One man's devotion
I was immediately sucked into "In the Hot Zone" when Sites recounts his personal drama after reporting on the 2004 Iraq mosque shooting, which ultimately sent him hurtling away from mainstream network news to his Yahoo! project. And then Sites begins his journey, and although we get personal anecdotes along the way, he focuses mainly on his subject: each and every war zone on the planet, its victims and its perpetrators. I began to really ask myself whether I liked this approach or not. I was thinking, there are two ways to go with this kind of travelogue material: the bestselling, highly personal, "Eat, Pray Love" approach by Elizabeth Gilbert. Or the more dispassionate "The Places In Between" treatment by Rory Stewart. Ultimately, Kevin adopted neither, as he tried to grasp the magnitude of all the material he had produced in a year's worth of war zones. And what emerges, so profoundly, is his own style. Short chapters, scenes from a tragedy, punctuated with occasional stories of courage, hope and humanity. What comes across clearly is a journalist's isolation, frustration, honesty and devotion to his craft -- almost like a monk pushing himself beyond his breaking point in the name of some indescribable mission. As you get deeper into the book, Sites' writing becomes more philosophical, often poetic. And at some point, you have to throw up your hands and ask yourself: how? How do we do this to each other? How does one man do this to himself?
Was this review helpful to you?YESNO