Book Review: A Journey to the Heart of Nameless Unspeakable Evil

Accidental Journalist: Joseph Kony, Hollywood Heart-Throbs, and Other AbominationsA Journey to the Heart of Nameless Unspeakable Evil by Jane Bussmann
Publisher: Nortia Press
April 22, 2014
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s hard to sum up in a few words what this book is all about. I think the best characterization is a real-life Bridget Jones turns activist.

When the book opens, Jane Bussman is an English entertainment journalist working in Hollywood. Her encounters with Ashton Kutcher and other celebrities are hilarious. Her whole take on the American entertainment industry is cynical and sarcastic in the best way. One day, she’s had enough of interviewing vapid celebrities and decides she wants to become one of the Useful People. She comes across John human rights activist John Prendergast’s photo in a magazine. He’s very attractive so she decides that getting an interview with him would serve a double purpose – writing an article about a Useful Person and getting to meet a hot guy.

She gets so wrapped up in trying to engineer ways to spend more time with John, that she ends up in Uganda. She comes there very ignorant of the political situation and starts out as a fairly spoiled foreigner. The longer she’s there, the more she uncovers about the corruption in the Ugandan government and the United States’ role in it. She maintains her British wit throughout though and it helps the reader stomach the atrocities that are going on in that county, like kidnapping children and turning them into soldiers and using rape as a weapon of war.

I thought this was a unique concept for a book. On its face, it seems contradictory – how can a memoir about time in a country that has child soldiers and uses rape as a weapon for war be humorous as well? In this case it works. And while Jane is self-deprecating and funny, she takes the situation in Uganda very seriously and is just as shocked as the reader by the goings on. Because she starts her journey with such little knowledge, her explanations are very easy to understand. I learned a lot about Uganda from reading this book and was thoroughly entertained as well.

(I received this book courtesy of the publisher.)

  • rhapsodyinbooks

    This sounds good – like it would be good on audio too.

    • ChaosIsAFriend

      I think it would too. It would definitely have to be narrated by a British woman to get the full effect.