You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” ― C.S. Lewis
I don't know why i liked this book maybe because it took a somewhat humorous slant on the very ugly situations the main character survived. It was a fun read. The voice of the narrator went very well with the story. Why did i like the story maybe because it was so unusual ..... I don't know. I recommend.
This book ranks near the top of all the audiobooks I've listened to so far.
It is a first-person story, so I guess my favorite character is the main character, Valentino Ache (not sure of spelling).
I didn't have an extreme reaction, but I definitely looked forward to listening to it on my commute every day - I needed to find out what happened!
I would highly recommend this book.
I usually finish at least one audiobook a week. This book took me two months to complete, not because it was long (it is) but because it is very intense.
This is allegedly the true story of Valentino Achak Deng, a Sudanese boy whose village was bombed when he was about 6. He fled, became separated from his family and, by the end of the book, had lived in three other countries.
The first third of the book was the most difficult for me to listen to. Many young boys die terrible deaths, Valentino endures starvation and terror both in his life as a "Lost Boy" searching for a haven and as the victim of home invaders in the United States. The second third was more upbeat. The final third included the deaths of two of his closest friends.
I generally like my books to have a happy ending. This book does not really have an ending, as Valentino's life (I hope) goes on. He is not rich, famous or back with his family, but he is alive. Given what he's been through, that may be a triumph of sorts.
I felt that this book was too long, and the transitions between past and present were often annoying.
The narrator was quite good. I thought he was really African, until I heard him voice perfect American accents.
I'm not sorry I finished this book, but I would not recommend it to anyone looking for light listening or a deep understanding of the causes of the Sudanese war.
I have (unintentionally) read two books from Oprah's Book Club list, and wasn't impressed by either. So instead of jumping on the bandwagon and reading her selection about the Lost Boys of Sudan, read "What is the What" instead!
I didn't know anything about the plight of the Lost Boys before reading this book. Not only did I learn a great deal about them and African culture in general, but it was enjoyable doing it through the eyes of the main character Valentino. The story moves between the present and flashbacks, which made it even more interesting because the author could present Valentino the child's emotions and opinions about the event along with Valentino the adult's without strain. I was overwhelmed by the hardship one boy can endure and overcome. While this book is a fictionalized biography, I assume most of the larger events are true, which made it an even more gripping read. The narrator was also fantastic, and I was truly disappointed when it ended.
The only thing I disliked about this book, however, was the ending. Whether I wanted more finality or something more uplifting, I'm not sure. I just know I wasn't satisfied with the ending. But I'm still giving it 5 stars because it was interesting, engaging, thought-provoking, heartwrenching - everything a great book should be.
I've been grabbing every Eggers book I can get my hands on since I came across "A Heartbreaking Work...." This displays Eggers story telling ability on a grand, not-so-self-absorbed level. I was inspired. And the reading is one of the best readings I've ever listened to, Dion Graham really brought the story of Atchuk Deng to life.
The engaging story told by the author truly defines the meaning of survivor. The harrowing tale of Achak keeps the listener rapt with awe at what he and many others went through and actually survived. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an inspiring tale of loss and survival.
This is so well written and the narrator is fabulous. African accented English makes it all believable. If you want background on the problems of Sudan, this is the book for you.
This is an engaging, powerful book, deftly written and superbly narrated. Eggers' book, though "fiction," is a lesson in history, suffering and the resilience of the human spirit. I recommend this book without reservation.
An excellent listen with a fabulous story. I was engaged immediately in the tale which was wonderfully and skillfully narrated by Dion Graham. The narration made for a much richer experience of the story than if I had read it. I highly recommend this book and will be listening to it again.
I really enjoyed listening to this book about a Sudanese refugee who experienced the Sudanese civil wars, where the author provides a horrific account of the brutal tragedies. This is a semi biographical story, but it reads as though every part of it is real. The main character, Valentino Achak Deng, at age 8, is exiled from his village in southern Sudan and eventually joins thousands of other Lost Boys who were also exiled from their villages. They walk forever in their quest to reach a place that would be permanent. It is the first time that I have read an accurate account of what a refugee camp is like. I read about one in "Infidel" but it was for only a period of a couple days. Valentino was in the temporary Ethiopian refugee camp for 10 years, after which he does end up in Atlanta, Georgia and that is another story. If you listen to this book by audio, you will not be disappointed. It is excellent.