Friday, October 30, 2015

War Junkie

A couple of days ago I wrapped up a book I had been reading for two weeks, War Junkie: One Man's Addiction to the Worst Places on Earth, by Jonathan Steele. The book started out great, but then kind of dragged so it took me a while; 540 pages too!

The book is a first hand account of a news cameraman's job reporting on the War in Abkhazia, the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis, the Georgian Civil War, the genocide in Rwanda and the siege of Sarajevo. In between his work he struggles with depression, drug abuse and missing the excitement of his job. Steele describes all of his faults, especially his failed marriage. I, of course, was most interested in his work involving post-Soviet conflicts. These stories were great. His telling of the fall of Sukhumi and the crisis in Moscow were thrilling. His graphic description of the situation in Rwanda was tough to read and was somewhat repetitive. Somehow Steele recovers from a dramatic psychological collapse at an airport and continues to film other conflicts. Sadly, the book does not describe his work in Chechnya. Oh well on to the next read.

Jonathan Steele

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