Not Untrue and Not Unkind Hardcover – Apr 2 2009
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'A fine, darkly authoritative novel' - Joseph O'Neill, author of NETHERLAND 'Fantastic writing, great subject; a voice that is both passionate and cold. The most exciting first novel I have read in many years.' - Anne Enright, Man Booker Prize winning author of THE GATHERING
"A fine, darkly authoritative novel" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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He thinks back to Africa in the 1990s when they covered the deadly beat of a continent in perilous turmoil. Zaire was overwhelmed with civil war as was Nigeria. However, the worst was Rwanda where the rivers turned red due to the tribal genocide.
Not Untrue & Not Unkind is a profound look back into Africa as the continent implodes with violence as seen though Simmons' flashbacks. The intrepid journalistic crew are horrified with what they witness, report and photograph as atrocities make headlines in the civilized West, which chooses mostly inertia except when economic interests are threatened. Not an easy read, aptly titled Not Untrue and Not Unkind affirms mankind's cruelty to one another as the western journalists, who cannot fathom a rational reason for the violence while also knowing what they have seen will haunt them forever.
There is an incredible atmosphere in the book - and a gritty realism that just pulls you in. I heartily recommend this book, and I look forward to Ed O'Loughlin's next one.
If you like this book, you may also enjoy Arturo Perez-Reverte's Painter of Battles. The Painter of Battles: A Novel It is about a world-weary war correspondent haunted by his experiences.
Owen went to Africa as a stringer, a journalist who wrote articles hoping to sell them afterwards to someone. He falls in with the journalist circle there, those with full-time jobs, photographers, TV journalists, print journalists. Although they are all after the same story, they become a society, helping each other and making friends and lovers within the group. Owen travels and befriends various members of the group, including a woman journalist he loves but feels he knows little about.
Owen spends several years there in the 1990's, covering the Rwandan genocide and the various national uprisings. The group becomes hardened to violence and death as they move from one hot spot to another, seeing how little any one death meant in the grand scheme of things. Owen leaves when he is caught in an ambush and gravely wounded. Several of his friends are also in the ambush, and what happened that day and their various fates are the mainspring of the book. There is also a secret associated with the ambush that serves as a focal point of the novel.
Ed O'Loughlin writes from first-hand experience, as he himself spent time in Africa as a correspondent for the Irish Times. Readers will be interested in this subset of war, those who document it so that most of us can experience it comfortably in an armchair. He accurately portrays the suddenness of violence and death in a war zone, and how banal it all becomes when it is an everyday occurrence. Not Untrue And Not Unkind was a Mann Booker Prize nominee in 2009. This book is recommended for adult readers interested in how world events are reported and the lives of journalists.