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A Long Way Gone Audiobook

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

This is how wars are fought now by children, hopped up on drugs, and wielding AK-47s. In the more than 50 violent conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them. How does one become a killer? How does one stop? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But it is rare to find a first-person account from someone who endured this hell and survived. In A Long Way Gone, Beah, now 26 years old, tells a riveting story in his own words: how, at the age of 12, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence.
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Publisher's Summary

This is how wars are fought now by children, hopped up on drugs, and wielding AK-47s. In the more than 50 violent conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them. How does one become a killer? How does one stop? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But it is rare to find a first-person account from someone who endured this hell and survived. In A Long Way Gone, Beah, now 26 years old, tells a riveting story in his own words: how, at the age of 12, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By 13, he’d been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts. This is a rare and mesmerizing account, told with real literary force and heartbreaking honesty.

©2007 Ishmael Beah (P)2007 Macmillan Audio

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (433 )
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Performance
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  •  
    B. Bunt Seattle, WA USA 11-01-13
    B. Bunt Seattle, WA USA 11-01-13

    EmergVet

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    Story
    "Author's voice"
    What did you like best about this story?

    I appreciated that the account was written and narrated by a boy with first-hand experience. He explains his fear and struggle for survival from his own experiences and you begin to understand, reluctantly, how an innocent child with such a big heart could perform such atrocities. You also learn that these tainted children, at least some of them, have the capacity for rehabilitation and the ability to attain happiness after such horrible experiences full of hatred and violence. His story makes you question humanity, but his survival and recovery will return hope and faith of the good in this world. This book makes you want to become an activist for the plight of these children and their families.


    What about Ishmael Beah’s performance did you like?

    I like that it was his story; it added to the narrative knowing it was his experiences he was telling you about.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It did get under my skin and I had a hard time not thinking about it when I was away.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carlos Ulloa 04-23-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved"

    This book was amazing. I read a lot and I've never read something like this!! I'm happy I Read It

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Waterbury,Ct 04-17-14
    Amazon Customer Waterbury,Ct 04-17-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating and tragic story"
    If you could sum up A Long Way Gone in three words, what would they be?

    Sad yet hopeful.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I like that he was able to be rescued from the life of child soldier and go on to present about these issues at the UN.


    What does Ishmael Beah bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    It's his memories. One thing is when he signs some of the songs that made him happy as a kid, you can tell they still do.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles 12-31-14
    Charles 12-31-14 Member Since 2016
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    "An Eye-opening Read."

    I am very glad to have opened myself up to the harsh reality that others have experienced. My life and the way I see things have truly changed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jake Rexburg, ID, United States 10-03-13
    Jake Rexburg, ID, United States 10-03-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent Read"
    Where does A Long Way Gone rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    A Long Way Gone is among the top 20 Audiobooks I've heard.


    What other book might you compare A Long Way Gone to and why?

    Pertaining to the corrupt use of power and the effects of agency I would say Killing Pablo was another captivating book describing evil.


    Which character – as performed by Ishmael Beah – was your favorite?

    Nurse Esther was the most inspiring character who brought Ishmael back through love.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 04-22-15
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 04-22-15 Member Since 2016

    I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Intense, but not intense enough"

    This is a story of a 12 year old boy’s life as a child soldier in Sierra Leone. The writing is first person and author narrated, but did not strike me as intensely personal, or brutally honest, or deeply introspective. It effectively tells the story of how a normal kid becomes a killer, and then returns to some level of normalcy. If you are not familiar with the issue of child soldiers, this book is an excellent introduction.

    I expect quite a lot from a memoir. In this case I heard the author’s intense story, but I also felt the author held back the very worst and the potentially most powerful. It is completely understandable for a young man (now 26) to be unready to express the fullness of the story, but a memoir should await that readiness.

    The narration is good, but a bit dry and in a very few places difficult to understand.

    I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand the issues surrounding child soldiers, but as a memoir, or as literature, I found it weak.

    There is an appendix dryly recapping the history of Sierra Leone which seemed a pretty odd way to end a memoir.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcelo Perez 05-17-16
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    "Thumbs up"

    Once I started this book I had a hard placing it down. It's a good read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cailan Garvin 05-14-16
    ratings
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    7
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    "a historically emotional tour through hell"

    I was caught in emotional highs and lows of anger, anxiety, sadness, and joy. Baeh recounts his childhood with exhaustive detail from a photographic memory, and has structured his story with a rhythm of trial and success. read it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 04-19-16
    David 04-19-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A long way gone = intense"

    Loved it. This was an amazing story, told firsthand by former child soldier Ishmael Bean. I would highly recommend this title. Now to start Beahs next title.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CJ Springfield, Virginia United States 04-10-16
    CJ Springfield, Virginia United States 04-10-16 Member Since 2015
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    5
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    Story
    "Heavy and sad, but hopeful"

    I've always been drawn to nonfiction, so was interested in listening to this book for a long time, finally doing so on a long hike to complete from start to finish in one go. There have been a lot of complaints about Beah embellishing many parts, but I think the overall message combined the stories of many people. So, to me that was the point. The writing style was at times difficult, and I found myself cringing after awhile every time I heard the phrase,"it was as if...". It was as if (yes, I just had to) Beah was just trying to outright shock you like a horror film more than tell his story from a deep place in his traumatized soul. And though at times it was also hard to understand, the narration needed to come from someone who had lived through the conflict. If you're interested in learning more about what happened in Sierra Leone - more people need to - this book provides a powerful perspective.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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