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 My Friend the Mercenary by James Brabazon

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PostSubject: My Friend the Mercenary by James Brabazon   Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:15 pm

As this is generally the category for non-fiction, I am also currently reading the above title. It is a memoir written by Brabazon, a British journalist who, with the aid of a South African mercenary named Nick who acts as both his bodyguard and mentor, goes into Liberia in 2002 to film the warfare between the rebels and the Charles Taylor-led government. The violence and atrocities leave him emotionally scarred and physically weakened, but he emerges with his film, only to go back into Africa to film a military coup in Equatorial Guinea. This, however, falls apart, and the journalist and the mercenary find themselves facing the prospect of years of imprisonment in Black Beach, a notorious African prison.

I am about halfway through it, and while I am impressed with the overall reporting I am a bit surprised at how flat the writing is. Emotionally, I don't feel myself feeling Brabazon's travails along with him. We'll see if it picks up in the second half.

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PostSubject: Re: My Friend the Mercenary by James Brabazon   Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:54 pm

I eat up anything to do with Africa. Everything about it gets my interest, from the dark days of imperialism and the Congo Free State to the modern day Simon Mann/Equatorial Guinea coup d'etat. The overall idea of this book sounds great, but I have read a few flat and rather emotionless tales which often left me wondering if they went on these 'journeys' only to write and sell a book. Many are genuine and it does sound like James Brabazon is. I'd love to read it. Let me know how the second half goes. Smile
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