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In Extremis: The Life and Death of the War Correspondent Marie Colvin

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  3,331 ratings  ·  415 reviews
The devastating biography of Marie Colvin, the foremost war reporter of her generation, who was killed in Syria in 2012

When Marie Colvin was killed by an IED in Homs, Syria, in 2012, at age fifty-six, the world lost one of its most fearless, accomplished, and iconoclastic war correspondents, an eye-patch wearing, party-throwing, and risk-taking female combat reporter who c
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published November 6th 2018 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published November 1st 2018)
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Average rating 4.44  · 
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 ·  3,331 ratings  ·  415 reviews

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Start your review of In Extremis: The Life and Death of the War Correspondent Marie Colvin
Diane S ☔
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5000-2019, lor-2019
Fearless, reckless, addicted to adventure and danger, all descriptions used to describe war correspondent, Marie Colvin. Her life from the beginning was one of non conformity. Her father often despaired of his daughters decisions, and his early death left Marie feeling guilty and needy. Now she would never gain her father's approval, something that haunted her. She was full of contradictions, throwing herself in danger in the most notorious places, yet yearning for a stable, loving marriage and ...more
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, arc, biography
As the adult book buyer for an indie bookstore, I begged our publisher rep for an advance copy as soon as she told me about In Extremis. Ever since reading Lynsey Addario’s memoir a few years ago, I’ve been a bit obsessed with the stories of war correspondents, particularly those of the women who have reported from the Middle East in the last 2 decades. I devoured In Extremis in nearly one sitting. Marie Colvin was an icon, a real gem of a human being who played by her own rules. Written by a fe ...more
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a shock this book was!! it has taken me a lot of time in comparison to other books because what is brought it stuns you in the depth.
The Hilsum has done a maddish and phenomenal job in putting together the whole career and all the Marie's war reports ... a precise and meticulous job, listing and telling all the moves and investigations made by Marie...
now i am not listing to you all, but she has actually been in all the places of war from the 80' to 2012 in Syria, her death's place.
I hav
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Marie Colvin, a foreign affairs correspondent, lived her life on the edge. From a young age danger and life risking pursuits exhilarated her. Giving a voice to those unfortunate victims of war was the elixir she needed. Her passion was helping, through interviews, the vulnerable civilians whose safety was of no concern to the ruthless leaders engaged in bloody conflicts.

Even reading about some of the situations civilians in Sri Lanka, Chechnya, Syria, East Timor, and the Middle East was heartbr
Marie Colvin (1956 – 2012) is that war correspondent with the black eye-patch. Home was for her Oyster Bay, Long Island. She was educated at Yale. Here she came under the tutelage of John Hersey. In 1984 she became the UPI Bureau Chief in Paris. From 1986 she became The Sunday Times’ Middle East correspondent and from 1995 its Foreign Affairs correspondent.

Marie’s breakthrough story came with her interview of Libyan leader Gaddafi in 1986. She covered the discord in Beirut, the intifada in Isra
Katia N
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am sitting in front of this 2-dimensional white space. And i do not know how i can write something to express what I think about Marie Colvin in those two dimensions. It just does not fit. I am not talking about her biography I’ve just finished. It is very good, at least when I was reading it, i was not thinking even for a moment about the quality of what I was reading. So it has to be good then. I had a minor issue (not sure even whether to call it ‘an issue’ rather a scratch of my consciousn ...more
Laurie Notaro
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I have read this year, if not the best.
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sometimes I judge a book by its cover.  When I saw the photo of leather jacket clad Marie Colvin with a small smile and an eye patch, I instantly wanted to know more about her because she sure looks like she has some stories!

I knew nothing about Colvin going in and the more I read I would shake my head in disbelief that this is a true story!

Long Island raised and Yale educated, Marie Colvin went on to work for The Sunday Times in London and rose to fame for her bravery and compassion.  Influence
Nov 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Bettie, Wanda
From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the week:
Lindsey Hilsum's compelling biography is a tribute to the courageous and inspiring journalist who sought always to bear witness to the brutal truths of war. Read by Juliet Aubrey.

Episode 2:
In Lindsey Hilsum's account, the brave journalist is in the world's most dangerous city.

Episode 3:
In Lindsey Hilsum's account of the brave journalist, there is a career-defining moment.

Episode 4:
In Lindsey Hilsum's account, the courageous journalist is on assignment to Chech
Steven Z.
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Why do I cover wars.... It is a difficult question to answer. I did not set out to become a war correspondent. It has always seemed to me what I write about is humanity in extremis, pushed to the unendurable, and that it is important to tell people what really happens in war—declared and undeclared.” (Marie Colvin, The Sunday Times, Sri Lanka, April 22, 2001)

Lindsey Hilsum’s new biography of Marie Colvin is a stark reminder of the plight of journalists in our ever-dangerous world. According to
Jun 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2021
In all honesty I picked this up on a whim after it was endlessly plugged by my local libraries and their audiobook app. Boy am I glad I did.

This biography details the life of Marie Colvin; from precocious young girl to a world renowned war correspondent at the top of her game. This book does shy away from the bad - in either her job or personal life.

The white time I was completely immersed in Marie’s life and I was gripped from beginning to end.
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: bbc listeners
Recommended to Bettie by: Laura

Lindsey Hilsum's compelling biography is a tribute to the courageous and inspiring journalist who sought always to bear witness to the brutal truths of war. Read by Juliet Aubrey.

