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Zeitoun Audiobook

Zeitoun

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Publisher's Summary

In his new nonfiction book Zeitoun, New York Times best-selling author Dave Eggers tells a Hurricane Katrina story unlike any written before.

When HurricaneKatrina struck New Orleans, Abdulrahman Zeitoun - a prosperous Syrian-American and father of four - chose to stay through the storm to protect his house and contracting business. In the eerie days after the storm, he traveled the flooded streets in a secondhand canoe, passing on supplies and rescuing those he could. A week later, on September 6, 2005, Zeitoun abruptly disappeared.

Eggers's riveting work, three years in the making, follows Zeitoun back to his childhood in Syria and around the world during his years as a sailor. The book also traces the story of Zeitoun's wife Kathy - a boisterous Southerner who converted to Islam - and their wonderful, funny, devoted family. When Zeitoun vanishes, Kathy is left to make sense of the surreal atmosphere (in New Orleans and the United States generally) in which what happened to Abdulrahman Zeitoun was possible.

©2009 Dave Eggers; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"Imagine Charles Dickens, his sentimentality in check but his journalistic eyes wide open, roaming New Orleans after it was buried by Hurricane Katrina ... Eggers's tone is pitch-perfect - suspense blended with just enough information to stoke reader outrage and what is likely to be a typical response: How could this happen in America?" (Timothy Egan, The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1035 )
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4.2 (587 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 09-26-09
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 09-26-09 Member Since 2010
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    "terrific book about a stunning failure"

    Difficult to believe what happened here could actually happen in America. Nonetheless, Eggers tells a very descriptive story about how one man got caught in a vortex of bureaucratic incompetence in the weeks after Katrina.

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chrissie Brussels, Belgium 05-27-13
    Chrissie Brussels, Belgium 05-27-13 Member Since 2016
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    "One family's experiences during Katrina"

    I do not think I am the one to judge this book. I am not an American. I am not a Muslim. I am not religious and lack the faith spoken of in this book. Furthermore, I do not think this book adequately looks at what happened before, during and after Katrina. It studies one family’s experiences, only that. Zeitoun disobeyed the mandatory evacuation order.

    Nothing wrong with the narration by Firdous Bamji.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Curatina Moab 02-14-13
    Curatina Moab 02-14-13 Member Since 2017
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    "A Glimpse Into Another World"

    I listened to this book quite a while ago, and loved it. I was surprised to see reviews complaining that there were too many unnecessary details. I felt this was a bit like saying there were too many notes in a symphony.

    I liked the book because it was essentially the story about people I don't know and don't see in America. It was compelling because it is the story of a woman to converted to Islam on her on accord and then later met and married an Islamic man. These are people I would never meet except through a book like this. I didn't find the story of their lives at all boring. Perhaps it is because I am a woman. Women and families are as interesting to me as big events and crisis.

    Then there is the horror of Katrina and Zeitoun's disappearance. I did not know things like this happened during Katrina. I did not know that American citizens could be subjected to this treatment. What was inspiring to me was Zeitoun's wife. Her love, her determination, her refusal to be passive inspired me.

    This is a good book. It's on sale right now. Buy it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gwenn 07-05-12
    Gwenn 07-05-12
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    "Fabulous Reading"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Zeitoun to be better than the print version?

    The audio edition is performed by a man who has excellent pronunciation of the Arabic names and words, and has a musical voice. Wonderfully story-telling voice.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Zeitoun and his wife are the main characters, and they are noble and good and stout-of-heart. You follow Zeitoun from the bliss of his freedom to the frustratingly illogical imprisonment; he is always a sympathetic character. The story made this listener angry at the injustice and ignorance on display in the aftermath of Katrina's destruction of New Orleans.


