Tim Butcher

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Tim Butcher

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in Rugby, Warwickshire, The United Kingdom
gender
male

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member since
May 2011


About this author

Tim Butcher is a best-selling British author, journalist and broadcaster. Born in 1967, he was on the staff of The Daily Telegraph from 1990 to 2009, covering all major conflicts across the Balkans the Middle East and Africa. Recognised in 2010 with an honorary doctorate for services to journalism and writing, he is based with his family in the South African city of Cape Town.


Average rating: 3.93 · 3,292 ratings · 409 reviews · 9 distinct works · Similar authors
Blood River: A Journey to A...
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Chasing the Devil: The Sear...
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Because I Am a Girl
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Tim Butcher is now following Esther, Mostafa Abdelaziz, and Tom
8683377
Chasing the Devil by Tim Butcher
" Another really good book from Tim Butcher. The way he entwines his story with that of the Greene's and also of the country he travels through makes for a fascinating read. Can't wait for his next journey! "
Blood River by Tim Butcher
" Sensationally good book. Without authors like Tim Butcher, we'd be almost totally unaware of the situation in central Africa, and the state of affairs in the huge Democratic Republic of Congo; it is a tragic picture that he paints. Human rights ab... " Read more of this review »
Chasing the Devil by Tim Butcher
" Not as riveting as his first, but a very worthwhile read nonetheless. I love the combination of travel adventure and historical/political background. "
15733135
"Thanks for that Tuck - I read the book some years ago. Like all good reviews, this one brings it back to me vividly.
Best
TimB
"
Blood River by Tim Butcher Vote on this list »
10439399
"It is due for publication on May Day next, Claudia. Thanks for your support – I will be in touch nearer the time. Best – TimB "
More of Tim's books…
“….So much crueller than any British colony, they say, so much more brutal towards the local Africans, so much more manipulative after begrudgingly granting independence. But the history of British colonialism in Africa, from Sierra Leone to Zimbabwe, Kenya to Botswana and else-where, is not fundamentally different from what Belgium did in the Congo. You can argue about degree, but both systems were predicated on the same assumption: that white outsiders knew best and Africans were to be treated not as partners, but as underlings. What the British did in Kenya to suppress the pro-independence mau-mau uprising in the 1950s, using murder, torture and mass imprisonment, was no more excusable than the mass arrests and political assassinations committed by Belgium when it was trying to cling on to the Congo. And the outside world's tolerance of a dictator in the Congo like Mobutu, whose corruption and venality were overlooked for strategic expedience, was no different from what happened in Zimbabwe, where the dictator Robert Mugabe was allowed to run his country and its people into the ground because Western powers gullibly accepted the way he presented himself as the only leader able to guarantee stability and an end to civil strife. Those sniffy British colonial types might not like to admit it, but the Congo represents the quintessence of the entire continent’s colonial experience. It might be extreme and it might be shocking, but what happened in the Congo is nothing but colonialism in its purest, basest form.”
Tim Butcher, Blood River: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart

“the normal laws of development are inverted here in the Congo. The forest, not the town, offers the safest sanctuary and it is grandfathers who have been more exposed to modernity than their grandchildren. I can think of nowhere else on the planet where the same can be true.” p141”
Tim Butcher, Blood River: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart

“The old man might have been drunk, but he was right. Outsiders have robbed and exploited the people of the Congo ever since the days of the first European and Arab slavers. The territory that Stanley staked in the name of Leopold witnessed what many regard as the first genocide of the modern era, when millions of Congolese were effectively worked to death trying to meet the colonialists’ almost insatiable demand for resources, most notably rubber. And since independence, foreign powers have toyed with the Congo, stripping its mineral assets and exploiting its strategic position, never mindful of the suffering inflicted on its people. And that really was the point. At every stage of its bloody history, outsiders have tended to treat Congolese as somehow sub-human, not worthy of the consideration they would expect for themselves. For progress to be made, outsiders must treat Congolese as equals and they could do worse than follow the example of an amazing white woman I discovered after we got back to Kalemie.”
Tim Butcher, Blood River: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart

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Comments (showing 1-14)    post a comment »
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message 14: by Tim

Tim Butcher Michael wrote: "Hi Tim, I thought about your great book, Blood River, the other night watching Anthony Bourdain on CNN with his Congo segment of "Parts Unknown" - the tension he felt being there, a decades-long dr..."

