Dispatches from the Edge by Anderson Cooper

Title: Dispatches from the Edge
Author: Anderson Cooper
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (May 23, 2006)
Source: Library
Genre: Non-Fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

My thoughts:
I love reading books on War Correspondence but sadly out of all I’ve read I’ve only liked two. But Dispatches from the Edge I loved. I had expected to like it but I wasn’t prepared to like it so much.

Anderson Cooper describes his journey, dispatches rather from developing and third world countries. The first section describes the cyclone that hit Srilanka and many other countries a few years back. Having been to Srilanka recently, I could picture the small towns and the people and it was very painful to read about the destruction of life and property.

The middle section is more a mix of his experiences in war-torn places like parts of Russia, Iraq and Africa. At times there are alternate chapters on the same places but in different times. I guess he wanted to contrast or something but to me that section was most confusing because even though it describes the same place the situation was somewhat different, at least politically. It was difficult to just switch between times.

The last section is on hurricane Katrina. He was in the midst of the hurricane then and his experiences were chilling. And because it was his own country, he was more emotionally involved which reflected in the writing.

What I loved most about the book was that Anderson Cooper didn’t hold back. He let the readers know what his state of mind was then. He described how his father’s death affected his and his brother’s life. He kept running away from reality instead of facing his grief and loss. His brothers suicide was another tragedy that made him runaway from his emotions. He describes his need for always being in crisis and how it was unable for him to adjust to normal life.

Although this book is based on difficult subjects, it really is very easy to read. Highly recommended.