My Friend the Mercenary

By James Brabazon
(Grove Press, Hardcover, 9780802119759, 457pp.)

Publication Date: March 2011

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback, Hardcover

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Brabazon paints a brilliant portrait of the chaos that has torn West Africa apart, and presents a behind-the-scenes account of the Liberian rebels as they attempt to seize control of the country from government troops led by President Charles Taylor. photos.

Praise For My Friend the Mercenary

“Among the most exciting true stories of adventure—and misadventure—I’ve ever read about modern Africa; a beautifully written adrenaline rush by one of our generation’s bravest journalists.” —Aidan Hartley, author of The Zanzibar Chest

“An outstanding memoir about the power of friendship in the morally complex theater of war. James Brabazon is a fearless reporter and a brutally honest narrator. I couldn’t put this book down.” —Andy McNab, author of Bravo Two Zero

“One of the most brutal, true stories you may ever read and yet streaming through it is a remarkable and unlikely friendship.”—Peter Hallett, Utterance

“Intensely vivid story of war and the peculiar breed of warriors who fight in 21st-century Africa. . . A haunting memoir and tribute to an extraordinary comrade-at-arms.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Reads like a political thriller. Brabazon’s searing narrative captures both the allure of war—the rush of danger, the deep camaraderie, the get-rich-quick mirages—and its brutal realities. It’s both a seductive paean to and a harsh exposé of the mercenary ethos that fattens off of Africa’s travails.”—Publishers Weekly

“Unsparing prose, a visceral shock ride into horror. This book reveals the savagery of Africa’s least known wars, fed and exploited by opportunists and plunderers who are drawn to these ravaged countries like vultures to a carcass.”
—Jonathan Kaplan, author of The Dressing Station

“The first two thirds of Brabazon’s extraordinary confessional, My Friend the Mercenary, is the story of how the professional partnership of a young, liberal British filmmaker and a hit man for apartheid South Africa developed into intimate comradeship. It was a strange and dangerous liaison, and it found itself in the heart of darkness. . . . The concluding chapters of his book present as full and convincing an account of that failed assault on Equatorial Guinea as we are likely to read.”—The Scotsman (UK)

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