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The Worst Date Ever: War Crimes, Hollywood Heart-Throbs and Other Abominations Paperback

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: MacMillan
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230737129
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230737129
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.8 x 21.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 422 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #469,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By MC on Sept. 3 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an interesting document of the Kony regime before all the KONY 2012 hoopla happened, so it is interesting if you are looking to find out more about that particular subject. However, ulitmately I just can't recommend it. I can't pinpoint why other than the writer eventually just started to get on my nerves.
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By Robin Thelwall on Sept. 13 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very breathless and in-group name-dropping irritating style, but can't wait to get to the Sudan, which I know
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 16 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The Best Read Ever July 8 2010
By Jaylia3 - Published on
Format: Paperback
I decided that since I can't afford to actually travel I would give myself the illusion of visiting England by reading the London Times Literary Supplement. In it I found a review of this memoir, which made me wild to read it, and since I couldn't bear to wait until 2010 when it will be out in the U.S. I ordered it in August 2009 on Amazon UK. The author is a comedian but there is some grim material in here and Bussman manages the amazing trick of being both tremendously funny and deadly serious at almost the same time.

Bussman got tired of hanging around Hollywood during 2003-2006, which she calls the Golden Age of Stupid, interviewing (mostly useless) celebrities. She decides to radically change her life by following a peace negotiator (really cute--and very useful) to Uganda so she can write an article about him, but after scraping together the money for a plane ticket he doesn't show up. Not for a month or two anyway--he's now back in Hollywood. Bussman is left to kill time in a cheap Ugandan hostel, so she decides to try doing some investigative fieldwork while she waits for the chance to interview/date her negotiator. She teaches scriptwriting at an AIDs orphanage, meets numbed victims of the warlord Joseph Kony, and interviews anyone--even very scary people--who might be able to help her figure out why for 20 years the Ugandan army has been unable to prevent Kony from kidnapping children as young as four and forcing them to fight in his militia.

Being a celebrity journalist isn't completely useless preparation for her adventures. Both smug Hollywood stars and menacing army colonels become friendly and helpful after she asks her two work-saving Magic Questions--"You're in amazing shape, what's your secret?" and "We all know what you're famous for, but how does it make you feel when you're not appreciated for your inner talents?"

The peace negotiator eventually shows up, but the interview/date she hoped for doesn't work out the way she planned. The resulting book, however, is a great success. The risks she took, and her mind-blowing accounts of traipsing around Africa kept me reading into the wee hours of the night.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
You won't regret it July 29 2010
By adam fenner - Published on
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up in Entebbe Airport, on my way out of Uganda. And although I missed the sleep I should have gotten on my red-eye flight back from Uganda I was glad I dedicated that time to Jane Bussmann.
You can read Amazon's summary, to understand what this book is about. What it won't be able to fully capture is how well Jane has been able to make you laugh and smile while talking about one of the most horrible wars in history. If you are new to the ideas of the LRA and Joseph Kony, Jane will bring you up to date in a style that will leave you chuckling, and bring about strange looks from your fellow passengers.
Although her original intentions are only semi-altruistic she grows throughout the book into a woman who becomes the target of the Ugandan military for the questions she was unafraid to ask. Jane is a protagonist that anyone can identify with as she leads the reader from interviews with varying celebrities to some of Ugandan's highest military officials.
She honestly shows the war in a way that is seldom heard, especially from a reporter, and she does so in a very entertaining style that will leave the reader hunting for more of her work. Jane's story is courageous and very human, as she introduces some of the major players in this horrible war as human's who become more than just faces and names we read about.
I highly recommend this book to anyone, whether you are interested in Africa, or you just want to hear someone talk about Genocide and Britney Spears's last pregnancy in the same book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Comic Relief July 29 2010
By Leiladeb - Published on
Format: Paperback
Jane Bussman is a brilliant writer and an excellent comedian. I have been forcing all of my colleagues in the non-profit industry to read The Worst Date Ever, 'cos God knows we need a laugh once in a while. Her account of her time in Uganda is honest and compelling; anyone who has ever travelled there will be recognize and appreciate many detailed and insightful tid-bits. Anyone whose ever been felt in-love, rejected, anxious, curious, frightened, empowered, hopeless, hopeful, useless, useful, might also enjoy the book.
The funny side of slaughter Sept. 8 2010
By John Gibbs - Published on
Format: Paperback
A potty-mouthed comedy writer travels to Uganda to report on a man that she admires who is trying to negotiate a peace deal between the Lord's Resistance Army and the Ugandan Government, to end the horrific suffering of the people of Northern Uganda. It does not sound like a promising scenario for a humorous book, but Jane Bussman makes a fair attempt at it in this book.

The book starts with a description of the inanities of the author's career writing feature articles about Hollywood celebrities, and it goes on to describe how she developed a crush on John Prendergast, an American who was heavily involved in conflict resolution in Darfur and various other African hotspots. She follows him to Africa, and ends up doing her own investigations about the "most evil man in the world" Joseph Kony, who kidnaps children and forces them to become child soldiers, and the Ugandan Army who make money out of foreign aid instead of chasing Kony.

The situation as it was in Northern Uganda a few years ago did not naturally lend itself to comedy, with more than a million people herded into miserable camps and hundreds of people mutilated or murdered by Kony's thugs or by Ugandan Army thugs. The book is quite well written and funny in bits if you appreciate the author's confronting style of humour, but there are other books that give a better overview of the Ugandan troubles.
Hysterically funny, horrifyingly brutal, life altering read Feb. 28 2011
By Deanna - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's strange to laugh (out loud) while readying an authentic account of acts so atrocious they seem fabricated. Jane's powerful, hysterically funny and deeply provocative narrative is all that AND a bag of chips. It's a shocking jolt to the senses and impossible to forget. She takes us from Hollywood's sycophantic, vapid celebrity mores, to the utter horror of Uganda's hidden world and wars. We are confronted with unspeakable atrocities against child/women that Jane slices up and feeds to us with her razor edged brilliance, her hilarious insights and her depth of emotion.
I love Jane Bussman, and I love this book. BUY it. Oprah where are you?????