Monday, 7 April 2008


I mentioned a while ago that I had read some very good books recently. As anyone who has read previous entries will no, I am quite vehemently against the so-called War on Terror, and in this respect have read a couple of good books.

Moazzam Begg's account Enemy Combatant: The Terrifying True Story of a Briton in Guantanamo is really rather chilling and gives an insight to the rest of us just what can happen when the security services decide to target you, and frankly erodes even further any trust we might still have in them. Following on from this, but on the same theme, was the fascinating book by Craig Murray, Murder in Samarkand - A British Ambassador's Controversial Defiance of Tyranny in the War on Terror. Now, Murray and Begg are chalk and cheese, not least their backgrounds and occupations, and there is clearly a degree of self-promotion with Murray's work as opposed to the more subtle, modest approach shown by Begg, but both books ring with the same clear message - that the truth is no more than an inconvenience for those in government who want to push a policy.
I don't know, perhaps this flavour of tyranny has always been the case. Perhaps it always will be the case. Maybe I'm naive. But when you think about what a difference we could make if our effort was driven by humanitarian rather than by political/hydrocarbon factors.

On a lighter note, I saw a book Bog Standard by Daniel Ken, which from the cover looked excellent, and didn't disappoint. The only thing was, I got the feeling that the events in the book happened a while ago, and yet I couldn't see anything else in print save for a very sparsely-populated blog on the TES web site. I'd certainly go for more.

Lastly, I'm not normally into fiction, but before the PSP broke I was using it to watch movies while train-travelling, and I caught an excellent French film Ne le Dis a Personne, which translates slightly more succinctly as "Tell No-one". The author was a New Jersey guy called Harlan Coben and these kind of thrillers are his speciality. A quick visit to Amazon and a few days later half a dozen of these thrillers arrived. They are great reads, very easy and take only a couple of days apiece, and good stories too, although this chap very definitely has a formula and so one book can seem quite similar to another, at least when read back-to-back. But good reads nevertheless. Even Jacqueline likes 'em.

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