Not Untrue and Not Unkind

by Ed O'Loughlin | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9781844881857 Global Overview for this book
Registered by miss-jo of Sydney, New South Wales Australia on 12/14/2009
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8 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by miss-jo from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Monday, December 14, 2009
From the back of the book: "In Dublin, a newspaper editor called Cartwright is found dead. One of his colleagues, Owen Simmons, discovers a dossier on Cartwright's desk. And in the dossier Owen finds a photograph that brings him back, once again, to a dusty road in Africa and to the woman he once loved ...
Not Untrue and Not Unkind is Owen's story - a gripping story of friendship, rivalry and guilt amongst a group of journalists and photographers covering Africa's wars. A remarkably assured and mature debut...".

Bought as part of the 2009 Booker challenge. I think we all know the 'rules' by now; feel free to change the order as necessary.
miss-jo
goodthinkingmax
jubby
tqd
Fleebo
FreePages
livrecache
star-light
Sujie

Journal Entry 2 by miss-jo from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, December 17, 2009
Booker's off to a flying start this year for me as I really enjoyed this. It took me a while to get started, but then the writing drew me in and got me hooked. Books about Africa seem to come in two forms: the lyrical tale of nature's beauty or the harsh tale of man's humanity to man. This one inclined to the latter, but didn't neglect the beauty. It also made me feel like I could understand the addictiveness of Africa and the lifestyle of those who drift through and observe.

My favourite sentence: "...only in chess do people resign when they know things are hopeless. In life we use up all our pieces first."

Journal Entry 3 by goodthinkingmax from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Thanks miss-jo for the quick delivery. I will begin reading it soon. Happy Christmas!

Journal Entry 4 by goodthinkingmax from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Monday, March 15, 2010
Just wanted to check in and say I do still have this book. I have picked it up numerous times and started reading it but then put it aside. I will give it another shot before passing it on!

Journal Entry 5 by jubby from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Friday, April 09, 2010
Greetings and salutations.

This book passed into my care two days ago over lunch with Goodthinkingmax and a few others, who are all enjoying the Easter break.

Hoping to dive into this one soon, and to pass it along to TQD before heading back for term 2.
Thank you.

Journal Entry 6 by jubby from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, April 29, 2010
Well, I didn't get this one read in the time I was hoping, and like those before me, I did find it a bit hard to get into.

The main character Owen wasn't the easiest to warm to, and I did find myself a bit distracted at first, but like Miss-Jo points out the writing is well crafted, and before long I was into it (but then pressed for time!).

Middle aged journalist, contemplating his time as a foreign correspondent during civil strive in a far flung place. Hmm. Remind you of another story? I've not even read 'The quiet American' but found myself making the mental note to read it soon, to make comparisons.

The synchronicity of reading this shortly after a couple of Muriel Spark books (she lived in Africa when first married, and converted to Catholicism later in life, which meant much of her writing had a moral slant), made me wonder about the purpose of Owen's journalism and being in Africa. Was he there to spice up his life, or, to bear witness as it were, and to report the news to a greater world audience?

As a journalist he didn't seem to know himself, and at times idly watched as brutal acts happened around him, and at other times risked his own life for others. An intriguing dilemma, and wonderfully crafted story that I am still thinking about.

I can definitely see why this was nominated for the Booker Prize, but after reading 'Brooklyn', can see why it didn't win. I've yet to read 'Wolf Hall', so can only surmise that it's brilliant!

Thank you for sharing this book Miss-Jo.

Journal Entry 7 by jubby at Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Thursday, April 29, 2010

Released 9 yrs ago (4/30/2010 UTC) at Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

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Dropping off for TQD after work.

Journal Entry 8 by tqd from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Friday, April 30, 2010
Turned up mysteriously in the mailbox last night. Thanks Jubby!

Journal Entry 9 by tqd at Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Saturday, November 20, 2010
Cynical and world-weary journalists covering conflicts in Africa, and juggling love and sex and addiction to the adrenalin? thrill? pressure? Ed O'Loughlin is writing about what he knows, and the verisimilitude shines through. Although not all of us know that much about Africa, so I was quite lost at times.

