Charlie Johnson in the Flames by Michael Ignatieff

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In his critically acclaimed New York Times Notable Book, Michael Ignatieff tells a story of striking contemporary relevance that has drawn comparisons to the novels of Graham Greene and Robert Stone's Dog Soldiers. Charlie Johnson is an American journalist working for a British news agency somewhere in the Balkans. He believes that over the course of a long career he has seen everything, but suddenly he finds himself more than simply a witness. A woman who has been sheltering Charlie and his crew is doused in gasoline and set on fire by a retreating Serbian colonel. As she stumbles, burning, down the road, Charlie dashes from hiding, throws her down rolling her over and over to extinguish the flames, burning his hands in the process. Believing the woman's life to have been saved, Charlie is traumatized by her death. Something snaps. He now realizes he has just one ambition left in life: to find the colonel and kill him.

About Michael Ignatieff

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Michael Ignatieff, born in Toronto in 1947. But at the age of 11, Ignatieff was sent to Toronto to attend Upper Canada College as a boarder in 1959. At UCC, Ignatieff was elected a school prefect as Head of Wedd's House, was the captain of the varsity soccer team, and served as editor-in-chief of the school's yearbook. As well, Ignatieff volunteered for the Liberal Party during the 1965 federal election by canvassing the York South riding. He resumed his work for the Liberal Party in 1968, as a national youth organizer and party delegate for the Pierre Elliott Trudeau party leadership campaign. He then went on to continue his education at the University of Toronto and Harvard and Cambridge universities. In 1976, Ignatieff completed his Ph.D in History at Harvard University. He was granted a Cambridge M.A. by incorporation in 1978 on taking up a fellowship at King's College there. Michael Ignatieff has written television programs for the BBC, novels, and works of nonfiction. He has also authored essays and reviews for several publications including The New York Times. From 1990-93, he wrote a weekly column on international affairs for The Observer. His family memoir, The Russian Album, received Canada's Governor General Award in 1988. His second novel, Scar Tissue, was short-listed for the Booker Prize in 1993. Other nonfiction works include A Just Measure of Pain, the Penitentiary in the Industrial Revolution and the Warrior's Honor: Ethic War and the Modern Conscience.
Published December 1, 2007 by Grove Press. 192 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, War. Fiction

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The Guardian

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Charlie Johnson in The Flames by Michael Ignatieff 150pp, Chatto, £12.99 The Internationals by Sarah May 217pp, Chatto, £10 The Balkans have proved a durable backdrop for western writers of fiction, whose collective imagination pictures the region as a heaving den of duplicity, corruption and dea...

Sep 06 2003 | Read Full Review of Charlie Johnson in the Flames

The Guardian

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Charlie Johnson in the Flames - A Novel by Michael Ignatieff Chatto & Windus £12.99, pp164 It's a funny thing, but I always felt I had a pretty strong sense of humanity.

Sep 07 2003 | Read Full Review of Charlie Johnson in the Flames

Publishers Weekly

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Ignatieff, who has covered his share of nasty conflicts, doesn't glamorize the war journalist's trade—but neither does he move beyond the standard clichés (the neglected wife, the nagging boss, the loyal sidekick).

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Suite 101

MicMac tribal stories reflect how eastern Canadian landscapes were formed as well as realistically depict human psychology during extremely stressful times.

Jul 26 2010 | Read Full Review of Charlie Johnson in the Flames

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