Tuesday, 13 March 2007


I read War reporting for cowards last week and literally could not put it down.

Chris Ayres had me hooked right from the very first paragraph, "Waking up, of course, shouldn't be a difficult or traumatic process. For the first twenty-seven years of my life I had done it every day without even thinking. Open eyes. Yawn. Scratch balls. Look up at the ceiling. Climb out of bed. Waking up in a Humvee on the front lines of an invasion, however, is different."

Mr Ayres' story is incredibly accessible, despite being set in a completely alien environment. His attitude is refreshingly honest. Ayres actually did my course at my University which he describes as the "Fame Acedemy" of journalism schools second only to Columbia (the X Factor? I can only assume). He describes Islington in 1997 and the lecturers. Everything that he experienced a decade ago remains almost the same today in a different form, the pub is now the Queen Boudica and the lecturers have changed but the ethos is as strong as ever. Perhaps finding these things in common made it easier for me to relate to his experience in Iraq. His words took me right there.

As soon as I finished, I sent him an e-mail. He replied the next day: "Kat - alas I live in LA, although you're welcome to meet me for a coffee here!"


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a worthwhile read.

Anonymous said...

And he lived to tell the tale.

Anonymous said...

I read that book too, and I really did love it.

I find journalism books, especially foreign correspondents, difficult to read... often ends up being pretentious,boring twaddle.

You should follow his blog on timesonline. Just as entertaining!

KatrionaLewis said...

i love his blog, big recomendation. his writing is quite addictive

Anonymous said...

invite him to join in as a City alumni. His perspective, especially talking directly to people who might one day be on the same sort of firing line he was, would be great!