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Description - Unreasonable Behaviour by Don McCullin

'He has known all forms of fear, he's an expert in it. He has come back from God knows how many brinks, all different. His experience in a Ugandan prison alone would be enough to unhinge another man - like myself, as a matter of fact - for good. He has been forfeit more times than he can remember, he says. But he is not bragging. Talking this way about death and risk, he seems to be implying quite consciously that by testing his luck each time, he is testing his Maker's indulgence' - John le Carre 'McCullin is required reading if you want to know what real journalism is all about' - The Times 'From the opening...there is hardly a dull sentence: his prose is so lively and uninhibited...An excellent book' - Sunday Telegraph 'Unsparing reminiscences that effectively combine the bittersweet life of a world-class photojournalist with a generous selection of his haunting lifework...A genuinely affecting memoir that reckons the cost and loss involved in making one's way on the cutting edge of conflict' - Kirkus Reviews 'If this was just a book of McCullin's war photographs it would be valuable enough. But it is much more' - Sunday Correspondent

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099437765
ISBN-10: 0099437767
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 22mm)
Pages: 320
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 6-Jun-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - Unreasonable Behaviour by Don McCullin

UK Kirkus Review » Don McCullin, one of the UK's best photojournalists, has written a number of books about his extraordinary life - first as a photographer attached to the Observer and then with The Sunday Times. This is perhaps the best of them - a straightforward account of a career which has placed him in more dangerous situations than anyone else would want to shake a camera at. Every chapter in the book shows him in yet another war zone - with the mercenaries in the Congo (led by the truly awful 'Mad' Mike Hoare); in Vietnam, picking up something someone had dropped, to find it was a severed human foot; in Biafra, watching women burning like torches; as a prisoner of Idi Amin - perhaps the most frightening experience of his life; on the Golan Heights, in Amman and El Salvador. These are sights, as he says, 'that should, and do, bring pain, and shame, and guilt'- his anecdotes are bloody and terrible. At the end of each chapter, the question for the reader is: but why did he carry on, why after a short period of leave at home, did he set off for yet another war, knowing very well indeed that he would be likely at some stage to find himself, again, standing in line with a group of other prisoners - 'journalists - dirty men', as one Congolese officer scornfully said as he ordered up the firing squad? As John le Carre has said, 'he has known all forms of fear, he's an expert in it.' The other question is how McCullin managed to survive when so many guns were pointed, cold-bloodedly, straight at his chest. It is always difficult to know, when a book is written 'with' another writer - in this case the experienced Lewis Chester - just how much credit should go to the protagonist; in this case there can be no doubt - these nightmares are Don McCullin's own, and no one can finish this book without being (a) thankful that the experiences are not their own, and (b) being grateful that someone has had the courage to record them. (Kirkus UK)


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Author Biography - Don McCullin

Sir Don McCullin grew up in north London. He worked for the Sunday Times for eighteen years and covered every major conflict in his adult lifetime until the Falklands War. The finest British photojournalist of his generation, he has received many honours and awards including the CBE. He received a knighthood in the 2017 New Year honours list. He lives in Somerset.

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