Book review: Trettioåriga kriget

  • Book title: Trettioåriga kriget (The thirty-year war)
  • Author: Don Titelman
  • Page count: 135
  • Publishing year: 2020
  • Publisher: Ultima Esperanza Books
  • ISBN: 978-91-88263-73-5

On 11th November 2021 I attended a vernissage for the photography exhibition Framed 10 at Galleri Kontrast. While browsing the book shop on my way out for something interesting to buy I noticed a small book on the lower shelves. I picked it up, started reading it’s first chapter and got really captivated. I snapped out of it when the cashier remarked that the shop isn’t a library. Decision time: buy the book or not? Thinking it too good to pass up I decided to buy it, which softened the cashier a little.

The book, Trettioåriga kriget, is quite small measuring only 19.5×13.1×1cm and weighing in at 219g. It contain stories from the author’s, Don Titelman, thirty year career as a video-journalist covering news events across the globe. The book is structured with a table of contents, foreword, 26 chapters and an afterword. Each chapter is made up of several short stories which connect to each other by a shared theme. The chapters get their names from one of their stories, Ex. Chapter 6 is called No Monkey Me! Because of the child soldiers shout when they confronted Don and his colleague at a road block in Liberia during the country’s civil war. The book contains just a few images, the first two are found before the foreword, the third one before chapter 17 and the final two are found in the afterword.

The stories are written in a stream of consciousness style which flows well and makes it easy to read so I completed the book in under three days. The content is really gripping and it is hard to put it down once you start reading. The only negative I can find are some punctuation errors that could have been fixed before publishing.

I want to someday become a journalist and as I don’t have any friends, yet, in this field to ask questions to about the job, this book provides me a good glimpse into what dangers you can encounter and what skill-set that would be good to have when out in the field. I noted that to succeed as a journalist out in the field you’ll need to be able to think on your feet, be flexible and be able to handle unexpected situations and setbacks. Being mentally stable and having good social skills are a must to be able to handle many of the situations you’ll encounter and being physically fit is also beneficiary when you have to move heavy gear or get out from a dangerous situation fast. Survival and first aid skills are also good things to have so you can help yourself, your colleague(s) and maybe others.

I enjoyed reading this book and it gave me some knowledge that would otherwise be almost impossible for me to acquire. The book is unfortunately only available in Swedish but I can easily recommend it for those of you who know the language and are interested in journalism.

By Skoge Farman

I am a street photographer based north of Stockholm.

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