We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.co.uk/access.
My Friend the Mercenary Audiobook

My Friend the Mercenary

Regular Price:£18.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • £7.99/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
    • Free, unlimited access to Audio Shows
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

James Brabazon is narrating this story of war, violence, and political intrigue. He wanted a war. And, for his sins, he got one. James Brabazon was an ambitious young war reporter when he entered the chaos of the Liberian Civil War in 2002. Running with the infamous LURD rebels, he survived numerous deadly ambushes, the privations of dysentery and a dramatic two hundred-mile escape from Government troops through dense equatorial jungle. He even had a bounty put on his head. Surrounded by child soldiers, cannibals and ruthless rebels, Brabazon was accompanied by Nick du Toit, a South African mercenary with a dangerous past.

They quickly became best friends. Before long, Nick promised James the scoop of his life: a front seat, beside Simon Mann, in an audacious coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea. And the offer was too good to refuse....

©2010 James Brabazon (P)2011 Audible Ltd

What the Critics Say

“An outstanding memoir about the power of friendship in the morally complex theatre of war. James Brabazon is a fearless reporter and a brutally honest narrator. I couldn't put this book down.” (Andy McNab)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (134 )
5 star
 (92)
4 star
 (31)
3 star
 (10)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
4.6 (90 )
5 star
 (64)
4 star
 (20)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.5 (90 )
5 star
 (58)
4 star
 (21)
3 star
 (9)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Amazon Customer Witney, United Kingdom 04/10/2011
    Amazon Customer Witney, United Kingdom 04/10/2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Gripping"

    I've listened to an audiobook a week for the last 4 months in the car on my journey to and from work. This is the only one I've found myself listening to at the weekend.

    I enjoyed the fact that it's narrated by the author, and I think that really helped give you a sense of how he was really feeling when he described the events he was portraying. I did find it hard to keep up with all of the different names and the wheeeling and dealing of who double crossed who and said what to whom, but I guees that's part of the tangled web of secret meetings and arms deals.

    It's a part of the world I know so little about and I found myself on the interent reading other peoples interpretation of events, looking at maps and checking out pictures of the capital cities - much more than that was hard to find. The sort of read that gets you thinking.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason 22/04/2013
    Jason 22/04/2013 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    73
    27
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    2
    Overall
    "My friend the mercenary"

    Just a brilliant, sad, and emotion listen about mercenary life in Africa. Shocking, heart warming, and very well read and written. You need to listen to this if you only listen to one book this year. Excellent

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MR BROMSGROVE, United Kingdom 09/01/2012
    MR BROMSGROVE, United Kingdom 09/01/2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "What a cracker"

    Really enjoyed this book, the author also narrates and his accents are very good, an excellent listen I would recommend this to anybody

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Derek Maspujols, Spain 01/12/2011
    Derek Maspujols, Spain 01/12/2011 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Ufff..."

    A nice change to my usual fiction fix, the grim story of the war trip made more powerful being based on fact. Vivid images conjured in the imagination from a competent prose that made me outburst several times in shock, this gritty tale is recommended to those that aren't aversed to strong or crude language.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeremy Malvern Wells, United Kingdom 25/10/2011
    Jeremy Malvern Wells, United Kingdom 25/10/2011 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    144
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    24
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    62
    0
    Overall
    "Graphic, bloody 1st part - plodding, complex 2nd."

    The first part of this book is a very graphic description of Brabazon's embedding with the LURD rebel army fighting with mercenary support, the dictatorship of Charles Taylor in Liberia. The "friend" of the title is "Nick", a South African ex-special forces mercenary, committed to protecting Brabazon at all costs among the often barbarous, uncontrollable LURD rebels, and under frequent attacks from government forces.

    In the tradition of "The Good Soldiers" or Michael Herr's "Dispatches", the book gives a vivid picture of war, the hardships endured, the frequent atrocities, the chaos and randomness of the killing. At one point a LURD rebel accidently flicks his cigarette butt into the wind, which blows it in through the vent of the ammunition resupply truck he was in, detonating the entire cargo. Not only were all passengers killed, but the waiting LURD rebels who desperately needed the ammo, had to retreat as they ran out of bullets and RPGs.

    Frequently, captured prisoners are tortured, mutilated and then executed, in one case being disemboweled, while punishments for food stealing were savage. It is no wonder that Brabizon came back from Liberia, enaciated and with PTSD, yet seemingly he couldn't wait to get back.

    One interesting theme is his enduring friendship with Nick, who he knows has probably committed murder and atrocities previously, and who fought for apartheid against the ANC. Their friendship however, transcends their political differences, and he has no judgements towards his friend, working tirelessly to find a way to get him released in the second part of the book, when Nick is captured and tortured in a failed take-over of Equatorial Guinea.