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

    His clear well-accented pronunciation and his musical voice. He is excellent at portraying all the different men's voices, and very good with the women's voices. Firdous Bamji has story-telling magic in his voice - I could listen (and did) for hours.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Naomi BRONX, NY, United States 02-19-12
    Naomi BRONX, NY, United States 02-19-12 Listener Since 2009
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    "A postapocalyptic tale that is all too real"

    The is a true story of a man named Abdulrahman Zeitoun and his experiences when he stayed in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Eggers wants to outrage us, and he succeeds by telling it straight, piling detail upon detail, and treating his protagonists--Zeitoun, his wife Kathy, their friends and family, and the people they encountered during this period--with respect and caring.

    The story is simple. Zeitoun, a Syrian Muslim who has immigrated to the US, settled in New Orleans, and built a successful and well-respected contracting business, chooses to stay in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina floods the city to watch over his property and do what he can to help other residents. His wife, Kathy, chooses to flee the city with their 4 children, but the 2 are able to keep in touch regularly until he suddenly disappears. The circumstances of his disappearance, the efforts of Kathy and Zeitoun's farflung but loving Syrian relatives to find out what happened to him, and the ultimate resolution are described in simple, unpretentious, but elegant prose -- and yes -- things like this are not supposed to happen in the USA.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Starlet SAN CARLOS, CA, United States 06-13-11
    Starlet SAN CARLOS, CA, United States 06-13-11 Member Since 2015

    100% of the books I read are in audible format. I enjoy reading apocalyptic, WWII, psychology, classics, contemporary and non-fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Story is all I can say"

    I just finished Zeitoun and I highly recommend it. I thought I had an idea of what their Katrina-related story was about -- I listened to an NPR program where he and his wife were the guest speakers and I listened to the NPR This American Life episode on the Katrina. aftermath...however prepared I thought I was -- and sort of dreaded listening, I did not know the extent of the Zeitoun's story. It is something else -- you can only say, "in America, this happened?" Out of context, one would think that the location was in a third world country...incredible, sad, but the Zeitoun’s have a story to tell and in the end, they are sanguine, still, about their future, about the United States. It is a family story, actually, and not that difficult to read -- it does pick up into the meatier more exciting material midway, but one needs to know about the family history to become connected -- sort of a must read, I think. I thought the narration was excellent, too.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shari 01-05-10
    Shari 01-05-10
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    "Excellent and unexpected"

    Excellent historic with very little fiction. Full of surprises and a unique view of a well publicised disaster.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David E. Corbin Omaha, NE 09-23-09
    David E. Corbin Omaha, NE 09-23-09 Member Since 2015

    dcorbin

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    "Eggers is a great storyteller"

    Dave Eggers knows how to tell a story. The story is compelling and thought provoking. This story confirms that old adage that the truth is stranger than fiction. The narration is spot on.

    9 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    03-22-10
    03-22-10 Listener Since 2008
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    "Zeitoun"

    After reading this well written book- I experienced a change in my heart. It provided knowledge that I had forgotten and renewed my love for all of God's people.
    I had three good friends of the Moslem faith during my college days. I dated one young man studing to be a physician and he was a good friend. We never discussed religion because we knew we did not agree. We had fun and he was a good man.
    After 9-11 my heart changed and I felt a resentment toward the people I saw cheering in the streets on TV. The resentment suddenly spread to all people of the Moslem faith. The feelings were not hate but anger and a blaming this group of people for the events. I think many American feel this way and really do not realize that there are so many wonderful Moslem people in the USA that are a great asset to all of us. Just as we have American that do awful things, the same is true of all Religious groups.
    The Moslem people are good people that love and care for their families and for others.
    After reading this book I felt shame for my feelings and knew I was wrong in my judgements toward this Faith. It was healing to my soul and I highly encourage others to read this book. I am a better American and person.

    16 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jill Micheau San Ramon, CA USA 02-27-10
    Jill Micheau San Ramon, CA USA 02-27-10 Member Since 2015

    JMM in CA

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    "I expected more from Dave..."

    I love Dave Eggers' stuff, but this was flat out boring. Chapter upon chapter of hand wringing and describing how Kathy waits for the phone to ring... Arghhh... I'm only finishing this listen out of apathy. Not recommended.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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