My Friend the Mercenary

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Canongate, 2010 - British - 457 pages
19 Reviews
In a fly-blown bar in West Africa, war reporter James Brabazon found himself discussing military plans to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea with one of Africa's most notorious mercenaries - his friend Nick du Toit. The Byzantine plot, its farcical execution and its tragic consequences led to Simon Mann and a host of celebrated guns-for-hire falling victim to their own avaricious plans, Machiavellian scheming and perverse double-crosses. In a twist of fate, James Brabazon remained free. His mercenary friend wasn't as lucky. Nick du Toit was supposed to serve thirty-four years in Black Beach Prison, Africa's most notorious jail - a sentence which James could have been serving alongside him. My Friend The Mercenary recounts James's courageous journey into the Liberian war, and tell the inside story of the most infamous coup attempt in recent history. Through this gripping narrative, James Brabazon explodes the myth of the modern mercenary; and paints a moving portrait of an extraordinary friendship. It is a brutally honest book about what it takes to be a journalist, survivor and friend in the morally corrosive crucible of war.

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Review: My Friend the Mercenary

User Review  - Adam - Goodreads

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 ... Read full review

Review: My Friend the Mercenary

User Review  - Anna - Goodreads

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 ... Read full review


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About the author (2010)

James Brabazon is an award-winning frontline journalist and documentary filmmaker. Based in London, he has reported in over sixty countries, investigating, filming and directing in the world's most hostile environments. His awards include the Rory Peck Trust International Impact Award 2003, the Rory Peck Freelancer's Choice Award 2003, the IDA Courage Under Fire Award 2004 and the IDFA Joris Ivens Competition Special Jury Award 2004. He has also been nominated for two BAFTAs and two EMMYs. He has made thirty international current affairs films broadcast by the BBC, Channel 4, CNN, SABC and the Discovery Channel. He lectures on the ethics and practicalities of journalism in war zones and has written for the Observer, the Independent and the Guardian.

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