out any thoughts you might have had that we have reached the limit of the worst human nature has to offer. The monstrosities he describes are beyond belief. But the book is also compelling for what it tells us about fear." "National Geographic Adventure Magazine"
"A testament to his honor and courage. And while it would be impossible for one man to tell the whole story, his book shines with small truths and larger, philosophical ones about life and war." "New York Post"
"Brave and admirable . . . with vivid descriptions of shelling, human suffering, and new depths of fear." "Christian Science Monitor"
"Loyd has used a zoom lens to put his readers nose to nose with the surreal and horrifying brutalities [in Bosnia] . . . this book is so powerful that, at times, you will have to put it down. But not for long." "Denver Post"
"A raw and ragged book for a war that officially announced to the world that what s old is new in conflict: war fought between neighbors divided by religion or ethnicity, and fought hand to hand. . . . And his writing from the middle of the action is visceral, rife with urges that chaos and anonymity spur. . . . This may be the book these wars neededan angry, confused howl against the obliteration of all we consider humane. Loyd has taken a step toward resuscitating the somnolent language of conflict-at-a-distance, bringing a war often seen through a haze of euphemism into sharp and jarring focus. This great horror in a century of horrors finally has its jeremiad." "Philadelphia Inquirer"
"Loyd has a matter-of-fact writing style that augments rather than softens the carnage he describes. At the same time he can go ballistic on certain subjects: the incompetent impotence of the U.N., for example, or the apathy of the Western public. . . . He describes both wars from a ground-level view, making them more understandable while maintaining their chaotic feel: a difficult, yet appreciated balancing act. He humanizes how inhuman war can be. . . . Loyd has gone to hell and back and is telling us what he's seen in sometimes beautiful, always pungent prose." "Seattle Times"
"Writing with a combat veteran's dark knowledge and a seasoned war correspondent's edgy, hesitant desire to cling to some sort of confidence in humanity, Loyd delivers a searing firsthand account of the war in Bosnia that successfully blends autobiographical confession and war reportage. . . . Not like any other book on the Yugoslav war, his gripping, viscerally subjective chronicle puts a human face on the tragedy as it mourns the strangled soul of multiethnic Bosnia." "Publishers Weekly"
"An extraordinary evocation of the war in Bosnia, that is also a painful personal story. . . . He sketches an almost unbearable picture of the carnage . . . [no other book] takes the reader deeper into the domestic heart of the conflict as this idiosyncratic, unsparingly graphic, refreshingly self-critical, and beautifully written memoir." "Kirkus Reviews" (starred review)
"The stark, often lyrical quality of his prose accentuates the surreal atmosphere of wartime . . . Loyd s account blends personal revelation with biting commentary on diplomacy and war. By turns horrifying, contemplative, and savagely funny, this memoir captures the peculiar ferocity ethnic and religious civil strife. . . . This unforgettable work ranks with the great modern accounts of war and should be in every library." "Library Journal"
"Loyd s rebellious irritation and visceral response to the atrocities around him give uncommon immediacy to this thoughtful, unpretentious memoir of the war in Bosnia." "San Francisco Chronicle"
"A strangely confessional chronicle of a man who looks into devastated regions and sees the rubble of himself. It is a simultaneously cold and impassioned chronicle of a love affair with war, a disturbing and sometimes embarrassing mix of self-loathing and self-justification written with acrid candor . . . he invokes the ritual poetry of violence: the stunning transformation of live flesh into mist and offal, the voraciousness of fear, the classic juxtaposition of innocence and gore." "Newsday"
"Loyd steadfastly writes from [an] unromantic point of view, refusing to give lip service to the vacuous, sound-bite moralisms and historical nuggets he sees most journalists resorting to in Bosnia . . . he tells the unvarnished truth, no mean feat in such a diabolically convoluted and tragic conflict." "Chicago Tribune"
"Riveting, first-hand, intensely personal accounts of horror . . . by turns looking at the convexity of war in Bosnia and the concavity of the war going on inside the author, as he wrestles with questions as mundane as addiction and as exalted as theology." "San Jose Mercury News"
"A masterpiece of gore by a war correspondent whose words are worth a thousand pictures . . . [Loyd is] a writer of astonishing talent, with a sense of humor as dark as the inside of a Kalashnikov s barrel." "San Diego Union Tribune"
"Not your father s front-line reporting. This may just be the flat-on-your-belly grittiest coverage to come out of those tormented killing zones thus far." "Dallas Morning News"
"Lose yourself in Loyd s surreal world . . . then return to your own reality. What a trip. What a wild, wrenching ride you will give yourself. . . . The fear he feels you feel. The bloodied bodies he sees you see. The courage he musters to save the life of a child you cheer. . . . My War Gone By, I Miss It So will long be considered a gem of wartime journalism." "Albuquerque Journal"
"Exceptionally well written and a devastating reminder that there are still places where the particular hell of war is the everyday norm." "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel"
"Surreal and chilling . . . a fascinating look at war from a front-row seat . . . he succeeds in his most impossible of missions: to explain the inexplicable." "Denver Rocky Mountain News"
"A dazzling, hallucinogenic, harrowing and utterly riveting book. . . . Loyd manages to get on the inside and look out, and so provides a perspective on hatred, cruelty and human depravity that is sobering and terrifying." "Hartford Courant"
"Gruesome, gritty . . . a compelling book, engaging and stylistically both elegant and accessible . . . the descriptive detail is stunningly realized, and the anecdotes are often shrewd and revealing . . . his keen susceptibility to risk, pain and fear." "Tucson Weekly"
"A truly exceptional book, one of those rare moments in journalistic writing when you can sit back and realize that you are in the presence of somebody willing to take the supreme risk for a writer, of extending their inner self. . . . I read his story of war and addiction (to conflict and to heroin) with a sense of gratitude for the honesty and courage on every page. . . . Until I read Antony Loyd's book I had never quite understood the pull or power of that Balkan experience." "The Independent" (UK)
"There are those who seek out the world s hotspots and combat zones, to experience and to report where the rest of us mere mortals would fear to tread. Photographer Anthony Lloyd captures this perplexing obsession in the brilliant "My War Gone By, I Miss It So."" "Irish Times"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is not just another journalistic account of the war in the Balkans (and in Chechnya come to that). This is much much more. Anthony Loyd, it has to be said, does not show a very loving and friendly description of himself...
