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Violence in a time of black rain T he Reporter’s Tale is a global adventure story about the life of Tom Davies which begins when he is a young teacher with Voluntary Service Overseas in North Malaya and a book he is writing, full of perverted sex and violence, blows up on him and he sees visions of a world under attack by artists such as himself. In a final vision in Penang he sees the blue sky being ripped apart and black dots falling out of it, slowly at first and then hurriedly. The black rain. Thereafter he takes his new insights on a long journey as a top reporter and award-winning writer, first discovering in Belfast that his Malayan visions have been made flesh and that a media, obsessed by violence, is the cause of so much of the disorder there. The media, he reports, has become the mother and father of modern terrorism, endowing such as the IRA and now the Taliban with disproportionate power and importance merely because they offer violence. Our violence-loving television news service in particular has become the main catalyst of the rioting on our streets, Davies shows, and in relation to the student riots in Whitehall the only question to ask is: What role did television play in them? And is it not now clear that television cameras always set up a platform on our streets WALES’S MAGAZINE The Reporter’s Tale Utterly fascinating. What a life! What an epiphany! I am astonished by the profligacy of detail – inner and outer – and by Tom Davies’ command of his own meanings. Jan Morris, writer Steel worker’s son, gossip columnist, novelist, travel writer, religious visionary. Tom Davies’ journey through the last 60 years is as strange and compelling as the Book of Revelation. Ian Jack, Guardian columnist and former editor of Granta I found The Reporter’s Tale both disturbing and thoughtprovoking, Berwyn Mountain Press is to be congratulated on keeping the faith with one of Wales’ most passionate and creative writers. Max Boyce, entertainer cambria the world of t h e w o r l d o f c a m b r i a VOLUME/CYFROL 12 NUMBER/RHIF 4 £3.50 €€3.50 This is a packed and passionate book from a man who kissed the Blarney Stone and found God talking to him. Steve Dube, Western Mail A beautiful writer, all heart. Jilly Cooper, author I just can’t wait for the film. Anne Robinson, television presenter TOM DAVIES: “There’s one hell of a storm coming.” on which the loonies of the nation are keen to perform? In a just world the police in Whitehall should have kettled the media. Even the seeming madness of the suicide bomber begins to make sense when seen in the context of a media which rewards his carnage with global publicity while also drawing attention to his cause. If you want to get a headline, get a bomb or a gun or, failing that, a big knife. Give me a nice, juicy murder, particularly of a celebrity, and I’ll instantly reward you with worldwide and even eternal fame. Also the events of the Arab Spring take us directly to the meaning and message of the black rain, Davies believes. Here the world’s media – helped by Facebook and Twitter – first began feeding on the self-immolation of a Tunisian street trader before spawning revolution after revolution in neighbouring countries. They all suddenly wanted freedom and democracy, we were told, but all that really happened was that many protestors were half-crazed by watching too much television news as each service, particularly AlJazeera, spooled out violent imagery on an almost 24hour loop mostly from footage downloaded from their viewers’ mobile phones. Written with words of fire and drawing its inspiration from a glittering dynasty of great Welsh preachers in their wooden pulpits this is a book written in righteous wrath by a man who has seen visions of a world in uproar and cannot turn his back on them. God is wounded and in great pain, desperate to talk to us again, Davies says. He can no longer stay silent as he sees us all under attack and dying in a long season of black rain. No one anywhere will be unmoved or untroubled by Davies’ description of a great tide of evil which is flooding the world, destroying our values and turning violence into the very oxygen we are all now breathing. This book will change the way you think about everything The Reporter’s Tale, a trade paperback of 450 pages, is published and distributed by Berwyn Mountain Press which is based at Oriel Tan Yr Hall, 58 High Street, Bala LL237AB. So far 2,200 copies have been moved and this ad announces a new third edition. If you want to become another naysayer and cast a vote for a cleaner, more responsible media then send us your address – or that of a friend’s – with a cheque for £7.99 ( inc p&p). Or go to our website or better still, call into the gallery yourself. Every copy sold will make the book’s voice louder and every penny the book earns will be invested to make that voice louder still. The world needs to hear this wake-up call at top volume. Along with C.S. Lewis’ Surprised by Joy, Jack Clemo’s Confessions of a Rebel and Malcolm Muggeridge’s Chronicles of a Wasted Time – this is one of the most significant spiritual memoirs we have ever read. The Christian Librarian Unmissable, a powerful autobiography which grapples with faith, sex, the media and the horrific impact of fictional violence on our disturbed society. Michael Saward, former Canon of St Paul’s Perhaps the most interesting part was the story of Evan Roberts which in some ways reflects the general story of Davies himself. John Davies, poet Tom Davies’ progress from provincial journalist to UK national icon is genuinely worth reading and this book charts his journey with an engaging mixture of revelation and humour. I found it compulsive. Peter Finch, Welsh Academy The Reporter’s Tale is a riveting read and Tom possesses – like C S Lewis – the rare gift of making theology accessible and deserves a wide audience. Tom is a reluctant prophet – but a prophet nevertheless – and his prose is soaked in wisdom, clarity and the odd drop of whisky. Highly recommended. Amazon JAN MORRIS On a fantastical journey from North to South J U N E / J U L Y 2 0 1 1 M E H E F I N / G O R F F E N N A F A WARNING FROM HISTORY, part two TAFFYMANDERING Pushing the boundaries S4C Does it have a future? CULTURE, HISTORY, LANDSCAPE, CURRENT AFFAIRS, TRAVEL AND OPINION

Cambria Magazine Summer 2011

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