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War Reporter

5.0 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1934909355
ISBN-10: 1934909351
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dan O'Brien is a poet and playwright. His play "The Body of an American" received the inaugural Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 132 pages
  • Publisher: Hanging Loose Press (July 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934909351
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934909355
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,200,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Dan O'Brien is a playwright and a poet. This book of poetry stems out of O'Brien's communications with Paul Watson, a Pulitzer Prize winning war photographer. Many of the poems are about the nature of war - that is, of governments and of people. But the poems are also about the loneliness each man faces and feels, about alienation, sex, and family ghosts, and about how the past catches up with you. If you are not a typical reader of poetry and if you do not know much about poetry, this is the book for you. And if you are well-versed in poetry and have read other poems that could be categorized as "war poetry", this book will get you where you live. These poems are not about war itself. But the effect war has on the psyche - individual and national.
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Format: Paperback
This is a collection of poetry unlike anything I’ve read before although the work that comes closest is O’Brien’s own play, The Body of an American. Both works are about the war reporter Paul Watson who won a Pulitzer Prize for his iconic photograph of the desecration of the body of an American soldier.

Others have said that this book reads more like a lyric novel than a book of poetry. While I don’t disagree with that, taken individually, each poem presents a single haunting image that, for me, is the hallmark of memorable poetry. A recent poem in the Missouri Review, while not part of the book, is representative of the poems in the collection: The War Reporter Paul Watson and the Son of the Tortured.

Some of these images are so horrific as to be nearly unbelievable, and yet we know that these are true stories, or if not exactly true, they represent the truth of war. In poem after poem, we are shocked again by what the War Reporter Paul Watson has seen and, not only that, what humanity has perpetrated on itself. It is important, life-changing stuff, a story that needs to be told. O’Brien has done so brilliantly.
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By Jennifer on October 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book of poetry - an ode to our age - is one of the most intense pieces of work I've read in a long time. I had to take it in doses because of the horror that this man lived through, IS living through. But only through art can we really see it. Mr. O'Brien lets us see it. Palpably. It is also a lovely touch seeing the bond between poet and war reporter grow as the book progresses. It's the redemptive aspect of the journey. Kudos to such a fabulous work.
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Format: Paperback
This collection of linked poems feels almost like a lyrical novel, albeit one in verse. The language is somehow both colloquial and elevated simultaneously. Most important, the details feel honest and highly authentic. The most effective critiques of war don't condemn, they merely document in all of the horror and irony and nuance. O'Brien's collection is definitely a powerful and evocative critique. I strongly recommend this book to anyone looking for the best of contemporary poetry.
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Format: Paperback
The poet channels the war photographer who captures the sins of war for posterity, and the poet reflects upon his own inexplicable familial battles. They are both collateral damage to acts of physical and psychic violence. The poems are vivid portraits of these two guilty bystanders, and they are eminently readable. Somalia,Rwanda,Afghanistan,South Africa,the Arctic,as well as Princeton and LA: we visit these scenes of "man-made tragedies." An original and remarkable read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An extraordinary achievement. Anyone who wants to know something of the human impact of the last twenty years of war, and to laugh and cry while doing so, should read O'Brien's lyric work. Yes there is room in this world for poetry.
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