The Things I've Seen: Nine Lives of a Foreign Correspondent

Lara Marlowe. Liberties (Dufour, dist.), $29.95 (350p) ISBN 978-1-907593-04-8
Most of the "nine lives" represented by Marlowe's collected journalistic writings are war-torn regions, adding up to "some fifteen conflicts. Depending how you counted." Marlowe has "loved this profession as one loves a place or a person...Journalism," she realizes, "has given me a far more pungent taste for life than any ivory tower." Though her writing is not especially original or nuanced—profiles of celebrities are dull; a closing section on cats is sorely out of place—it is breathtaking when she examines the chaos and outrage of war, volleying snippets of imagery that have amazing power. These sections won't sit well with those who don't want to see the truth behind the "war is hell" façade. Marlowe provides insight into world affairs from a European, not an American, perspective; as may be expected from a foreign correspondent, she saves her harshest words for America, and Americans, and many U.S. readers won't want to read, say, her sneering recap of the 2004 presidential election. This reveals a major flaw of her book—not of perspective, but timing: too often, her pieces are old news. Still, Marlowe has a strong ability to get to the story, and for that reason alone her book is worth a read. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 05/02/2011
Release date: 02/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 291 pages - 978-1-909718-09-8
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