Some customer reviews mention the portrait that he paints of himself and I believe this to be central. He knows that his account is biased but that is because he lived in one particular part of Bosnia during the war and met few Serbs... He knows that this is not journalism for journalism's sake. This is much MUCH more. This is an account of humanity in recent years, on both a global scale and a personal one.
For all those who understand that humanity is not all that pretty...
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This book is a shocking insight into human degradation. One of the few books that I have read in my life that "I couldn't put down". It's an account of Anthony Lloyd's experience as a journalist in Bosnia and Chechnya interspersed with accounts of his heroin addiction and his riven family. It is shocking in its honest but voyeuristic account of the escalation and depravation of war. He wrestles with the emotions of viewing as an outsider and being a participant in a world that very few of us will understand. I hope this has been cathartic for Mr Lloyd but I fear that it probably hasn't. I guess there are just too many demons.
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Format: Paperback
This is a truly remarkable book. I read it and continued to reread it my mind well after I finished the last page. The sheer hideousness of what is described stops making an impact at times and one actually starts to get numb to grim details, a clear sign that the author has succeeded in moulding the readers perceptions to his own.
Anthony Loyd describes his heroin addiction in parallel with the war in Bosnia. This creates a two-tier description of war: internal and external. Whilst in terms of pages, the addiction is far less prominent in the book, it seems to dwell in the background throughout the carnage, you can't help but get the feeling that without the heroin, the author would not have continued to go back to Bosnia, following weeks of stagnation in London.
As the book progresses, the authors perspective changes not in a tangible or obvious fashion, but subtly, with his compassion starting to emerge and his idealogy crystallising. This is quite cathartic for the reader, without this it would be an empty and desolate tale. There is great strength in Anthony Loyd in the war, and great weakness in peace where his addiction flourishes. This in itself is grounds for an interesting read.
However, perhaps the most rewarding aspect of reading this book is the fine detail of the carnage coupled with the strength in the people that the author encounters. You catch a glimpse of how people maintained their sanity and dignity in the midst of such madness, and for that alone, this is well worth reading.
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Format: Paperback
Have you ever done physical work to such an extent that you ached in places you didn't know existed? This book had a similar effect on my emotions. I'm writing this review many years after I read it because I'm about to purchase Loyd's 'Another Bloody Love Letter'.

From the opening story of the superstitious Marine, unwilling to venture into a corpse strewn forest, to accounts of the Balkan and Chechnya wars that redefine the word 'Horror', this book Bleeds and Breathes on every single page, leaving the reader with one question - Does an authour who writes so utterly beautifully about what is so profoundly harrowing, bleed and breathe like me? Although having read it nearly 7 years ago, Loyds eloquent and evocative prose is still fresh in my mind. In a way, I wish I hadn't read 'My war gone by..' as I am now a little more prepared for what lies ahead in '..Love Letter'. I quite enjoyed having my breath taken from me so brutally in Loyd's first book that I fear I may miss out on the experience the first time readers will no doubt enjoy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was an extremely well written tragic account of the war in Bosnia. In parallel with the author's story of the war, he also details his own personal difficulties, including a heroin addiction. The inhumanity and pointlessness of this war were at times difficult to read and comprehend. Those who had lived together for years turning against each other is frightening. Lloyd does not attempt to cover up the worst aspects of the war, so readers should be prepared for some difficult reading. While those of us who are fortunate enough never to have been in a war zone will (thankfully) never know the true horror of war, it is important that we try to understand. This book provides a glimpse into the abyss of war and attempts to provide some information about the context of this particular situation. I recommend this book highly.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a masterpiece if you love books on war.....The authors wordplay and style are outstanding you have to read this book...
unfortunately its impossible to ever write book like this today as its not possible to travel anywhere you wish to report on a war freelance like they they did back in the day... we miss so much now......
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Format: Paperback
Anthony Loyd has written a book that in many ways betters Michael Herr's Dispatches in its depiction of a society and a person (himself) being transformed by the madness of war. The book operates on many levels. Firstly, it is a story about Loyd's journey of self-discovery and search for meaning which led him to have a strange symbiotic relationship with war and heroi., Secondly, it is an incredibly powerful portrayal of the madness and brutality of the sectarian warfare that plagues the post Cold War world. Thirdly, it is a searing indictment of the West in the form of the United Nations and NATO for standing by as Bosnia, a European multicultural society, was ripped apart and brutalized in the most horrific way by forces of brutal and inhumane extremism. This book is deeply disturbing but at its center is a very human and passionate voice, which in itself is a cause for optimism. Recent events only highlight how important and relevant this book is.
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