The heroin addict bit doesn't really add to the story, but it probably couldn't have been cut out without affecting the truth of the rest of the work -- if this were fiction, it would definitely be a messy subplot that should be cut out just to streamline the book. Likewise, his relationship to his father is just kind of there, butting into the atrocities.
The writing here is better than those, but the book itself is less focused. A typographic atrocity to match anything the Serbs did. Now I want to read something about fluffy bunnies. View 1 comment. No star rating Anthony Loyd has written a book which is somewhat of a paradox for me.
There are two stories running in parallel here, but they are inseparable. We are shown war with great detail and clarity in Bosnia and Chechnya. The descriptions are often horrific, probably as realistic as anything in print. From this point of view, writing is good. Intertwined with war, there is an autobiography of Loyd. This too is often horrific as he portrays his life growing up and as a heroin addict.
The No star rating Anthony Loyd has written a book which is somewhat of a paradox for me. The problem is that the two stories portray the same man, addicted to heroin and addicted to war. As much as I appreciated the writing about the wars, I could not get over my dislike of the man, the self-admitted 'war tourist'. He was not there to fight and, although he was at first a would-be photographer and then a reporter, he makes it clear that he was there to be in a war, not to inform about the war.
His only motive is self gratification. Even when he tells of his adventure in helping to save the life of a young girl, he cannot redeem himself. His tone throughout the book is disingenuous. His attitude is one of superiority. Much of what he tells us is coldly cynical. These things are not as a result of the war. They are who he is. He befriends, benefits from and even protects men who are monsters and war criminals.
He is not likeable nor admirable. His addictions, to heroin and to human suffering, are explained by his lousy relationship with his father. The reader is, I suppose, expected to have some sympathy for Loyd. I do not. Finally, although the book has its merits, I find that Loyd gets in the way. He would have done better to join the Red Cross if he wanted to see the war and do some good.
View all 4 comments. May 27, Alex rated it it was amazing. It is also one of the best and most gruesome travelogues I've read. Most people would classify it as war journalism, as the book covers the conflicts in Bosnia and Chechnya during the 90s. But war books are full of reportage, and though they ask why, it is usually a practical why: why did this conflict begin, what happened, and what does it mean?
Loyd's why is more existential. As in a travelogue, he considers the question Kerouac wrote in his journals before flinging himself on the journey that became On the Road: "The night before travel is like the night before death. Why must I always travel from here to there, as it mattered where one is? In taking this more personal and existential tack, Loyd not only provides a compelling narrative about the horrors that unfolded in these wars, but examines why it is that people seek out darkness and brutality, and what can be learned from plumbing the depths.
Dec 08, Ron rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Arm chair Historians, would be journalists, addiction info. For me, it was one of the better written memoirs I've read in a long time, up there with "Sorrow of War" and dare I say it, "All quiet on the Western Front". It has been out of print I believe. For the "gun and gear guys it is a let down, but for telling the effects of combat and man's inhumanity to man, it is startling.
To be fair to Anthony, the book is divided into sections; his troubled relationship to his parents: his addiction: set against the backdrop of a correspondent who is strugglin For me, it was one of the better written memoirs I've read in a long time, up there with "Sorrow of War" and dare I say it, "All quiet on the Western Front". To be fair to Anthony, the book is divided into sections; his troubled relationship to his parents: his addiction: set against the backdrop of a correspondent who is struggling with self-judgement at being a morbid voyeur.
He admits Chechnya blows the cover off anything else he had seen.
It is one of the few books where I've underlined passages based on sheer eloquence in prose and context, yet found it most depressing; So what else could war be? A Great Read, but you'll need some Scotch when your finished. Nov 14, Patrick Belair rated it it was amazing Shelves: civil-war , military-history , political , true-crime , holocaust , european-history , autobiography.
Well I found this book on one of my thrift store hunts,Being that I've not read much about the war after Yugoslavia broke up I was interested. I don't think that I was prepared for the raw visual observations of the author,The brutality of the war all sides concerned was very honestly detailed.
The human suffering cannot be imagined. The physical toll on the parties involved is beyond measure let alone the mental toll, even on the journalist's. I believe that this region in the world is just another Well I found this book on one of my thrift store hunts,Being that I've not read much about the war after Yugoslavia broke up I was interested.
I believe that this region in the world is just another powder keg waiting to explode as so many others in our world today. If this conflict or piece of history is in your wheel house check it out,but be prepared for a truly honest and frank read. Jun 24, Adam Volk rated it it was amazing.
