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Combat Camera

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  21 ratings  ·  6 reviews
You'd like to believe you're in some tale of sin and redemption. I guess we all like to think we're walking through some grand, redemptive story. Well, we're all going to end up disappointed. Disappointment is one of the two fates that we all must eventually meet.

When former Pulitzer Prize–winning combat photographer Lucas Zane washes up drunk, broken, and hallucinatory af
Paperback, 255 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Biblioasis (first published September 21st 2010)
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Ruth Seeley
Now THIS is muscular writing. It's also very deftly written and, I'm guessing, deftly edited - there were perhaps a total of two phrases in this novel that made me squirm slightly and wish to pick up my editing pencil (which, ok, is now filed in the toolbox, but never mind). I loved the underlying theme of this book and the parallels it sets up between the effects of witnessing physical violence and suffering emotional/psychological/socio-sexual violence. I also loved the questions it poses for ...more
Mark Victor Young
Really dark and unpredictable, with characters that aren't necessarily likeable, but which we do come to care about and feel compelled to follow through their misadventures. Somerset's writing style is tight and far more accomplished than his one novel list would suggest. Maybe it's the prize the book won, but I kept feeling there were similarities between his and John Metcalf's style. The same technical brilliance with hints of the trademark Metcalf sardonic wit. There were some genuinely touch ...more
I love road trips. Literary road trips and all of the road trips I've personally taken.

Miriam Toews is the queen of the literary road trip in my book. Her characters set off in search of someone somewhere and they find themselves. In quest of an answer, they inevitably find at least the hopeful beginnings of a solution.

I didn't expect a road trip when I started this book, but when Zane offers to drive Melissa home to Vancouver from Toronto, I am delighted. I know every mile of this trip. I've tr
After 20 years of photographing the worst of the world in wars all over the globe, Lucas Zane has just barely survived physically. The question is if he has survived mentally. Through some truly outstanding writing, A.J. Somerset had me turning the pages over two days of semi-constant reading to find out if he did. At the outset, he is doing pornographic photography to make ends meet and I wasn't quite as involved. But, when he took off across Canada to take a young stripper/porno actress home, ...more
Adam  McPhee
A haunted war photographer befriends an abused stripper in Toronto and hatches a plan to get their lives on track. A quick read with a voice that makes the book hard to put down. This is Canadian noir.
Lucas Zane, a Pulitzer prize winning photographer, suffers from war-related stress. He has become detached from his family and friends. His friendship with Melissa, a stripper, seems to provide some hope that he may pull himself out of his rut. Zane is a humourous, tragic and, flawed character. At times a dark and violent read, there is still beauty to be found. I appreciated that I was able to understand the photography references even though I am not a photographer. This debut book won the 200 ...more
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A.J. Somerset has been, at one time or another, a soldier, a technical writer, a programmer, and a freelance photographer. He has written extensively for outdoor magazines in Canada and the United States, and his articles have been translated into French and Japanese.

Combat Camera, his first novel, received the 2009-2010 Metcalf-Rooke Award.

His second book, Arms: the Culture and Credo of the Gun i
More about A.J. Somerset...
Arms: The Culture and Credo of the Gun

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