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Not Untrue and Not Unkind Hardcover – Apr 2 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Ireland (April 2 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844882101
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844882106
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.9 x 24 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,302,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'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

Review

"A fine, darkly authoritative novel" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on March 28 2010
Format: Paperback
I picked up this novel from my local library thinking it was going offer some great insight into the inner workings of the modern journalistic world as it tangles with monumental issues that plague the human race: war, famine, racism, tyranny, disease, etc. After all, the book cover proclaimed O'Loughlin, a seasoned foreign jornalist himself, as best able to write a story about how his profession ferrets out those worthy and exciting news stories and grabs them to meet publishing deadlines, Anderson Cooper-style. Well, it wasn't too long into the book before I discovered that O'Loughlin was on a different tack altogether. His first novel is not about illuminating the efforts of foreign reporters as they struggle to uncover critical news in a never-ending cycle of rapid touch-downs, drop-ins, and pull-outs in the many popular global hotspots. Rather, his book is about how the press relate to each other than the big ideals swirling around them. For this novel, Owen Simmon's assignment is the heart of war-torn Africa and all the senseless brutality of the 1990s. As part of a cadre of foreign correspondents eagerly seking headline news, the protagonist Simmons encounters a variety of questionable values alive in his group. These are men and women who are more given to exploiting opportunity than understanding the brutal truth of their surroundings. Some are there to get the story, while others want to help the suffering humanity or develop relationships. This hair-raising, fly-by-the-seat-of your-pants fling as a foreign newsman seems to only come into focus some time later when Simmons has returned to the supposed safety of his nine-to-five desk job at the Irish Chronicle.Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Incredible writing with piercing insight into human nature Nov. 8 2009
By Gamma - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I just finished reading this book and I must say that I savored every page. I first learned of it through the Booker prize longlist for 2009. The author has captured human nature in an extraordinary way - it is piercing, unvarnished and honest. The writing is powerful, strong and unique. A number of quotes in the book just stick with me. Here's one of those quotes - where the main character Owen finds himself in a awkward conversation with a co-worker of his and makes this observation: "There would be nothing I could do about it, I knew that in advance. But only in chess do people resign when they know things are hopeless. In life we use up all our pieces first."

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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
profound gut wrenching drama June 12 2010
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In Dublin, newspaper editor Cartwright committed suicide. His shocked friends and colleagues cannot believe it. On Cartwright's desk, one of his newspaper buddies Owen Simmons finds a package containing a New York Chronicle photo he took over a decade ago in Africa of newspaper people they worked with. Simmons knows them all, but especially the woman he loved

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.

Harriet Klausner
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Look At The Banal Violence Of War Sept. 4 2012
By Sandra Kirkland - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Owen Simmons has a comfortable life these days. His work as a foreign correspondent over, he potters around in the newspaper's home office, doing little real work but a fixture nonetheless. The death of an office mate and the discovery of an old file of Simmons' stories from his time in Africa leads him to wonder why his colleague was interested in his time there and forces him back in his mind to relive those days.

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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Aimless Aug. 21 2010
By Melvin C. Vanderbrug - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm sorry to disafree with the other reviiewers. The writing was high quality but there didn't seem to be much point to the book. I love Africa and have been to many of the sites in the book or would not have finished it. Sure there was chaeacter development but for much of the 1st half there were so many names thrown out with no reference that it was confusing. As for the death of Cartwright, it was a dangling participal. It had no connection with the rest of the book.

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