One of my all time favorite books. On the one hand it's a masterpiece of war reporting as we follow Anthony Loyd now, Sir Anthony Loyd on his journey through the war torn Balkans during the bloody civil war of the 90s. On the other hand, it's an incredibly beautifully written story and Loyd's poetic narrative captures the tragedy and senseless of war unlike any other author I've ever read An absolute must read about one man's addiction to both heroine and war.
I'm still mulling it over. When starting this book, the big reminder to keep in mind is Loyd has an addictive personality. Raised in an affluent family, he had the means to take on whatever new addiction crossed his path. He discusses his drug addictions that started when he was in school and obsession with the military thanks in part to a family who boasted and romanticized a long history of war participation.
Naturally, he joined the army and was in the Persian Gulf and Northern I 2. Naturally, he joined the army and was in the Persian Gulf and Northern Ireland. However, it was not enough. He wanted to see war. Drugs and depression followed and when they lifted, the war in Bosnia was beginning. With a desire to go to war, he meets a Bosnian immigrant to learn some language skills and acquires a press badge with the notion he can always leave whenever he wants.
He moves around within the war, making observations of his surroundings, but at the same time never fully connecting. When he finally connects to a side, he comments on the disbelief of that side committing atrocities, coming across as war is simple instead of complex. And Bosnia was not the only war zone visited. At one point, he makes a side trip to Chechnya, and the back cover reveals he also ended up going to six other wars including Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, and Kosovo. Another thing that stood out to me was his attraction to the dead and he describes them.
Of course, with an addictive personality, he is attracted to not just the dead. Every woman in this book was alluring, stunning, beautiful, etc. I give a pass on the smoking and drinking, considering being in war zones there will be stress-relieving vices, but keep in mind this is personal narrative and not a book where you will learn of the politics or history of the war. Oct 27, Christian rated it liked it. There is a lot of detail here, but it's very much a ground view and doesn't go much into the overarching political concerns behind the war.
Perhaps that's the point - the picture painted here is of pure chaos, with little rhyme or reason beyond the clashes of various local power groups. This book is essentially a memoir, so what we get is the author's experience during the war years, which consists of staggering atrocities and brutality, mediations on fear and war, and the chronicle of a heroin addiction. It's a riveting read, and although I didn't always like the author, I found myself trusting his words because of the fearless way in which he confronts his own shortcomings, not least of which is the guilty truth many of us suspect - being close to war can be glamorous, exciting, and fun.
Of course the flip side is that you see, hear and do horrible things that scar you and stay with you forever. I recommend it to anyone with a strong stomach and a fascination with war, but it might be best to read it alongside a more detached or academic study of the Bosnian war, as this book doesn't answer many of the large questions about how that awful event came to pass. Apr 24, Alison rated it it was amazing Shelves: history.
If you want to know what the politicians did during the war, read a history, like Yugoslavia:Death of a Nation. Books like that certainly have their importance. But war is always, in these modern times, a two way street: what the politicians are doing, and what the average people are doing. This memoir is about those normal people. Sure, Loyd encounters generals and thugs in power, but only those that actually carry arms, that are there in the thick of it. Not those hanging out in Belgrade or Za If you want to know what the politicians did during the war, read a history, like Yugoslavia:Death of a Nation.
Not those hanging out in Belgrade or Zagred making decisions that they never have to witness. If you want to know what really happened in Bosnia - in all it's confusing glory - read this book. I was not surprised by the enlightening, often disturbing detail. What I was surprised about was the fantastic writing.
Loyd, before he went to Bosnia and Chechnya, was not a writer or a journalist; he took on graduate course in photo journalism, after he retired from the British military. But his writing stands out as that of a professional; even more than that, as someone who was deeply, genuinely moved by the experience, and has the talent to convey it.
I was not only informed through him book, but also came to sincerely care about what happened.
I appreciate the book tremendously for that. Sep 22, Meagan rated it it was amazing Shelves: books-i-own , british-literature. There is no doubt that witnessing war and speaking to people directly involved affects a writer, but most writers attempt to cover this up by maintaining an authoritative and impartial voice. For all their best efforts, opinion often bleeds through. Loyd takes a completely different, refreshing approach by chronicling his motivations for going to Bosnia, his feelings on the proceedings, and detailing the people and places he met there. By doing so Loyd turns himself into part of the landscape of Bosnia instead of the hovering amorphous cloud other journalists pretend to be.
