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Another Day of Life Paperback – April 17, 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

?Despite Kapuscinski?s insistence that 'the image of war is not communicable.' He has done just that and done it very well.??Newsweek

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Polish
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (April 17, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375726292
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375726293
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #562,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Ryszard Kapuscinski has written more celebrated books, has grappled with more complex questions of geo-politics, but this small, simple account of life on the inside of the collapse of blighted African country should be read by everyone with an interest in Africa, journalism, or plain good writing. Representing a Polish news agency, Kapuscinski stays behind when Portugal abandons Angola and the barbarians come hurtling towards the gate. He is without protection in a country mad with fear, suspicion, and messy death. His meditation on the concept of "confusao" - the Portugese version of confusion - is priceless. His accounts of travelling to battle-zones on empty roads are terrifying. How good is his information? Will they be ambushed? Will the next roadblock be friendly or will they be pulled from their car and killed? Are the risks worth taking? Does anybody out there care? Kapuscinski renders the absurdity and deep tragedy of Africa's post-colonial wars with great compassion. It is a moving, sad, funny and often breathtaking book - the mark against which other journalists' "I was there" books should properly be measured.
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Format: Paperback
I read parts of the Emperor in college and expected a lot of this book. Well, it delivered. Kapuscinski shows more in this book about the civil war in Angola than one would expect. They say that a good journalist stays impartial and doesn't get involved with his story, but this proves the opposite. The author goes to Angola at the last minute and burrows into the country. He almost becomes a citizen, learning the local custom and showing how life actually is.
This book is full of insight into the human condition, the problems caused by colonialism, and how stupid war can be. This isn't a war of the front and trenches, its chaos. Chaos dictated by the rules of living in a harsh place like Angola. The weekends are days of rest, the heat prevents battle, children fight and lose interest.
Kapuscinski shows a side to this civil war, and in turn other wars, that you never get to see. This books is funny, touching, sad, and well written. It reads like a novel, it has character and place. The difference is its true. An excellent book for the history lover or the literary lover.
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Format: Paperback
Kapuscinski's "Another Day of Life" was a complete impulse buy for me. Why is it that these are very often the most enjoyable and satifying reading experiences? This slim 144-page, novella-like volume taught me so much about Angola, it's Portugese colonial heritage, the factional fighting that developed in the 60s & came to a head during Kapuscinski's three-month stay in the country in 1975, and the eye-opening level of involvement of such players as Cuba and South Africa.
The amazing thing is *how little* things have changed since 1975. Since the fall of Portugal's dictatorship, there has been constant battle for almost 30 years. Jonas Savimbi - introduced here as a very young freedom fighter - was killed in battle only a short time ago.
Added bonus: There's a wonderfully sparse little map of the country & the borders of its neighbors at the front of the book. You'll thumb back to that page no less than 50 times while reading "Another Day of Life."
The title is apropos..when one of the characters utters the it two-thirds of the way into the book, I thought it was the perfect line at the perfect time. No wonder they culled it out of the book and had it serve as the title as well.
I plan on reading the rest of Kapuscinski's works now.
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Format: Paperback
This is a fine, fine piece of tightly written war reportage. From the first page the heat, tension, cruelty and fear of the Angola civil war following Portugese decolonisation is brought to life by Kapuscinski's biscuit dry prose. He was not one of these sit back and learn of events from a distance whilst sipping fine malt whisky journalists. He bore right into the heart of the action, frequently risking his life. Some of the stories in here are highly strung in terms of tension, wit and emotion. Take the encounter with the security post, where you have a choice of two greetings to shout to the guards, the wrong one will result in death, and garbling a half sounding equivocation doesn't cut it. Also the heartbreaking sacrifice by a Mulatto girl who stays behind and is killed after Kapuscinski's truck leaves.

Kapuscinski died very recently, he was one of those rare and brave Europeans who finds the intellectual life of Western Europe (though he was actually Polish) lax, self satisfied and bland, and sought to find places where life really was lived with every emotional and sensory dial turned up high. Another Day of Life is a very apt title.
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Format: Paperback
This is the fourth of Kapuscinski's books that I have read, and I was not disappointed. His trademark wit is once again on display, as he manages to impart jewels of wisdom while reporting from the deadliest and remotest corners of the world. For those unfamiliar with Kapuscinski, do not get this book if you are looking for a detailed political history of Angola. He gives a brief historical overview of the country in the final chapter, and it might help to start there first. Otherwise, a novice will quickly get confused by all the acronyms (MPLA, UNITA, etc.) and names; Kapuscinski does not really explain to the reader which group is fighting for what causes or what their ideological standpoints or political goals are. In a sense, however, this ambiguity is highly effective, since it conveys the actual situation in Angola in 1975. Kapuscinski's aim is not to offer a trenchant political analysis, but to simply convey to the reader what it is like to live in a desperately impoverished country in the midst of a brutal civil war. One could substitute any number of countries for Angola, and the themes would likely be the same; desperation, helplessness, ignorance, despair. Kapuscinski looks at the conflict from many points of view. He relates how the Portuguese colonialists desperately fled Angola in the months leading up to that country's independence, certain that all hell was about to break loose. He points out the general state of confusion among most Angolans, who were just as uncertain about the future as their former Portuguese rulers. He looks at the war from the point of view of the guerilla soldier, for whom death is almost inevitable, lurking unseen in the bush at every moment.Read more ›
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