I usually don't mind being thrown in the deep end with my fiction, but this one did need a few signposts (it's not until 2/3s of the way through that I found out which decade it was set in). And the jumping about in time just confused me (hang on, isn't he dead? Oh, not yet?). Nothing wrong with some chapter titles with some *information* in them.

I liked the cynicism of the characters, at the same time as not liking the cynicism of the characters. They were amusing with their bitchy comments about foreign aid and the U.N., but at the same time I was appalled - tell me it isn't so!

It was actually a rather good book, but the frustrations just wore me down by the end.

I'll see if I can pass this on to Fleebo, next time I see her.

Journal Entry 10 by Fleebo at Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, November 25, 2010
I enjoyed this, and found it pretty easy reading despite the subject matter. However, I had to agree with the snippet on the back of the cover - that Cartwright could just as easily be left out of it. Owen's "secret" wasn't much of one, and I was not convinced that it could have ruined his career, as implied. Maybe I misunderstood just how backstabbing and fickle journalism is.
The detachment of the journalists and photographers in the face of massacre is probably realistic and necessary but it makes them kind of inhuman... when a corpse in the road is maybe worth a couple of photos, but otherwise you just gun the motor and swerve, because there's no story to sell.
On to FreePages next.

Journal Entry 11 by FreePages at Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, January 02, 2011

Whoops- the end of 2010 was just a bit crazy and so I forgot to journal one or two books. My New Years Resolution - to catch up with my reading. I might be up to some dark books and peaking at the JEs this looks like a quick read might put it towards the top of Mount Toobie in 2011.
Thanks for sending it on Fleebo and thanks to miss-jo for the ring :)

Journal Entry 12 by FreePages at Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, January 09, 2012

Released 8 yrs ago (1/9/2012 UTC) at Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia

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Posted this one to star-light tonight with one other.
Enjoy :)

Journal Entry 13 by star-light at Melbourne CBD, Victoria Australia on Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Caught! Thanks FreePages. It's been a long time since I have had a Booker book and I look forward to reading this one.

Journal Entry 14 by star-light at Melbourne CBD, Victoria Australia on Sunday, January 06, 2013
Sorry about how long I have had this book. I started it a couple of times but couldn't get into it. I have PMed Sujie and will send the book on when I have a postal address.

Journal Entry 15 by Sujie at Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, January 24, 2013
Thanks star-light and miss-jo. Looking forward to this as I read the first chapter standing at the post office, while waiting for someone. I know my husband will like this so I hope you don't mind if I keep it a bit longer as I am last on the list, miss-jo.

Journal Entry 16 by Sujie at Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales Australia on Saturday, February 23, 2013
SPOILER
Really enjoyed this in the end, although like others found some of it difficult to get through. Having lived for a time as near to the equator, the descriptions of the heat and light were good enough to make me sweat.
I disagree with the "secret" not being enough to get Owen sacked - he was responsible for the death of all those people who went with him down the road he knew to be unsafe. The ending with Brereton as the one person left alive who knew the truth was both chilling and anti-climactic in one. I thought making the narrator not really likeable was a master stroke, too, as O'Loughlin was writing from his own experiences. Must be difficult to make yourself a flawed character.
The writing style was the hero for me. So many passages resonate. Talking about two dead young guys as "people with a bad feel for politics" epitomised the cynicism of the investigative reporters and I liked how he could turn an ordinary sentence into something shocking in the last few words. I'll look out for more of his work.
Would you like this back or shall I lodge it in my OBCZ, miss-jo?

Journal Entry 17 by miss-jo at Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Sunday, February 24, 2013
Release it please Sujie.

Journal Entry 18 by Sujie at Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales Australia on Saturday, March 09, 2013
Releasing at JingJoOBCZ in Kangaroo Valley tomorrow, Sunday 10th March.

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