Great to hear from you: Bourdain’s people approached me for advice before they went to film in the Congo. I look forward to seeing the result. Happy Reading.
TimB


message 13: by Michael

Michael Arden Hi Tim, I thought about your great book, Blood River, the other night watching Anthony Bourdain on CNN with his Congo segment of "Parts Unknown" - the tension he felt being there, a decades-long dream fulfilled, was palpable in the film. I now have a copy of Chasing the Devil and look forward to reading it along with Paul Theroux's latest, The Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate African Safari. Hope all is well with you!


message 12: by Jim

Jim Shaughnessy Hi Tim,

Thanks for your message, that's really thoughtful. Loved Blood River, fascinating read.

Jim


Shovelmonkey1 Hi Tim, accepted your friend request. .. welcome to goodreads! I enjoyed Blood River very much and passed my copy on to a friend who also gave it the thumbs up. I'd love to travel in Africa and one of my ambitions is to take part in the Dakar rally.


message 10: by Susan

Susan Hi Tim,
Thanks for the friend request ... and also for your book! I loved it - looks like I'll be moving on to Chasing the Devil next;-)


message 9: by Sam

Sam Hi Tim, thanks for the friend request. I loved Blood River and passed it on to my husband straight after reading it. He also enjoyed it. I have a copy of Chasing the Devil, I'm looking forward to starting it.


message 8: by Nadia

Nadia Hey I read your book a wee a couple of months back now, and was enthralled by the idea of a trip up the Congo... other than war, rampage and pillage it's unfortunately a country that gets zero coverage, so was certainly a very interesting read!


Mathilda I read Blood River twice, thinking that i rated it to high the first time, a year later I read it again and wondered why I doubted my first rating....because of the rarity of this genre of books I try to get hold of everything available but without a doubt I will read Blood River again in the future!
ps. Also enjoyed Chasing the Devil and it is waiting for me to be re-read...


message 6: by Beth

Beth Read it twice Tim....loved the power of it.


Barnyard ISF Thank you. I love a good African account. I am working on my own adventure personal story. Some of it can be found at www.MattoleFreeState.webs.com Thank you so much.


message 4: by Tim

Tim Butcher You are right. Tony Bourdain read Blood River and was keen to film me in the Congo but then his insurers got involved and said it was too risky. So we compromised and set up a shoot in Liberia.


Marieke Hi--I definitely enjoyed Blood River and am looking forward to reading Chasing the Devil. Am I crazy or did Anthony Bourdain meet up with you in Liberia when you were working on that book?


message 2: by Tim

Tim Butcher Brian wrote: "a friend who served as a peace corps teacher in liberia recently recommended "chasing the devil".

it's a literate, superb book and a terrific read
and opens the door to a whole new spectrum of..."


Brian wrote: "a friend who served as a peace corps teacher in liberia recently recommended "chasing the devil".

it's a literate, superb book and a terrific read
and opens the door to a whole new spectrum of..."


Cheers Brian. I am on timbo@myisp.co.za if you want to make contact directly. And greetings to your ex Peace Corps pal, the one with the refined taste in literature. timbo


message 1: by Brian

Brian Wiersema a friend who served as a peace corps teacher in liberia recently recommended "chasing the devil".

it's a literate, superb book and a terrific read
and opens the door to a whole new spectrum of
literature on that area, including Greene's original
1935 book (at my library) and tim's "blood river".

i've read a lot of first person travel accounts.
devil tops the list. --brian wiersema


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