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Burden of the Desert [Kindle Edition]

Justin Huggler
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Book Description

Zoe Temple, a young journalist who dreams of being a war correspondent…Lieutenant Rick Benes, an American officer trying to get his platoon home alive…Adel, an Iraqi who wants revenge for the death of his father…Mahmoud, an Iraqi driver in a secret love affair with a Christian woman…Nouri, an innocent man tortured in Abu Ghraib… In occupied Baghdad, their lives will come together—in a world of violence and mistrust, where every decision can be fatal, and love is found in unexpected quarters. And when a shocking incident at an American checkpoint leaves three people dead, it sets in train a series of events that will have far-reaching consequences for them all. Burden of the Desert is fast-paced and gripping, and asks questions that will linger long after the last page is turned. Justin Huggler was a war correspondent in Iraq for the Independent newspaper, and in his first novel he memorably evokes the atmosphere of a military occupation whose aftershocks are still being felt today.

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This tense, thought-provoking and extraordinary book is an absolute must" -- Daily Mail

"Exciting and terrifying, wondrous and sobering, and there is action and adventure aplenty to keep fans of this genre turning the pages late into the night" -- ForeWord Clarion Reviews
  
"Rarely is something this informative also this exciting...so mesmerised that I couldn't help but read all 600+ pages in one late, late sitting" -- The Bookbag
  
"The author has an uncanny ability to stimulate readers' senses with his vivid depictions...at times, readers may feel as if they are right there alongside the soldiers" -- Kirkus Indie Reviews

About the Author

Justin Huggler was born in the Channel Island of Jersey, Great Britain. A former foreign correspondent for the Independent newspaper, he covered the occupation of Iraq from 2003 to 2004. He has also covered the 2001 war in Afghanistan, the second Palestinian Intifada, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the overthrow of Slobodan Milosevic, and the Nepalese revolution. He lives in London.

Product Details

  • File Size: 610 KB
  • Print Length: 618 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Justin Huggler; 1 edition (December 3, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AN50TQ2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #363,916 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling written and well-conceived February 11, 2013
Although Justin Huggler's Burden of the Desert is a work of fiction, you have to wonder how much is based on truth? Moreover, after reading the novel, readers will most certainly question why journalists and in particular war correspondents would want to willingly put themselves in harm's way? Perhaps it is the hype they experience which is something akin to a potent narcotic or it may be the thrill exacerbated by the closeness of death? No matter what are the reasons, we have to accept that someone needs to do the job of producing hard hitting, objective and front-line reporting that counter the sanitized language that are often the case when describing world-wide conflicts be it in the Middle East or within our own immediate environment.

All of this comes to the fore in Burden of the Desert as we tag along with Huggler's principal character, war correspondent Zoe Temple who covers the American occupation of Iraq bringing her as well as her colleagues into places torn by pandemonium, devastation, death, and civil unrest, trying to bear witness in exposing the truth within a sandstorm of misinformation and half truths.

As the story unfolds, we immediately learn about Lieutenant Rick Benes who unfortunately was involved in the killing of an innocent man together with two of his children, and as we discover, this tragedy will give rise to unforeseen consequences affecting several of the novel's characters.

From here the story shifts and focuses on Zoe who is employed by a British newspaper, the Informer and who is temporarily sent to Iraq to fill in for the newspaper's overworked and exhausted war regular correspondent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and informative January 18, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fantastic book. Moving and informative. A stark reminder of mess that was the Iraq invasion and occupation and the human cost of so many ruined and wasted lives.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging Story February 28, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The writing in this novel moved the story along sucking me in and not letting up until the end. Mr. Huggler's experience as a reporter of the war in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 shows in the details of the scenes, politics, and motivation characters.

Although this story takes place after the U.S. President declared major combat operations over, there's plenty of conflict all through this story following several characters. You read and feel the guilt, fear, and worry a U.S. Lieutenant, Benes, carries for a mistake his unit made in the opening chapter. Written is such a way, each time I was in this characters point of view, I hoped nothing would happen to him or his men.

A female British reporter, Zoe, is a central figure in the story. A novice at war reporting in the beginning, she quickly becomes a season one. It is through Zoe's eyes we learn about the numerous difficulties the Iraq people suffered after Sadam Hussein was removed from power, and how difficult it was to report this war, especially a female journalist. Her driver and translator, Mahmoud and Ali, become central characters whose lives away from Zoe add to the depth of the lives this novel explores.

Through two Iraqs, Adel and Nouri, we learn the motivation of why so many would take up arms against those that freed them from their dictator, and the complicated life the Iraq people lived.

This is a story about war. Although Mr. Huggler does an admiral job of describing some scenes with restraint, squeamish readers may have a hard time with them.

The writing and story reminded of another masterfully written novel about war, Herman Wouk's The Winds of War, and War and Remembrance. I look forward to Mr. Huggler's next novel.
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More About the Author

Justin Huggler was born in the Channel Island of Jersey, Great Britain. A former foreign correspondent for the Independent newspaper, he covered the occupation of Iraq from 2003 to 2004. He has also covered the 2001 war in Afghanistan, the second Palestinian Intifada, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the overthrow of Slobodan Milosevic, and the Nepalese revolution. He lives in London.


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