My Friend the Mercenary

My Friend the Mercenary In February British journalist James Brabazon set out to travel with guerrilla forces into Liberia to show the world what was happening in that war torn country To protect him he hired Nick du

  • Title: My Friend the Mercenary
  • Author: James Brabazon
  • ISBN: 9781847674395
  • Page: 417
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In February 2002, British journalist James Brabazon set out to travel with guerrilla forces into Liberia to show the world what was happening in that war torn country To protect him, he hired Nick du Toit, a former South African Defence Force soldier who had fought in conflicts across Africa for over three decades What follows is an incredible behind the scenes account oIn February 2002, British journalist James Brabazon set out to travel with guerrilla forces into Liberia to show the world what was happening in that war torn country To protect him, he hired Nick du Toit, a former South African Defence Force soldier who had fought in conflicts across Africa for over three decades What follows is an incredible behind the scenes account of the Liberian rebels known as the LURD as they attempt to seize control of the country from government troops led by President Charles Taylor In this gripping narrative, James Brabazon paints a brilliant portrait of the chaos that tore West Africa apart nations run by warlords and kleptocrats, rebels fighting to displace them, ordinary people caught in the crossfire and everywhere adventurers and mercenaries operating in war s dark shadows It is a brutally honest book about what it takes to be a journalist, survivor, and friend in this morally corrosive crucible.

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      Published :2018-012-03T02:41:04+00:00

    About “James Brabazon”

    1. James Brabazon

      James Brabazon Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the My Friend the Mercenary book, this is one of the most wanted James Brabazon author readers around the world.

    263 thoughts on “My Friend the Mercenary”

    1. The first 75% of this book is a great read, detailing the author's adventures in a number of African hotspots, often accompanied by professional soldier Nick du Toit. The book is absolutely riveting right up to the point where Brabazon starts detailing his investigation into the circumstances surrounding du Toit's involvement in a failed coup, at which time it starts to read a bit like the begats in Genesis. Overall, a very engrossing account of some hair-raising adventures on the troubled conti [...]


    2. Intense. That's one word that can sum up this entire book. I've been a big fan of memoirs and other works portraying the struggles in war-torn West Africa for a while, but this is easily one of my favorites I've read. James Brabazon has a very easy writing style. There's a lot of information to take in, and a lot of names and places to remember, but he describes every encounter so accurately, you feel as if you are there. I don't find myself having to go back to figure out who's who and what's g [...]


    3. The first two thirds of the book are a journalistic expose on what was, at the time, a virtually unknown civil war happening in Liberia between the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) and the infamous Charles Taylor, while the last third of the book is dedicated to a Le Carre-esque investigation into the titular Mercenary's real-life failed coup attempt and the parties involved.What is most shocking and striking about the first segment of the book is that the events describe [...]


    4. Although typically not my genre of choice, I was driven to read this after hearing the author's gripping narrative on an American radio program. While the memoir is painstakingly written and filled with (almost too much) detail, in the end I felt the 30-minute radio account was much more evocative/effective, and the author's (literal and figurative) voice more genuine. Indeed, it was the level of detail in the written narrative that, in the end, caused me the most amount of doubt in terms of the [...]


    5. I am 99% finished with James Brabazon's memoir My Friend the Mercenary. It's the true story of Nick du Toit, a South African mercenary famous for a botched coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea. The two men became friends when du Toit was Brabazon's bodyguard while filming a revolution in Liberia. Two thoughts:1) Brabazon befriended du Toit despite the later's heavy involvement in enforcing South African apartheid. This enforcement consisted of a lot of assassinations and bombings, conducted by du T [...]


    6. The is truly a fascinating account of dangerous journalistic work in war torn Africa. I finished reading it just as I was being evacuated from South Sudan last week. A poignant moment.I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone seeking to learn from a first hand account of the issues around recent conflict in West Africa.


    7. Best narrative I've read so far on what happened in Equatorial Guinea - Dramatically better than Simon Mann's "straight to the remainder pile" account. One of the most honest accounts of what it's like to film from the frontline and to be in the intimate company of a commercial soldier. Much food for thought.


    8. I thought this book was very powerful, but near the end it ended up being more about the arrest of a group that Nick was involved in. The details in Part Three seemed unnecessary, and I have to say I couldn't follow along it very well. The first two parts, and the epilogue were all fantastic. I definitely recommend reading this book if you get the chance.


    9. Fantastic. Even if this book fizzles out in the second half, the first was SO white-knucklingly thrilling I would recommend this to anyone. Really enjoyed the behind the scenes perspective of the awfulness of war and war reporting.


    10. Thoroughly enjoyed this read. Interesting to discover the legacy of some of South Africa's former SADF soldiers, and their influence on armed conflicts in Africa after the demise of Apartheid. The author, James, reflects on complex moral conflicts faced by journalists in war situations.


