1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
AA Gill is Away,
This review is from: AA Gill is Away (Paperback)
I received this book for Christmas having never read Gill before. It is a collection of articles written for the Sunday Times and GQ magazine arranged geographically into chapters South, East, West & North.
I think the book started well with the articles on Africa - the one on Uganda was outstanding. Throughout he challenges the reader: we all know the problems faced by people of Africa but how much do we really care? Do we get up and actively do something or do we turn the page and read about something else? 'East' had an eye-opening chapter about Japan, a country I now realise I know very little about, and an excellent one about the Aral Sea highlighting an ecological disaster that very few people know about.
Towards the end of the book I began to get annoyed with Gill. He is scathing about the lifestyles of the wealthy in his articles on Milan and Monaco and points out that these lifestyles are about posing, parties and living the high life whilst, actually, the participants are lonely individuals who aren't really happy at all, despite their wealth. This brings me to my objection - Gill states in his introduction that he wanted to 'interview places', that's fine but in doing so he has watched the people and formed his own judgements without out appearing to speak to these people. Does he look at them and decide that they can't be intelligent or happy or that they're all the same - try speaking to them, they might surprise you!
I liked this book and enjoyed Gill's writing and humour. The whole point of journalism is to inform and spark debate. I think giving 1* because you don't agree with his views or background is missing the point. I didn't agree with everything but it certainly got me thinking.