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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of The Circle, the true story of a young Yemeni-American man, raised in San Francisco, who dreams of resurrecting the ancient art of Yemeni coffee but finds himself trapped in Sana'a by civil war, and his riveting tale of escape.

Mokhtar Alkhanshali grew up in San Francisco, one of seven siblings raised by Yemeni immigrants in a tiny apartment. At age 24, unable to pay for college, he works as a doorman. Until: a statue of an Arab raising a cup of coffee awakens something in him. He sets out to learn the rich history of coffee in Yemen and the complex art of tasting and identifying varietals. He travels to Yemen, collects samples of beans, eager to bring improved cultivation methods to the farmers. And he is on the verge of success when civil war engulfs Yemen in 2015 and he is trapped in Sana'a.

Desperate to escape, he embarks on a passage that has him twice kidnapped at gunpoint, dodging US-made bombs dropped by the Saudi air force, and crossing the Red Sea onboard an unsafe skiff, all the while carrying two suitcases of coffee. A heart-pounding true story that weaves together the history of coffee, the ongoing Yemeni civil war, and the courageous journey of a young man - a Muslim and a US citizen - following the most American of dreams.

©2018 Dave Eggers (P)2018 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Hell of an adventure! Great narration!

Monk of Mocha is a wonderful adventure. We follow Mokhtar’s story, from delinquent teenager to Indiana Jones adventurer, bringing the treasure of long lost Yemeni coffee to the world. Egger’s style eggs you onward (see what I did there:)). Graham voice is powerful, clear, and compelling. Loved it!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Terrific Story

Loved this book! I cannot believe it is nonfiction! Compelling story! I GOT to try the coffee now!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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in awe

this was fantastic. I was pulled into the story and emotionly invested in the characters success.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • IAN
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • 02-09-18

Coffee

Fantastic book. Now I’m looking for the beans. Not easy to find so far. Can’t wait to try it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Joe
  • Rescue, CA, United States
  • 02-18-18

The Monk of Mokha

Eggers always brings us memorable people and places and this is no exception. A valuable addition (and sometimes contradiction) to our current impressions of the Middle East in general and Yemen in particular. The reader is enthusiastic but sometimes sounds angry when the text doesn’t call for it — even when reading “Chapter 36”. But overall the enthusiasm is effective, as it seems to match the enthusiasm of the story’s subject. And boy did I learn a lot about coffee!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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History! Intrigue! Humanity!

I LOVED this book. I’m finicky about the way books are read & the vocals breathe even more life into this already captivating storyline.

Getting a behind the scenes look at Mohktar’s journey, Yemeni coffee & culture, this book is amazing. Even if you’re not passionate about coffee, if you love hearing a story rich in humanity this book is for you.

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MOVING THE NEEDLE

I’m a white guy. For that I am awarded privilege . I know the score. I see it all around me. I’ve worked my ass off to have a comfortable life . Wife, kids, house etc.

The immigration issue confuses me. The never ending violence in the Middle East confuses me. I just couldn’t get my head wrapped around it.

This book changed me. It showed me what I thought was American ingenuity and taught me tenacity and grit are universal.

I will never look at a Middle Eastern person the same and am embarrassed that I let my myopic personal narrative carry on for so many years.

Thank you Dave Eggars and thank you Mohktar for giving me the gift of clear vision.

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Great inspiring story.

Great inspiring story. I learned a lot about coffee, Yemen, and the countries surrounding it. I was amazed by the tenacity, to the point of obsession, of the young man once he discovered his calling. I may have to find and drink a cup of Yemen coffee.


I did not like the performance. I felt that every sentence he spoke had an unecessary urgency.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Overly dramatic?

I enjoyed the book though some critics have said it is somewhat over-dramatic. The narrator does not help. Even his reading of the chapter headings is breathless.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful