Not only is Eggers' book an engaging piece of fiction/nonfiction, the incredibly skillful reader does it justice with every word and change of voice.
Both the author and the narrator create an excellent and authentic picture of the southern Sudan and its tragic undoing. I lived in Juba during part of the period covered, and I read (listened to) the book to fill in and explain historical events. I was not disappointed. The tale is riveting and devastating and filled with pathos. It is beautifully read and recalls the voice of so many southern Sudanese friends.
A lot of great moments... just too long. Excellent reading by Dion Graham I must say. The authenticity of the various African accents was amazing and they lifted the various stories told by Akhbar to higher heights than if read alone. Very impressive, but just too long. Maybe I could have finished it quicker had I read it. Listening took weeks. The writing at times went every where but loose(in the middle) but the beginning and ending were riveting.
One problem I had was that the apartment break-in and the continuation of his life thereafter were never clearly resolved for me; you just don't write a book of this length, with all of its twisting subplots and storylines, and not resolve the premise you start with... I'm not saying it wasn't a good ride. I think it was unnecessarily long and too quickly wrapped up to be truly satisfying for this reader.
There's a lot to be said for reading the first 10 pages of any book or listening to the first 10 minutes of an audiobook. If it doesn't ring true to you by then, it's not for you.
This rang true, but then left me hanging for a long time (as though there were two writers) and then came back for the big wrap up.
This important story of heroic Achuk Deng is told by Graham with Oscar winning talent and written by Eggers with Nobel Prize winning skill. The reading is great but Graham's acting ability brings the story home. Should be required reading for all North Americans.
I wasn't sure this book could add much to "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier" by Ismael Beah, but it does. Both books are extraordinaryl and left me shaken and yet joyous in the respect I felt for the Sudanese and the people from Sierra Leone (as represented by these authors). Beah's book takes place over a shorter time period. Egger's book traces the boy's life fleeing the soldiers, surviving, the long trek to Ethiopi, and 10 years in a refugee camp. It also covers some painful years inthe US. The book begins when he's 6 or 7; near the end, he is close to 30. The suffering of the Sudanese, the people from Sierra Leone, and people in in many parts of Africa is part of our history as well. The books make their situation much more mutli-dimensional than the photos and news reports from the area I've seen. I reccommend everyone read both of these books for the information and for the range of feelings they evoke. They are great literature and truth.
Loved this book. The story was so engaging and seamless in how it went back and forth with present day and past to add layers to the character. Because of our work in a third word country with a marginalized people group, we often see the local problems as well as the well-meaning efforts of peple back home who want to get involved and help, This story very realistically captured all that and more. Highly recommend not only for excellent entertainment but for an eye-opening lesson in other cultures and the unique problems they face.
Gut-wrenching, poignant and powerful!
This is my first time listening to Dion Graham and I LOVED his delivery!
It made me laugh AND cry. I was ashamed of the way Americans treated Valentino - and all Sudanese. I laughed at the sweet innocence of the Lost Boys.
I listened to this book during the summer as it was a class assignment for all high schoolers at her school. The book was assigned as a demonstration of the "Primacy of Self". I feel it should be a requirement for all students. The amount of pain - both physical and emotional - would surely wear down any American teenager. The young men in this book endured far more challenges than most people endure in a lifetime. Wonderful book!
The narrator's voice was so warm and his diction so natural that it was the perfect vehicle for the deep humanity expressed in this slightly fictionalized true portrayal of the almost unbelievable challenge to which The Lost Boys of Sudan rose -- children with the courage, stamina and independence of the strongest and bravest men facing the terrors and ravages of war -- told through the voice of one very sympathetic character. The way they emerged from these years of trial and horror with their hearts unscarred, loving one another, hungry for knowledge and full of faith in the future is a reminder of the nobility that inheres in the human soul, a nobility that jaded, modern industrialized nations can only look on in dumb grief at what we have traded in for television sets and debit cards. The paucity of our culture is only too painfully revealed in the details of what the protagonist found in his life once he reached the promised land of America -- anything but balm from Gilead. This is, in my opinion, far and away Dave Eggers' best work, and I am deeply grateful for the way he made this human experience, so vastly different from mine, so intimately, viscerally available to me. I will listen to it again and again and never fail to be deepened by it.
I am so glad I listened to this book rather than reading it. The narrator was perfect! I loved how he brought the main character Valentino to life. This book is one of my top three audible.com listens. It's well worth the credit!
I think this book is one of those books that everyone should read. Sometimes we forget that in our spoiled American lives there is another reality out there. This book was well written. I also really enjoyed the narration-great voice and personality!