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Fools Rush In: A True Story of Love, War, and Redemption [Kindle Edition]

Bill Carter
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Offering an in-depth personal account of the Bosnian and Herzegovinian war, this autobiography follows the author as he departed for conflict-ridden Eastern Europe in the early 1990s. Demonstrating how the protagonist discovered his own love of humanity, this narrative documents his career as an aid-worker, toiling amidst a motley crew of expatriate punk rockers and thrill junkies who dressed as clowns to deliver food to bombed-out orphanages. Touching on his later role as a dogged emissary, this chronicle also relates how the author convinced the rock group U2 to help bring the siege of Sarajevo to the planet via satellite broadcasts beamed out during their PopMart world tour. A forthright and powerful memoir, this searing reconstruction depicts an innocent city under attack as well as indelible portraits of the people of Sarajevo, who continued to live their lives with hope, humor, and passion. This updated edition also includes an introduction by Charles Bowden, the author of Down by the River.

Editorial Reviews


"This lively book is like Good Morning, Vietnam crossed with a Conrad novel." The London Times.
"Few writers have traveled a more remarkable path than fisherman-humanitarian-filmmaker author Bill Carter." David Swanson, Rolling Stone

"Dante’s Inferno for the MTV generation. What a guide Bill Carter turns out to be to the hell of Sarajevo during the Bosnian War. Oddly, and insipiringly, he finds some heaven there."  —Bono, lead singer, U2

"After reading Fools Rush In, you may find yourselves giving much greater consideration to what in life is important and what is merely trivial."  ––Jon Krakauer, author, Into the Wild and Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman

"A totally admirable book, the memoir of a young man written out of necessity, the only true reason to write a book . . . its consciousness will become part of your life."  —Jim Harrison, author, Legends of the Fall and True North

"I can't claim to know what life is about but I know if my life does not entail helping other people, then it is not much of a life at all. I keep a copy of this book near at hand for those moments when I seem to forget who I am. And it helps, every time."  —Charles Bowden, author, Down by the River

About the Author

Bill Carter is a former commercial fisherman and an award-winning documentary filmmaker and photographer. He is the author of Red Summer: The Danger and Madness of Commercial Salmon Fishing in Alaska. He has written for Men's Journal, Outside, Rolling Stone, and Spin. His documentary film, Miss Sarajevo, was awarded the International Monitor Award, the Golden Hugo Award, and the Maverick Director Award. He lives in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Product Details

  • File Size: 692 KB
  • Print Length: 401 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0982433298
  • Publisher: Schaffner Press, Inc.; 2 edition (April 7, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004I6DDE2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #597,059 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Book April 8, 2012
By abbie23
I came across Fools Rush In several years ago in my early 20s and decided to give it a try. Wow!! I could not put it down and fell in love with all of the characters in the book. I had never read such a moving and touching story and was immediately impacted by what I had read. Bill is a wonderful author and paints a realistic and jarring picture of the culture and citizens of Sarajevo in the 90s.

While reading the book, you are drawn to the people that were living through a traumatic war and in such a difficult climate while discovering their ability to maintain their dignity, positive attitude and values. Bill is incredibly courageous and his personal story of contribution and relationship with the people of Sarajevo is extremely inspirational and moving.

Fools Rush In is a story that has stuck with me over the years and one that I am always excited to discuss with others. I have given this book as a gift to several book lovers, all of which very much enjoyed it and were inspired by Bill's story. I have chosen it for several book clubs and it always sparks a great discussion. It is also very moving to read Fools Rush In and then watch the film documenting Bill's experience, Miss Sarajevo. Being able to see the people in the book on film was very impactful for me. Fools Rush In documents an extremely important part of history and I am grateful that Bill was able to share the story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing November 26, 2011
"Fools Rush In" is the story of a city as its main character, much like Baltimore is the true star of HBO's "The Wire." Sarevejo is the majority-muslim city of Bosnia that was under siege during the civil war that engulfed the old Yugoslavia in the '90's. At the time the story takes place, the city has been surrounded by the Serbian army, the UN is in the area "monitoring the situation," and thousands of civilians have been slaughtered.

Bill Carter is a wounded man. Broken and damaged from the death of his fiance, he goes to Bosnia to feel again. It is quickly obvious to him that the UN and other peace-keeping forces are doing little other than counting the growing number of casualties, and he stumbles upon a shoe-string charity group that delivers food beyond the frontlines of the war. The group is made up of other men who came together looking for some kind of purpose. They found it amidst the blood and ruin of Bosnia-Herzogovina.

