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The Sand Cafe

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Synopses & Reviews

Review:

"The frustrations and follies of contemporary war reporting are skewered in this jaundiced, juicy dispatch, datelined Saudi Arabia during the 1991 Gulf War. Sent to cover the story of a lifetime, wire service reporter Angus Dalziel finds himself with a view mainly of his hotel room. Harassed by Saudi officialdom, stifled and spoon-fed by U.S. Army press minders, Angus struggles to unearth real stories about military corruption, the repressive Saudi society America is defending and front-line reverses once the longed-for fighting begins. Watching his comrades veer between frenzy and torpor in their media bubble, Angus ponders the rot at the heart of journalism — especially the shallowness and vanity of television correspondents, one of whom uses up his tent mates' precious drinking water to shampoo his hair. First-time novelist and New York Times Cairo bureau chief MacFarquhar has this milieu down cold, though some of his tent poles are romantic clichs. A triangle between Angus, a cable-news babe and an egotistical producer yields much brooding over the transience of reporters' love lives, and the dichotomy between serious print journalists and TV airheads is a little facile. But media insiders and casual readers alike will relish his stock of witty observations and nasty anecdotes, while gleaning timely insights into the corruption of the news business. Michael Moore this isn't, but look for the book to serve as a kind of 'physician, heal thyself' for the current wartime media, with corresponding talk show play." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"The promotional copy for this absorbing first novel calls it 'a satire of modern war reporting' and a 'black comedy,' so readers may expect yet another attempt to mimic every reporter's favorite sendup of the trade's worst habits, Evelyn Waugh's 'Scoop.' MacFarquhar is a journalist, after all (he's the Cairo bureau chief of the New York Times), and could have invented his own Waughist dullards, con... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

The Cairo bureau chief for the "New York Times" goes inside the private lives and professional mischief of war reporters waiting for the first Gulf War to begin in this bitingly funny first novel.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781586483685
Publisher:
PublicAffairs
Subject:
General
Author:
Macfarquhar, Neil
Subject:
Americans
Subject:
Persian gulf war, 1991
Publication Date:
March 2006
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
375
Dimensions:
9.22x6.50x1.20 in. 1.51 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Sand Cafe
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 375 pages Public Affairs Press (NY) - English 9781586483685 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The frustrations and follies of contemporary war reporting are skewered in this jaundiced, juicy dispatch, datelined Saudi Arabia during the 1991 Gulf War. Sent to cover the story of a lifetime, wire service reporter Angus Dalziel finds himself with a view mainly of his hotel room. Harassed by Saudi officialdom, stifled and spoon-fed by U.S. Army press minders, Angus struggles to unearth real stories about military corruption, the repressive Saudi society America is defending and front-line reverses once the longed-for fighting begins. Watching his comrades veer between frenzy and torpor in their media bubble, Angus ponders the rot at the heart of journalism — especially the shallowness and vanity of television correspondents, one of whom uses up his tent mates' precious drinking water to shampoo his hair. First-time novelist and New York Times Cairo bureau chief MacFarquhar has this milieu down cold, though some of his tent poles are romantic clichs. A triangle between Angus, a cable-news babe and an egotistical producer yields much brooding over the transience of reporters' love lives, and the dichotomy between serious print journalists and TV airheads is a little facile. But media insiders and casual readers alike will relish his stock of witty observations and nasty anecdotes, while gleaning timely insights into the corruption of the news business. Michael Moore this isn't, but look for the book to serve as a kind of 'physician, heal thyself' for the current wartime media, with corresponding talk show play." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , The Cairo bureau chief for the "New York Times" goes inside the private lives and professional mischief of war reporters waiting for the first Gulf War to begin in this bitingly funny first novel.
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