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Customer Review

3.0 out of 5 stars Good read, but a bit self-indulgent, Dec 23 2002
This review is from: The Soccer War (Paperback)
Kapuscinski is a Polish reporter who worked extensively in war zones in Africa and South America, and most of this book is about his experiences in Africa in the 1960's. Towards the end of the book he also writes about the war between Honduras and El Salvador (the "soccer war" of the title) which was sparked by soccer internationals between the two countries.
I first read this book quite a few years ago and I enjoyed it immensely at the time, and would have given it four stars then. Upon reading it a second time recently I found it less impressive, though still a good read. Kapuscinski evokes Africa well, and is very good at describing people, but I now felt that he was directing too much attention to his own experiences/emotions (and bravery?), instead of just describing situations. I also found the device whereby he keeps on referring to and writing about the book that he plans but never writes (if this does not make sense here, it also doesn't make much sense in the book itself) irritating and more than slightly pretentious, as if he wanted to make The Soccer Wars a more intelligent book than most written about war. This pretentiousness also shines forth in the very confusing last chapter of the book. But, having said this, The Soccer War, although not a masterpiece by any means, is still well worth reading, as it deals with a very interesting period in African history, a period that produced some fascinating political leaders.
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Location: South Africa

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