Eggers is an excellent teller of other people's stories, as illustrated by his brilliant "What is the What," the story of Sudanese refugee Valentino Achak Deng. In Zeitoun, he tells the story of a Syrian-American, a successful New Orleans contracter for years, who is wrongfully imprisoned by FEMA in the wake of Katrina. The contrast between the warmth, vitality and manifest goodness of the Zeitoun family, and the impersonal brutality and incompetence of the "military occupation" authorities who took over New Orleans is striking and sobering. A "must listen," even if "What is the What" is a richer story and slightly better narrated.
The central insight of this book can be reduced to a simple statement: treat the cause (low self-esteem, etc.), not the symptom (addiction). The rest is padding, and above all endless praise for the author's Malibu clinic, Passages. I hope the author does good clinical work. The book is disappointing.
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