Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures)

Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures) : True Stories from a War Zone

4.02 (2,821 ratings by Goodreads)
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It's the early 1990s and three young people are looking to change their lives, and perhaps also the world. Attracted to the ambitious global peacekeeping work of the UN, Andrew, Ken and Heidi's paths cross in Cambodia, from where their fates are to become inextricably bound. Over the coming years, their stories interweave through countries such as Rwanda, Bosnia, Somalia and Haiti - war-torn, lawless places where the intervention of the UN is needed like nowhere else. Driven by idealism, the three struggle to do the best they can, caught up in an increasingly tangled web of bureaucracy and ineffectual leadership. As disillusionment sets in, they attempt to keep hold of their humanity through black humour, revelry and 'emergency sex'. Brutal and moving in equal measure, Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures) explores pressing global issues while never losing a sense of the personal. Deeply critical of the West's indifference to developing countries and the UN's repeated failure to intervene decisively, the book provoked massive controversy on its initial publication. Kofi Annan called for the book to be banned, and debate was sparked about the future direction of the UN. Brilliantly written and mordantly funny, it is a book that continues to make waves.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 126 x 194 x 22mm | 199.58g
  • Ebury Publishing
  • Ebury Press
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0091908868
  • 9780091908867
  • 17,213

Review quote

"* 'For decades, television has been looking for another, more modern M.A.S.H., the comedy series set in an American army field hospital that drew the sting from death and war. Maybe this book is it. In these True Stories from a War Zone, it's the early 1990s and three young, good-looking civilians working for the UN and the Red Cross first meet in Cambodia... These three voices from the world's front line are personal, these three characters from global ground zero are fallible; their youth and idealism, faults and failures, and triumphs and tears, all work to humanise recent history and bring it home for a reckoning' - The Times * '...vividly told, this book is all the more engaging because its perspective is personal before it is political' - Daily Mail"show more

About Kenneth Cain

Heidi Postlewait, Kenneth Cain & Andrew Thomson served in peacekeeping operations throughout the 90s. All are now based in New York.show more

Review Text

"A riveting read that vividly dramatises the many contradictions of the world it moves through"show more

Rating details

2,821 ratings
4.02 out of 5 stars
5 34% (954)
4 41% (1,149)
3 21% (580)
2 4% (111)
1 1% (27)
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