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Combat Camera Paperback – Sep 15 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Biblioasis; 1 edition (Sept. 15 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 189723192X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1897231920
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 13 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #691,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Really dark and unpredictable, with characters that aren't necessarily likeable, but which we do come to care about and feel compelled to follow through their misadventures. Somerset's writing style is tight and far more accomplished than his one novel list would suggest. Maybe it's the prize the book won, but I kept feeling there were similarities between his and John Metcalf's style. The same technical brilliance with hints of the trademark Metcalf sardonic wit. There were some genuinely touching, funny scenes between the stripper with the heart of gold and the cynical, world-weary photographer.

I get a sense that the author has a great sense of humour in these moments, in the book's hilarious video trailer and his affable, self-effacing style when he reads his work in public. If anything, I wanted more humour from this book to lighten the mood. It's dark, pessimistic tone is a bit oppressive at times and it relies on some humour, some action and some prurient interest to fuel reader interest. Effectively, yes, but disquietingly so. You feel somehow worse about yourself in the same way the hero does.

Lucas Zane is not an uplifting hero, but his attempts at some kind of redemption, as pathetic as they seem, are ultimately inspiring. A well-written, engaging and thought-provoking novel, Combat Camera makes me look forward to future offerings from this author.
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Format: Paperback
A.J. Somerset's COMBAT CAMERA features a protagonist who has seen what remains after the dogs of war have been loosed--not only has he seen it, Lucas Zane has made a living, secured fame and a better than average lifestyle, photographing the grim tableaux of combat and selling those images to anyone willing to pay the price.

But the accumulation of horror takes its toll and Zane loses everything, including his unerring eye. No longer employable, mentally fragile, he slips closer and closer to dissolution, his dreams invaded by a parade of corpses that stretch from El Salvador to Liberia. He is finally reduced to earning his bread and butter by shooting low-budget porn set-ups...and that's where he meets Melissa, a casualty of a different kind of war. Thrown together, their prickly relationship a high point of the novel, Melissa and Zane drive cross-country, in search of closure...and maybe some kind of new beginning. Happily, Somerset doesn't let them off so easily and the conclusion of COMBAT CAMERA is sobering, thoughtful, but hardly redemptive.

COMBAT CAMERA is a first novel, an assured and confident effort. It is a beguiling, engaging book, a meditation on the effects of trauma on men and women, an acknowledgment of the enormous pain we are capable of absorbing, the courage that is sometimes required to face each dawning day.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Combat Camera Feb. 20 2012
By BarbM - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After 20 years of photographing the worst of the world in wars all over the globe, Lucas Zane has just barely survived physically. The question is if he has survived mentally. Through some truly outstanding writing, A.J. Somerset had me turning the pages over two days of semi-constant reading to find out if he did. At the outset, Zane is doing pornographic photography to make ends meet and I wasn't quite as involved. But, when he took off across Canada to take a young stripper/porno actress home, I was hooked. There were many flashbacks to his days as a famous photographer and most gave a good idea of why he came to be where he was in the end. However, the memories of the Berlin Wall coming down were the exception and some of the best writing I've read about that period.

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