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Fools Rush in: A True Story of Love, War, and Redemption

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  403 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
Offering an in-depth personal account of the Bosnian and Herzegovinian war, this autobiography follows the author as he departed for conflict-ridden Eastern Europe in the early 1990s. Demonstrating how the protagonist discovered his own love of humanity, this narrative documents his career as an aid-worker, toiling amidst a motley crew of expatriate punk rockers and thrill ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published April 7th 2010 by Schaffner Press (first published 2004)
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(showing 1-30)
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Shawn Sorensen
A vivid call to awareness, to the sacredness of no expectations, to learning a lesson deeply for seeing its complete fruition through the horrors of war.

Bill Carter is in his twenties and joins a caravan of circus-like vehicles and performers delivering food to Sarajevo and other spots in Bosnia during the ethnic conflict. He's not a journalist, not on any side of the conflict, which highlights his mindset, his innate need to move, travel, by one turn remember and on the other turn forget his p
Jun 10, 2011 Bethany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fools Rush In is about a love story during war - but not your typical love story - it is the story of human connection, of survival and of the love you find for your own life only after a surreal experience. Bill Carter writes in an engaging style that keeps you hooked and wanting more. He tells of his experiences in Sarajevo during the Bosnian war to such detail that you can clearly envision everything in your own mind down to the ping pong table and crazed looks on people's faces. You fall in ...more
May 26, 2009 Veronica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gale Biddle
Jan 17, 2011 Gale Biddle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best books I ever read. It's non-fiction (my favorite). It's about a guy who goes over to Bosnia during the war. It's an incredible read--tragic, hopeful, at times funny, at times one of the saddest things I've ever read. Can't recommend it enough. Warning--you will cry when you read this book. I dare you not to...
Michael Phillips
This is one of the most important books I've ever read. Inspiring, uplifting, tragic - all those things. A book to remind you to seize the day, and a floating device to cling to when you've forgotten what it feels like to truly live.
Jan 12, 2008 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this while working in Sarejevo, which made it particularly haunting. I actually met Shibby and worked with one of the Surrealists. No joke. I thought this was a great read. It dove deep into the reality of personal tragedy, war, and the personal journey that we all might be on.
Nov 08, 2007 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excerpted from review originally appearing here<./a>

During the hellishness of living in a war zone, what can music possibly bring to the equation? Through its primal power, can it be a hand to reach out and pull us away?

Bill Carter is a twenty-something from the West Coast who begins his journey into the Bosnia region as a man unmoored. From his earliest memories of abuse at the hands of a terrifying, nauseating, damaged father, he begins his book by telling of his lifelong gravitational p
Oct 17, 2012 Suha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
I promised myself I'd stop reading books about war, genocide and tragedies, partly because I feel like historic fiction is all I've been reading lately, but mostly because they make me feel utterly and unbelievably helpless. But I'm really, really glad I broke that promise.
I have no idea what to say about this book except that I was probably born to read this.
The way it was written was lovely, very simple and yet very poetic. The combination and link between the author's personal life and the e
Eli Hastings
Feb 24, 2014 Eli Hastings rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fools Rush In--what a shame that a romcom snatched the title from Bill Carter after the fact. This movie flies fiercely in the face of the entire philosophy, value-system of romcoms. If the latter are intended to be topical, easy-laugh and feel-good analgesics of the entertainment variety, this book--and I suspect the film, Miss Sarajevo--are anything but. This memoir is about a young man finding himself shattered by grief, so shattered that he becomes indifferent to whether he lives or dies. An ...more
Jane Compagnone
Mixed feelings about the book. It does give insight to the war in Bosnia - the dynamics involved, the history of the war, the impact on the residents of Sarajevo and how they get through the day. However, I couldn't escape the feeling that the book was all about Bill Carter - how HE was impacted by events going on around him - how Corrina's death influenced everything HE did - how other people felt about HIM. His self-absorbed style of writing about the Bosnian experience doesn't seem appropriat ...more
Sep 11, 2011 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bill Carter, an American, is a witness of the siege of Sarajevo, and tries to make sense of the conflict. A conflict more complex than the media often portrayed. We learn there were not two sides in the conflict but at least six different groups with different interests, for example, in the defence of Sarajevo Bosnia Serbs were fighting against Serbs from Serbia. This is the closest we can get to the siege of Sarajevo without actually being there.
May 21, 2008 Nelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nelly by: William Tate
An excellent depiction of the existence of life in BiH during the period of ethnic cleansing in the nineties. While the writing was very informal, it was very strong and effective in communicating the complexities of war and the interpersonal interactions during such times. I highly recommend this book, there are strong universal truths that Carter beautifully distills throughout the piece.
Andrea Kunza
Jul 29, 2012 Andrea Kunza rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Really like Carter's perspective of Sarajevo -- he focuses on a distinct aspect of the Bosnian war
Feb 14, 2012 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant autobiography about Bill Carter's experiences in war-strafed Sarajevo at the height of the Bosnian conflict and his success in bringing it to the world's attention with the band U2.
Aug 07, 2011 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
my dad got me the dvd of miss Sarajevo, but i haven't dared to watch it yet.
John Frazier
Jun 02, 2012 John Frazier rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with most books of consequence, it took me a while to digest "Fools Rush In" to the extent that I felt authorized and considerate enough to comment on it.

