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Grendel (Scotland)

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Enemy Combatant: A British Muslim's Journey to Guantanamo and Back
Enemy Combatant: A British Muslim's Journey to Guantanamo and Back
by Moazzam Begg
Edition: Hardcover

46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars brave man, cowardly governments, 22 Aug. 2006
I saw Moazzam Begg speak at the Edinburgh Book Festival in August 2006 -- he came across as modest, intelligent, calm and unembittered by his atrocious experiences at the hands of stupid governments. Many of the questions he was asked (by people who hadn't read his account) had more than a hint of skepticism about them and were a little insulting, but he always refused to rise to the bait, instead using his formidable knowledge of western and eastern culture to gently prove to his audience that he was not a terrorist and that his years of hell in custody were a farcical and dangerous overreaction of paranoid states. If you read this book, you will understand that the vast majority of people that have been picked up in the counterproductive "War On Terror" are innocent, and you will scratch your head in disbelief at the unnecessary brutality that is routinely inflicted on them in your name. As this book makes plain, the US and UK response to the horrific terrorism of 9/11 and since is so tragically misguided. These governments are doing EXACTLY what the terrorists want them to do, and recruiting enemies in the process. It is calm, informed, thoughtful books like this one that will heal the divide -- not another US fantasy of "spreading democracy" by force if necessary in the middle east (but not in China, Burma, North Korea and so on...)

by Tom McCarthy
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 21st century classic, 22 Aug. 2006
This review is from: Remainder (Hardcover)
It took me a few pages to get into this debut novel, but it's not long before the narrator's damaged, compelling perspective wormed its way into my thinking and didn't let go. I found this book genuinely different to anything I've read recently in contemporary fiction -- different in type, and superior in quality. As a reader I felt akin to the novel's secondary characters, in that I was sucked into the nameless narrator's world not entirely with my consent. I was with him as he led me through an apparently harmless fascination with "re-enacting" old memories, with him as he raised the stakes with increasingly perilous memory re-constructions, and with him at the novel's blistering close, where his obsession leads to a truly chilling climax that must rate as one of the most original conclusions to a story I've ever read. The cover of this book is bespattered with high praise from every broadsheet and literary magazine under the sun, which normally makes me run for the hills, but for once I'm in agreement with the hype.

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