The Kindness of Strangers: The Autobiography – Kate Adie

24 Nov

Book club can offer the chance to read many titles that you would not normally consider. This, for me, is one of them. Not specifically because it is by Kate Adie, but because it is an autobiography.

Thank goodness for book club.

Kate Adie is a reporter for the BBC and for those of you not familiar with her background, has reported from many war zones. Starting her career accidentally with a new local radio station, Kate has progressed through various BBC departments. From organising coverage at local fetes, to negotiating with hostage takers, Kate Adie has led a fascinating life.

Kate states in her book that to be a reporter, is to lead a very undignified lifestyle. Very few champagne sipping events, more hunting for somewhere to go for a pee when the male army officers aren’t looking. Risking her own life to report back to the rest of the world what can only be the tip of the event, whilst wearing the same underwear she has worn for weeks.

My only criticism of this book, is the way events are told. True to memory, many items are mentioned several times, and you can find yourself jumping back and forth and at times unsure of the timeline. As one can expect from an autobiography, other events are barely mentioned but just that whiff of information makes you want more.

I was disappointed that I had finished reading the text. I wanted to know more. Kate discusses the changes in the BBC, how they had to adapt with the time. It is during the nineties, around the death of Princess Diana that Kate starts to summarise. Having had more detail up until this point, I felt that in some ways she was being censored, or more likely, she had filled her word quota.

Overall I thought this was well worth the read.

Headline Book Publishing (2002)

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