    11. I discovered this book by hearing about it on on an NPR radio show and author James Brabazon did a great job of getting me hyped to read this. For the most part that hype stayed up through a little over half the book after which it slowly but surely dwindles. My Friend the Mercenary tells the true story of hopeful British reporter James Brabazon and his adventure covering the Second Liberian Civil War while in the process befriending his private security hire/former South African special forces [...]


    12. WOW- this was epic. This is my husband's favorite book and some how he extracted a promise from me to read it. "It's a memoir, you love memoirs!" my husband says over and over. So, I finally keep my promise. Yes, it's much different than the memoirs I usually read, but I was not disappointed. Full of adventures and "Oh shit!" moments it was also a touching account of friendship that at times had me misty eyed. Bravo Mr. Brabazon!


    13. Like most of the reviews parts 1 and 2 are great - first-hand accounts and details of the LURD and its fight against Charles Taylor’s forces. Part 3 is rather dull - a convoluted failed coup plot and an investigation into what went wrong. 4 stars for parts 1 and 2 but overall drops to 3 stars because of the final section.



    14. I bought this book after hearing a podcast where the author summarised his story. The way he told it was intense and emotional. The book is far less interesting, and gets bogged down in dull details and "investigative journalism". The first half is intense, with graphic and horrifying details. But even here the author is a bit odd. A bus flips over, crushing women and children who are clinging to the outside. He gives this event a single sentence. I'm not exactly looking for more details of the [...]


    15. Interesting book covering a fascinating and little-known uprising. It provides a rare insight into the grey areas journalists face when covering wars, and the self-reflectiveness (although at times a bit strained) gave the book an extra dimension that a lot of books written by journalists don't have. That said, there was a LOT of moral flapping. It almost seemed as though he was constantly trying to justify everything he did to people a lot more critical than me. Yes, mercenaries have done bad t [...]


    16. Horrifying and written in such a dry matter of fact way.Similar to a book I read more recently - the bang bang club, (by Greg Marinovich) also about journalists in war zones in Africa. They are both similarly upsetting. I could only read in short chunks as I had to process it. You have to remember this is real human beings doing this to each other NOW. NOW. NOW. Makes my blood run cold.Yes, it can seem this sort of book is gratuitous. But we need witnesses. and the people who witness must invari [...]


    17. Fascinating portrait of what happens when friendship, ambition, and im/morality converge. By the end, it was hard to decide whom I liked (or disliked) more: the war-hungry documentarian or the battle-hardened South African mercenary. Both are flawed and, at times at least, morally bankrupt. And yet it's hard not to be drawn in by their bond of friendship and by Brabazon's critical reflections upon (or justifications for?) his own actions in West Africa. I await a follow-up by Brabazon.


    18. I gave up about 70% into the book. I was bored and the pace from the first few chapters had plummeted and I was just bored of walking back and forth and endless waiting. There was nothing holding my interest so I dumped it in favour of something new. I have no interest in reading the rest of this one do so I plonked it on the read shelf.


    19. Mixed feelings about this book: The author comes across as self-centred and helps to fuel the brutal war just to play explorer and further his career. However it is a riveting and extremely interesting (if disturbing) account of the civil war in Liberia, an insight into the mercenaries and governments that were involved and the details of the aborted coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea.


    20. This book was 1st published about a year after I completed a year-long tour in Liberia and no matter how hard he tries, I can't swallow James Brabazon's attempts to humanise the truly monstrous. I would agree with him when he asks who are we to judge; but by the same token we have no right to try to justify the utterly unjustifiable.


    21. A well-written account of a war correspondent and film-maker who ventures into West Africa and amazingly lives to tell the tales of plots, counterplots, intrigues, wars and almost-wars in Liberia nad Equatorial Guinea. A basic (shocking) introduction to the dangerous world of the mercenary, the diplomat, the correspondent, the West African.


    22. I seem to like travel books from Africa and this one fit the bill. It is very educational about the struggles in West AfricaLiberia, Sierra Leone and E Guinea. This is a well written book based on recent facts. If you like travel books in risky parts of the world I would recommend this.


    23. A great advert for not starting a coup in a hostile, gun toting, blood thirsty, dictatorship!If you are thinking of the above please read - if not, then read the first 2/3rds to learn about the horrors of a hostile, gun toting, blood thirsty, dictatorship x


    24. I enjoyed the book. Learning about the darker side of African history from bits and pieces of one of the characters. I found the parts about the Nick's time in the SA recces and the piecing together of the coup.


    25. Amazing book want to know what PTSD is like from civy point of view. Being a ex soldier and now in the soldier for hire game. Could not put this book down and have read it more than once. Hats off to James.


    26. Exhilirating for its coverage of friendship, West African history, civil war and an intimate account of a much maligned, for good reasons, profession. This book should be read first before watching Brabazon's film Liberia: An Uncivil War.




    27. Interesting look into conflict zones, combatants, and Geo-politics that don't often show up on Americans radar. One hell of an adventure story.


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