Without question it is one of the most visceral books I can recall reading, testament not only to experiences Bill Carter chronicles during his mid-20s, but the manner and sensitivity with which he does so.

Carter is, to me, one of those people you admire not only for their wanderlust, but their ability to exercise and wring every last drop o
Feb 08, 2011 Schroder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty crude and raw depiction of the Sarajevan conflict back in the early-mid 90's. This kid, Bill Carter, was young, running, and broken... writing about his experience working for a humanitarian aid organization that stole from the NGO's and "worthless" bureaucratic UN trucks and walked the plateau between embattled trenches, literally, to deliver food to the needy. "Ask and it shall be given to you." He also strings his personal story in and out of the chapters, some fully dedicated to his f ...more
Gary Paulson
Apr 11, 2010 Gary Paulson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: publisher-arc
I was caught up in the story from the start. Trying to imagine why anyone who didn’t have to be in Sarajevo at that time would place themselves there in harms way. But as he is there, Carter allows us to share in his experiences thereby the experiences of the people of Sarajevo.

After reading the book, I want to see the 30 minute documentary, Miss Sarajevo. I found some excerpts on YouTube and watched the video of U2’s performance of the title song. But the documentary would be quite interesting.
Aug 11, 2012 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a must read for anyone who travels to the Balkans....or even those who don't.
Jeffrey Morris
Dec 06, 2010 Jeffrey Morris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This one was nearly made into a movie - one of the best scripts of 2008. The story works better as a novel - if you like epic humanitarian tales, this is worth a read.
Tasha Bundy
Jan 12, 2008 Tasha Bundy is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tasha by: Patty, Michelle, Howe, and my grandmother
I have yet to finish this book, but plan to get going on it again soon. I highly recommend watching his film, Miss Sarajevo, which would be a good companion for the book.
I cannot recommend this enough. Possibly my most favorite book to date. About the Bosnian war, vagabonding, love, life, etc. I can't WAIT to re-read this one.
Ashlea Stark
I'm so glad I read this. I picked it up for 50 cents at an op shop, and even then- I only did so because the blurb on the back was so far out that I couldn't even begin to imagine what the book would be like.

Let me say before I go any further: I don't know Bill Carter, I don't know his reputation, I haven't followed his career- Nothing. So all impressions and opinions I have on this book are from someone reading, for all intents and purposes, an unknown author. It was only after I finished Fools
Apr 06, 2011 Fay rated it liked it
The prolonged ending did not add anything to the book and felt self-indulgent. Otherwise very personal and honest, interesting and informative.

I went to Sarajevo shortly after reading this book. While I was there I wished I had Bill Carter's book with me because it was fascinating to see the landmarks he mentioned.

A Sarajevan recommended I read "The Cellist of Sarajevo" which I did when I came home. Now I want to go back again with BOTH books!
Apr 04, 2012 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating story about losing love and finding a certain solace by delivering aid to Sarajevo during the height of the Bosnian war. How the author managed to live through this experience is phenomenal. Oh yeah, He also writes Bono, eventually meets U2 and convinces them to fund regular satellite transmissions that were broadcast during the ZooTV tour. Amazing read.
Apr 05, 2011 Bronwen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone wanting to know more about the war between the countries of the former Yugoslavia
Recommended to Bronwen by: Alex Lee, Mark Planiden
An excellent book, enhanced by the fact that Alex and I stayed in Bosnia for a week last year. A fantastic insight into the siege of Sarajevo and a heartfelt tale of some of the most significant events of Bill Carter's life.
Zach Church
Jan 10, 2017 Zach Church rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid memoir. Author weaves in a personal storyline to explain why he is in Sarajevo during the war, but doesn't overdo it. I was still very young, about 9-12, when the war was going on, so this book helped me wrap my head around the basics. The focus is on real Bosnians and not on politics.
May 01, 2008 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: James
Shelves: love-it
i still don't understand the balkans, but carter brought me closer.
i want to read this!
Korrie Johnston
May 14, 2016 Korrie Johnston rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
mesmerizing. an epiphany of questions for deep soul searching. vivid scenes that take you there, both in reality and in his subconscious. what an amazing account!
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Bill Carter, a native Californian, is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, photographer and journalist. He's the director of the documentary film, MISS SARAJEVO (produced by Bono of the Irish rock band U2) and author of the books FOOLS RUSH IN and RED SUMMER.
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“Grief produces an abundant energy that must find a way to burn itself up. And that is the fundamental problem, one that can take a lifetime to exhaust.” 9 likes
“If there was a bad guy we could appeal to the people because, like it or not, we, the huddled masses, want our public figures to be good or bad but rarely allow them to mix the two. Not good an bad. We place people in these categories, which then creates a smooth story-line but also a dichotomy. It's why we like our male movie stars to be either bad boys or heroes, our leading ladies sluts or soccer moms. We like our politicians to be tough guys or saints. What we don't like are any signs of actual humanity, a mixture of the two. So we are left with the question: who is the bad guy? And is the bad guy in control of all that is bad?” 4 likes
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