    Unfortunately, the second half turns into a complex unravelling of the doomed plot to take over Equatorial Guinea, involving Mark Thatcher, Simon Mann and Nick. Brabizon (by luck) was not involved, so it becomes a bit mind-numbing, with little action. The story only revives when he meets his friend again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jjm 16/01/2018
    jjm 16/01/2018 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "from the horses mouth"

    James Brabazon delivers his story better than many professional readers. it's an amazing yarn of adventure, intrigue, and mystery, set against the backdrop of a civil war. highly recommend this harrowing story of survival, journalism and friendship.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elaine Hospital, Ireland 13/01/2018
    Elaine Hospital, Ireland 13/01/2018 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "uncomfortable"

    Choices. Dangerous things. Compromises even more so. A superb exploration of friendship and humanity. This book made me think and will.continue to do so

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr Sydney, Australia 23/11/2017
    Mr Sydney, Australia 23/11/2017 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    42
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What an Amazing Memoir"

    This book is a must listen. It had me captivated from start to finish and gave me a great insight into places we don't even think about.
    How lucky are we to live in relative calm , where in other parts of the world they live a nightmare we simply cannot comprehend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren 19/11/2017
    Lauren 19/11/2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "First Class Performance "

    Gripping listen, brutally honest and incredible descriptions, would highly recommend to anyone political and journalist interests. Fantastic to hear what unfolded from another perspective, and really understand the dilemma journalists face whilst out on location.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    claudio 01/09/2017
    claudio 01/09/2017 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Informative & gripping"

    James captures his thoughts and describes events in a clear and to the point manner. His morale character and strong friendship with Nick make it easy for the reader to empathise with James... Somewhat looking through the eyes of the writer! (without the billets flying!)
    Regards
    Claudio

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Phil
    Morphett Vale, Australia
    24/07/11
    Overall
    "Gripping"

    This is a truly fantastic book. I was totally bowled over by the story and couldn't stop listening. There's not much more to say, really, except that I recommend this book very, very highly.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Directionline
    CULVER CITY, CA, United States
    10/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The best book I have aborbed in years"
    What made the experience of listening to My Friend the Mercenary the most enjoyable?

    The best part about this audiobook, in my opinion, is that James Brabazon reads it himself. You feel so much closer to the experience with the author reading it. He is telling his story. I loved that approach. More authors should read their own work for audible.com.


    What did you like best about this story?

    That a strong relationship forms between a young journalist who never really had a father an older mercenary who has a son but was never really was there for him growing up. James Brabazon and Nick du Toit take the place of the opposite's absent father and son. Nick, the father, the protector, the experienced one. James, the son, the motivator, the curious one. Very strong subtext in this story.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    All the adventures they experience in the jungles of Liberia. Also when 30 year old Brigadier-General Deku says goodbye to James. "We are ready. And we're prepared." A very powerful scene.


    If you could give My Friend the Mercenary a new subtitle, what would it be?

    By any means necessary.


    Any additional comments?

    Looking forward to listening to more book written and read by Mr James Brabazon. Bravo James, this book was phenomenal! Thank you!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Glen
    LAKE PROVIDENCE, LA, United States
    20/06/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Cool"

    Loved this book. The performance was not my favorite, but good enough. Highly recommend!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • RichAbel1
    09/02/18
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well written and performed. "

    Brought back memories of my past relationships while in the military. Well worth the listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Donald E. Lewis
    Glastonbury, CT, US
    02/01/18
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Least Enjoyable out of Dozens"

    Perhaps my expectations were wrong. I wanted a good story and instead got a long newspaper article. It was hard for me to listen until the end but I did. There was absolutely no plot and instead I got a historical report. As a parting shot I didn’t believe a lot of the details of the torture scenes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brandon
    18/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A must for photojournalists"

    I hung onto every word, Brabazon's recount of the things he faced in Liberia puts you right beside him and Nick. Highly recommended to anyone in photojournalism or interested in war / conflict reporting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • wunderbuddy
    22/07/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not disappointed at all!"

    Well worth the time and the money. You can watch a lot of this stuff on YouTube filmed as it happened.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thomas
    12/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "War reporting at its finest!"

    This has to be one of the best 1st person accounts of West African conflict. Once you start this story, you can only see it to the end. Good luck!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • erik hunter
    11/07/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing. "

    Enthralling and heart breaking. I'm not sure I have ever been so addicted to an audio book. Beabazon not only writes well, but narrates well too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Phil Armstrong
    08/04/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Solid performance, slow second half"

    I really enjoyed this book overall. A good story recounting the tale of a man's experience filming war with another man he doesn't know and soon befriends due to their living situation in Liberia. The writing is raw and poetic and gives a vivid description of what life in wartime Africa truly is from behind the lens of a journalist.

    The only thing I didn't care for was the second half of the book's emphasis on minutiae. Without spoilers, the author goes into extreme detail about operations that I found to be pretty dull. He recounts it from a third person perspective instead of his own. It lacks the much of the emotional flare of the first half of the book where his writing reflects his own personal point of view. By the end of the book, I was actually nostalgic for the first half when he talks about his excursion to Liberia.

    But, complaints aside, I'd recommend this book to anyone with an interest in mercenary work and war time journalism. I think Brabazon is good writer and narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.