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To ask other readers questions about Strange Places, Questionable People , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Strange Places, Questionable People. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Aug 23, Christine Blachford rated it liked it. Although John Simpson starts the book by claiming this is no ordinary autobiography, it is more a collection of stories, it certainly starts out with the biography feel. We have to sit through the indulgent childhood memoirs before we get to the good stuff.
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However, when the real stories begin, pretty much as soon as Simpson joins the BBC, it really kicks off. Somehow, John has managed to be the foreign correspondent whenever anything major has been happening for several decades.
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Tiananmen Square, Baghdad, Afghanistan, there are too many to mention. Mr C rather preferred the moments when John would be doing a piece to camera and a missile would fly past the window behind him. Something for everyone, it seems. My only complaint is that the book is incredibly long, and in Kindle terms, I could read for a long time turning page after page and only have crept forward one percent through the book.
May 27, Nigel McFarlane rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is only the first of several John Simpson autobiographies, yet this book contains more world events and more escapes from certain death than one would think possible in a thousand lifetimes. It's often hilarious, such as when a stuffy BBC newsroom tries to deal with a Vietnamese village named "Phuok Me", but there are also parts so horrific that one wishes one could unread what has just been described.
There are fascinating insights into world events and extremes of humanity and inhumanity. Dec 29, Behrooz rated it really liked it Shelves: Jul 27, John rated it really liked it Shelves: I have already read the next volume in Simpson's memoirs and I really enjoyed it, but I think this book is at a higher level. At the core of the book is Simpson's relationship, very difficult at times, with the BBC and the latter's relationships with governments, including that of the UK.
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It is amazing how in the 18 years since this book was writt This book runs up to and descrIbes the great TV reporter, John Simpson's "adventures" in search of new stories from his start at the BBC IN It is amazing how in the 18 years since this book was written so little has changed. The Conservative Party remains highly suspicious of the BBC and, this time, seems bold enough to do something about it, guided by the Murdoch press and the dreadful Daily Mail. Simpson stresses throughout this book his apolitical position, but because he seeks the truth out of every situation, this makes him and many of his colleagues, unpopular with politicians, to many of whom, truth is a difficult concept to grasp.
What differentiates Simpson from many of his contemporaries is that he is clearly a writer as well as a broadcaster who puts himself "in harm's way" to improve our understanding of the way the world works. In doing so he often makes us very angry; often makes us cry; and often makes us laugh. This is a very enjoyable read as well as being very informative. John Simpson is one of those BBC news men who seems to have been around forever, and according to this book of his he has.
He started at the BBC in in the radio news room, and after a short while, started to climb the ladder within the news room.
Strange Places, Questionable People
Following on from the radio, he made it into TV, and was sent to Ireland just as the troubles were starting. He seems to have managed to end up at the right place at the wrong time pretty consistently through his career, and the images and reports t John Simpson is one of those BBC news men who seems to have been around forever, and according to this book of his he has. He seems to have managed to end up at the right place at the wrong time pretty consistently through his career, and the images and reports that appeared on our screens from South Africa, Israel, Germany, China and Afghanistan have been part of the reporting that has made the BBC what it is today as a source of reputable global news.
I enjoyed reading about Simpson, as like most I had seen and heard his reports over many years.
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To get a lot of the background and his feelings and thoughts and opinions on significant world events that he was there makes this a worthwhile volume to read. Jun 04, Casper Gasper rated it it was amazing. My overwhelming impression was just how good this book was. I'd seen him on TV many times of course, but I'd absolutely no idea about his days in Ireland during the start of the troubles, that he was in Tiananmen in , on the same plane as the Ayatollah when he returned to Iran, in Beirut when the Christian militia decided to massacre the muslims, in Berlin for the fall of the Wall, and I obviously didn't know just how many times he'd nearly been killed.
In the introduction he does claim to My overwhelming impression was just how good this book was. In the introduction he does claim to have been unable to resist the temptation to settle a few scores, and it certainly shows! Fights with Harold Wilson, Kate Adie et al are all dutifully recorded. Nevertheless I ended up rather liking him, but even if you didn't it's such a fascinating life story -- a personal view of history from someone who was more often than not, there. Few real lives could biograph a catalogue of world events to rival forrest gump.
But even John Simpsons realization that he,d be more suited to foreign affairs is being punched by Howard Wilson. So in a typically BBC reporter almost emotionless matter of fact way. Simpsons judgement and luck for revolutionary uprais Few real lives could biograph a catalogue of world events to rival forrest gump. Simpsons judgement and luck for revolutionary upraising and conflict is such that his mere presence must fill every world leader with paranoid alarm Aug 17, Jack Barraclough rated it liked it Shelves: Easy to read over a period of time - each chapter centred on a different event in recent history.
I was disappointed to discover other similar length books by John Simpson whilst reading this one - I thought it was reasonable to assume that pages might contain all the main highlights of his career! Jul 03, Ruth rated it it was amazing. I've had this book on my shelves for 10 years! Wow what an amazing read.. And so eloquently documented. Looking forward to the next 2 volumes as this first one only went up to Aug 02, Isobel rated it it was amazing.
I have had this book for months but always picked another in preference to it until I ran out of others. What an amazing account of an exciting life. I can't wait to get the sequel which must be even more thrilling. Oct 02, Lesley Paris rated it really liked it Shelves: Not normally the sort of book I would read, but that's the beauty of being in a book club.
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