"My War Gone By,I Miss It So" by Anthony Loyd

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by regular_imbiber, Sep 24, 2010.

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  1. I bought this book a few years ago when at the time, and my family would no doubt testify to this, I became a bit OCD about the recent Balkans history.This was probably a combination of doing 4 tours in 4 years in the area and therefore wanting to know all about it and other peoples' experiences. This book also covered the author's time in Chechyna.

    I enjoyed this book in parts and despised it in others. He is very skilled at describing the horrors and lunacy of wars that closely involve civilians,its thought provoking stuff and I would imagine many users of these boards will be very familiar with the place names mentioned. That said I got the impression that he set out to Bosnia with the firm intention that a book of his experiences would be the end product; its a bit lightweight in places and verging towards the cliche-ridden. I couldnt help thinking of Dennis Hopper's portrayal of the photo-journalist in Apocalypse Now and wondered if this is how Loyd saw himself.

    The comparison leads me on to why I despised parts of it. A lot of the book is very open about Loyd's drug use,alcohol use and his relationship with his father; wallowing in various forms of self-pity and then looking for a war(or wars) to find yourself or redemption is something I find selfish.In fact the feeling that Loyd treats wars as some form of the ultimate pornography is never too far away.

    All in all, a good read .Theres no denying that Loyd is thoughtful,clever and very articulate.I'd recommend it but perhaps only to a younger generation,which due to the style of writing is possibly what Loyd aimed for.
     
  2. Lucretia

    Lucretia Old-Salt Book Reviewer

    I agree with most of that but I am more tolerant towards Loyd's inner angst. I think initially he may well have seen himself as the Apocalypse Journo, in a positive way. But even the title is a challenge to conventional war reporting and an admission that some can get a hit, a buzz, out of aspects of warfare. I don't think he makes it seem like an alternative gap year challenge, there is more depth to it than that. Yes, he is selfish - but good for him for admitting/portraying it.
     
  3. Bad CO

    Bad CO LE Admin Reviews Editor Gallery Guru

    My paperback copy had been misprinted so that approx 50 of the pages were duplicated ... which caused me considerable confusion for about 5-10 mins. Great title - wonder what he is doing now?
     
  4. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    its a good book, and good comments by the OP, but I'm also more charitable towards him. For his returning to blighty and drug use, if you supplement that with returning on R&R, getting drunk and laid then you're prtty close to a lot of squaddies experiences!
     
  5. I read this after I'd read the "Bang Bang Club" and thought it not unlike some of the experiences described their about journalists working in Africa. This is obviously first hand in in a lot more detail as a consequence.

    I'd still recommend it to anyone trying to understand conflict situations.
     
  6. Enjoyed this when it came out, have also read his more recent book which imo is better than My War Gone By.