It lends an immediacy and real pathos that cultivates horror and repulsion in the reader effectively. Loyd's compassion and storytelling are unmatched. Bosnia was a new kind of war, the first real post-colonial post-communist implosion that may become commonplace in the world; it only makes sense that a new kind of war journalism should follow. Apr 14, Espen rated it really liked it. Anthony Loyd goes to the war in the former Yugoslavia as an observer - well, let's be honest, a tourist - and then gradually succumbs to the fascination, tinged with shame, of observing something surreal, dangerous, and yet so central to Europe.
The complex and cruel war in between Serbs, Croats, Bosnians, Muslims and other overlapping and changing factions was a gruesome continuation of centuries of internecine fighting that was only temporarily halted by the Tito regime - close to a quarter mi Anthony Loyd goes to the war in the former Yugoslavia as an observer - well, let's be honest, a tourist - and then gradually succumbs to the fascination, tinged with shame, of observing something surreal, dangerous, and yet so central to Europe.
The complex and cruel war in between Serbs, Croats, Bosnians, Muslims and other overlapping and changing factions was a gruesome continuation of centuries of internecine fighting that was only temporarily halted by the Tito regime - close to a quarter million people dead, yet curiously disregarded by the European press. Loyd gradually becomes a war correspondent, seemingly more for financial reasons - and to have a proper reason to be where he was - than because of an interest in career.
He turns out to be good at it, yet maintains his distance, and his heroin addiction. In the end you are left with painfully memorable descriptions of individual and mass tragedies - and you still don't know much about the person doing the reporting.
My War Gone By, I Miss It So | Open Library
Shelves: british-authors , non-fiction , war , amsterdam-used-books , travel , reads. Will it still upset me like it did? Or have I become cynical? Update: Still shocking yet I understand it more. Thank Go having just finished "War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning", I felt compelled to re-read this book to see if it freaks me out as much as it did when I first read it - before I started traveling to war torn countries.
Thank God, heroin is not as easily available in my groups of friends as his. Instead I dove into the decidely middle class comforts of rich food and alcohol when I returned from war.
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I didn't see the human carnage that he descirbes but I listened to the stories of suffering over and over. In his writing, he never seems to interview people but rather to describe the scenes that he sees. It's an engrossing book and the title is still evocative.
Will probably check out his other books now. May 28, Margaret King added it Recommended to Margaret by: jacob. This firsthand account of the Bosnian war took me 6 months to read, and was definitely one of the most morally challenging books I've ever read. It was hard for me to sympathize with a man who waded into a conflict that was not his own, and who found the chaos and anarchy that surrounds war so beautiful and natural. A self-professed heroin-addicted atheist "son of privilege" is not the typical perspective I would choose to humor, but Lloyd's memoir is so well-written and honest that I stuck thro This firsthand account of the Bosnian war took me 6 months to read, and was definitely one of the most morally challenging books I've ever read.
A self-professed heroin-addicted atheist "son of privilege" is not the typical perspective I would choose to humor, but Lloyd's memoir is so well-written and honest that I stuck through the entire book. I gained a lot of knowledge about the Bosnian conflict, but the book inspired more questions in me than answers.
I suppose, from an intellectual standpoint, this is the best I can ask from a philosophical look at war, the ethics or not of journalistic objectivity, the layers of voyeurism in news media's coverage of war and the audience's role, and the impotence of NATO and the UN in "peacekeeping missions. Nov 23, Derek rated it it was amazing.
Amazing - nothing that I could write could do justice to what this book did to me when I read it. Have you ever had a book hit you like a hammer blow to your head and your gut at the same time? Published by Doubleday About this Item: Doubleday, Seller Inventory U More information about this seller Contact this seller 4. Condition: Used; Good. Simply Brit: We have dispatched from our UK warehouse books of good condition to over 1 million satisfied customers worldwide. We are committed to providing you with a reliable and efficient service at all times.
More information about this seller Contact this seller 5. More information about this seller Contact this seller 6. Condition: Fair. A readable copy of the book which may include some defects such as highlighting and notes. Cover and pages may be creased and show discolouration. More information about this seller Contact this seller 7. About this Item: Hardback. More information about this seller Contact this seller 8. More information about this seller Contact this seller 9. Published by Anchor About this Item: Anchor, More information about this seller Contact this seller Published by September Publishing About this Item: September Publishing, Condition: New.
Published by Atlantic Monthly Pr About this Item: Atlantic Monthly Pr, Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Seller Inventory GRP Published by September Publishing. About this Item: September Publishing. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Seller Inventory B New Ed. I tried very hard to like this book. I wanted to like it. But I have a rule. If I'm not enjoying a book by a hundred pages in, then I give up on it.
That's what happened with Anthony Loyd's strange
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