Not Untrue and Not Unkind Paperback – 2 Apr 2009
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'A fine, darkly authoritative novel' - Joseph O'Neill, author of NETHERLAND 'Fantastic writing, great subject; a voice that is both passionate and cold. The most exciting first novel I have read in many years' - Anne Enright, Man Booker Prize winning author of THE GATHERING
'A fine, darkly authoritative' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
A chance discovery in the drawer of dead newspaper colleague, the sort of man who never travels beyond the office but whose fearsome reputation terrifies reporters around the globe, of a private file reopens old wounds. It takes us back to the start of a reporter's career when the job was all about principle and ideals. But as Owen Simmons flies into his first African story - the post-Rwandan mess in the eastern Congo - he is forced to make compromises.
This is a book written with great authority - not least because O'Loughlin worked Africa in the 1990s as a reporter. We learn what snacks foreign correspondents subsist on in the developing world (cheese and onion Pringles, no less) and how satellite phones have brought stark immediacy where reporters once had time to cogitate and compose.
But it is also written with beauty and poise that does justice not just to the African landscape where it is set but to anyone who has ever dreamt of making a difference.
Buy this book. You won't be disappointed.
The book is quite hard hitting in terms of not glorifying the profession and in terms of being rather scathing of certain types of reporters or networks. It also shows how interest in conflicts, and continents as a whole has been waning over time - also consequently leading to a corresponding loss in quality of coverage.
At the same time the camaraderie between reporters is a large part of the book, as are the relationships. The author has a good way of telling the story and is nuanced enough not to unduly make himself appear as the hero. Some difficult personal issues have been tackled, too, and in a way it seems it was as much written for the author to come to terms with events, as for the audience.
Overall, if you have an interest in Africa, or war reporting, the book is a good place to go. It does tell of another era and it has much going for it, even if it does not quite reach the level of a Kapuscinski. As for the author, his subsequent book, a lightly fictionalized war on terror account - Toploader - is truly brilliant and I can only recommend it.
There is an incredible atmosphere in the book - and a gritty realism that just pulls you in. I heartily recommend this book, and I look forward to Ed O'Loughlin's next one.
If you like this book, you may also enjoy Arturo Perez-Reverte's Painter of Battles.The Painter Of Battles It is about a world-weary war correspondent haunted by his experiences.
There were a couple of sections in the book where a little more information would have been welcome - understatement in writing is generally a good thing but here I sometimes found myself a bit baffled or feeling that there was a gap. However, this doesn't detract from the overall story arc which works well and keeps the reader interested throughout. Several sections are moving and hard-hitting, describing life in war torn African states with level-headed empathy.
But underlying the exotic setting and sometimes dramatic events, is the theme of friendship, loneliness and the need to belong. O'Loughlin writes relationships and dialogue very well, and this makes his portrayals of the group of journalists at the core of story endless fascinating and real.
It's a well written story which I think most lit fic readers would enjoy. It misses the five star rating not because of any great flaw, but more because it lacks a certain special something to elevate to the highest level. Saying that, I've a feeling this is the sort of book that will stick in the mind and grow on you, so maybe looking back I'd rate it higher.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A war correpondent - the author has been one - relives past experiences in Africa and reflects on them from his current desk job as a journalist in Ireland. Read morePublished on 16 April 2011 by William Jordan
Ed O'Loughlin is able to write with authority as he was a journalist in Africa. This makes for a very interesting read as you are learning about being a journalist as well as the... Read morePublished on 15 April 2010 by Pen pal
Ed O'Loughlin introduces the reader to the community of foreign journalism in a frank, often bleak narrative with a heavy dose of cynicism. Read morePublished on 8 Oct. 2009 by Flembinho
I really loved this book and would recommend it - it is darkly atmospheric, not a happy, cheery read but a very rewarding one. Read morePublished on 3 Sept. 2009 by Susan E.
`Not Untrue and Not Unkind' is Ed O'Loughlin's debut novel and to be long listed is a huge feat and I think from some of the writing and the subject matter of the book that Ed... Read morePublished on 31 Aug. 2009 by Simon Savidge Reads
This is a wonderful novel, beautifully written and it more than deserves its Booker nomination. It is the story of a journalist who is compelled by an unexpected death to confront... Read morePublished on 27 Aug. 2009 by Rose M.
Not Untrue and Not Unkind follows a group of foreign correspondents covering breaking news stories in Africa. Read morePublished on 24 Aug. 2009 by Jackie