Description: Lindsey Hilsum's new book tells the story of Marie Colvin, the brave and daring journalist who, throughout a career distinguished by bravery and compassion, was driven to shine a light on the realities of some of the world's most devastating conflicts from the 1980s u
Jan 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
The first half of this book could have been condensed to 10% of its content & would have made the entire book much more interesting. An incredible story of an amazing woman but the writing style was cumbersome to say the least.
Dec 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thorough going portrayal of the life and work of one determined, brave American war correspondent. Few are called. The risks are great.
Hilsum's biography of Marie Colvin, the reporter who was killed in 2012, is a well written, rose colored glasses off type of biography. Drawing on interviews as well as Colvin's diary entries, Hilsum presents a complicated portrait of a woman. It is refreshing to read a book about a woman who seems so on point and is just as problematic as the rest of us.

Considering recent attacks on the press coming from politicians, it is important to read this book.
This was my first book of 2019, I chose it after making a personal commitment to read 1-2 nonfiction books about strong women every month. (Need to take a break from some of the romance fluff I have indulged in throughout 2018). This was an excellent read, which I found really moving and difficult to put down. It was truly a well-crafted biography, clearly utilizing both Marie's personal diaries and the varying perspectives of family members and people who were touched by her life (and her lifet ...more
Emily Weinstein
Way too much about her tumultuous personal life
Marie Colvin was reckless to the point of stupidity, always focused on 'getting the story' and so passionate about war reporting that it pretty much ruined her life and eventually killed her. That's not a spoiler. You're not going to read about Marie Colvin without being aware that she's no longer around, and most likely you'll only read 'In Extremis' if you know a bit about her.

I probably knew less than I should have. As a Brit and more of a TV news consumer than a written word news addict, I h
Jack Burrows
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What begins as an understated, slow-burning biography unfurls into a vivid and rich account of the life of a woman who was truly remarkable. Troubled and flawed yet burning with ambition and justice, Colvin was the best of us and the worst of us; beautifully human and inspiring in her constant fight to give a voice to those without one.

It takes a journalist to know a journalist and Hilsum's skill in bringing Marie to life in these pages cannot be understated. The bravery and dedication to shinin
May 20, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: biography
Could tell Marie had a fascinating and important life, but I won't be getting her story from this particular book. Couldn't make it past the first couple of chapters; writing style is like a 5th grade book report. ...more
Audio book read by author. This is an affecting, harrowing account of the life of war correspondent, Marie Colvin, who was killed in Syria, trying to leave Homs, in 2012. Colvin was an outsize character, fascinating to others, a prodigious drinker, and a dedicated and effectively fearless reporter. She dedicated her professional life to being the voice of the innocent, civilian victims in some of the most fiercely violent conflicts around the world, including Chechnya, East Timor, Libya, Egypt, ...more
Nov 29, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a deep dive into Colvin's personal and professional life. It covers everything, and I mean everything, you might care to know about her, including everything you probably don't need to know or want to know. Her entire childhood and family dramas, the details of her many love affairs and friendships, her dependence on alcohol, the clothes she wears (outerwear and underwear), etc. Oh yes, and her work as a journalist. That's the part I was interested in.

Fortunately, the author's obsession
Anne Hamlin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hannah Clarke
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book knocked me for six. What an extraordinary woman - the sacrifices (including the ultimate sacrifice) she made to bring attention to the horrors of war and the murder of innocents are unparalleled. I didn’t know anything about Marie Colvin before, but I’ll think of her whenever I see reporting on conflict now. Her story is told very sensitively and in terrific detail by Lindsey Hilsum.

Everyone should read this.
Clare Snow
Marie Colvin recorded our history as we killed people because they were the wrong religion, or something just as unimportant.

The last war she reported on, Syria, killed her: a most important person.
Dec 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Finished: 18.12.2018
Genre: biography
Rating: C
I expected lightning in a bottle instead
...but I got static electricity on the rug.
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A work of art & an incredible portrait. Read this book in 4 days, camping in the Australian bush, and it is an experience (the reading, I mean) that I’ll never forget. Remarkably well written.
May 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-east
Slow start of a read until the final part of the book. Marie Colvin was a lion, cutting her teeth in Libya interviewing Gaddafi in the late 1980’s, Beirut, the First Intifada and Iraq then covered nearly every major conflict in the Middle East up to the Arab Spring and her tragic death in Syria. All of these conflicts she was there on the ground going to unimaginable lengths to get her story (read: farther than anyone else). Yet, until the final part, the reader is left with very little substanc ...more
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading about the life of Marie Colvin is many things: inspiring, riveting, eye opening, frightening and exhausting!! She had such an amazingly huge life! She took up so much space and had so much passion that it spilled over every aspect of her being! It is hard to imagine being so driven and of having principles that remained so steadfast in the face of horror and danger. Like so many creative and passionate people, her personal life was often a mess, but her commitment to bear witness and giv ...more
Char Furniss
Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-favourites
Wow!! What an absolute legend Marie Colvin was. Fundamentally quite a problematic character bumbling through life - so much you could unpack about her disposition and personal life (I found it so sad how desperately she wanted to be loved and never really attained the love she craved) - but what an incredibly brave and courageous human being. The things she saw and experienced, and the dangers she actively put herself in for the sake of getting to the truth at the heart of a story, is astounding ...more
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Lindsey Hilsum is the author of "In Extremis: the Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin" (2018)and "Sandstorm: Libya in the Time of Revolution" (2012). She is the international editor of Channel 4 News, and has covered many of the conflicts of recent times including Syria, Ukraine and Libya as well as the Trump administration, terror attacks in Europe and refugee movements. She was Beijing Bureau ...more

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“Yet Marie’s was a true faith, and she believed it utterly. She still had her American seriousness of purpose, her heart proudly visible on her sleeve, uncorrupted by British cynicism. She was the champion of bearing witness so that even if no one stopped the wars, they could never say they had not known what was happening.” 4 likes
“The real difficulty is having enough faith in humanity to believe that someone will care,” she said.” 2 likes
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