While the rest of the group moves in and out of Sarajevo, often leaving for months to gather food and deliver in other areas, Carter cannot leave. He finds his purpose living amongst a war-ravaged people, sprinting across sniper alley, sharing the dwindling food of the city, living and learning with the patriots, the artists, the families, the hipsters and the poets who loved their city too much to leave when they had the chance. At one point, he realizes why he couldn't leave:

"Yet there would be turning back. Not now. Not after meeting the people I had met and seeing what I had seen. It would be like hearing a woman scream rape and going for a drink just to get out of earshot. No, it was too late for people like Graeme and me, suckers who believe that if we give a little more it will turn around for the better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alive March 7, 2015
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is my third Bill Carter book, each of which has brought entertainment and enlightenment. Coming to the end of this epic tale...I haven't finished because, well, I don't want to finish. From the personalities, situation and geographic location, 50 pages left and I don't know what I'll do when I'm done. I think I have lost 10lbs reading it; I'm anxious, excited, depressed, cleansed of guilt yet even more guilty, my teeth ache, I feel as if I've aged from the combination of adrenalin and alcohol, yet relieved because my own personal life path of grief that has found some clarity through Bill's eyes and his words in this book. Bono got the quote right...but this story doesn't end with the MTV will mean even more to generation i(mage) as they search for their soul at the death of the selfie!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, riveting book! December 12, 2010
I have avoided Amazon reviews until now. This book deserves all the praise it gets. I can't really think of another book I've read that has moved me so much. This book is an amazing, true personal account of one man's experiences during the Bosnian war. It balances his quest for purpose and meaning after painful loss with revealing, compassionate portraits of the people impacted by the tragic Bosnian war. It shows, too, that one person can really make a positive difference in the world. I only put it down when I had to. The story of getting Bono and U2 involved was definitely a bonus, but did not overshadow the telling of what it was like for innocent civilians to live in a war zone. It is relevant on many different levels for today, and I encourage everyone to read it.I
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read March 4, 2012
Having read many books - both fiction and non-fiction- about social justice, war, genocide, child soldiers, homelessness, and other humanitarian crises I found Fool Rush In resonated with me, and still does, more than any other book I have read. Bill finds a way to translate a deeply personal and dark time in his life into a story with characters so rich I felt a real connection to them. He manages to tell a tale of such grotesque and inhumane proportions, yet leaves you with admiration for the people of Sarajevo, who through the worst hell that I can imagine, managed to maintain dignity and courage. Instead of cowering to save their lives, they live their lives to the fullest. I am absolutely in awe of Bill Carter, and the people of Sarajevo.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!
Had to read it for a class on the Balkans, but I (and, from the sound of it, a majority of classmates) loved this book-- set in Sarajevo during the Siege. Truly a wonderful book.
Published 13 months ago by Adelaide
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story
I didn't think I would like this book, as it was a recommendation from my husband. But it had such history in it and was beautifully written that I couldn't put it down. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Andrea Brawley
5.0 out of 5 stars Reaches the Soul
I am the wife of a Bosnian man. He and our children all have American and Bosnian citizenship. As an American, it was hard for me to understand this terrible war. Read more
Published 20 months ago by holly
5.0 out of 5 stars a beautifully written, informative, and compelling (and, in part,...
My cousin from Bisbee, Arizona, sent me a copy of Bill Carter's Fools Rush In some time ago, and it sat atop my stack of "to be read" and "partially read" books until last week... Read more
Published on April 6, 2013 by Diane Umstead
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I have read in a long time!
What Bill has done is amazing by most first world standards, yet he remains remarkably humble in his writing and casts the spotlight on the people that survived this incredible... Read more
Published on February 22, 2013 by DesertRat
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
This is an incredible book. Heart touching. I would recommend this book to everyone. It is eye opening and inspiring. Read more
Published on October 4, 2011 by mer
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
There are few books that will change the way you view the world and change the way you approach your life. This is one of them. I love it.
Published on May 29, 2011 by tashkat
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Story
Incredible story of lives inundated by war. Terror becomes part of the day to day and moment to moment, as the human spirit perseveres. Read more
Published on March 6, 2011 by Chistina Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping--a must read
This story is moving! It's the author's personal story, but written in a larger setting of innocent Bosnians forced to live, and die, in a war zone that most of us had turned a... Read more
Published on March 5, 2011 by Britt
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More About the Author

Bill Carter, a native Californian, grew up on a worm farm near the banks of the Sacramento River. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz he traveled Asia for two years, where he studied Chinese and built a home in Indonesia. In the winter of 1993 he went to Sarajevo, Bosnia with a humanitarian aid group delivering food and supplies dressed as a clown. After several months in the besieged city he ended up making the award winning documentary film, MISS SARAJEVO (produced by Bono). He is also the author of FOOLS RUSH IN (Schaffner Press), a memoir that tells the story of his time in Sarajevo and the love story that propelled him to go there in the first place. His second book, RED SUMMER (Schaffner Press), chronicles Carter's four years commercial salmon fishing in a remote village on the shores of Bristol Bay, Alaska. "Boom, Bust, Boom" (Schaffner Press) was released in April 2014. For more information:

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