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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

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  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall

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

  • Overall

What?

This is obviously a book for the USA haters; good job on that. What has the main character being a Muslim have to do with Katrina? I don't appreciate being hit over the head with a sledge hammer.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Barry
  • Petaluma, CA, United States
  • 09-20-12

Kafka never had it this bad

Anyone who doubts that a police state is possible in America should read this book. All it takes is for something to be declared an emergency and civil rights go out the window. This book describes in detail the real life story of how the US Government destroyed the lives of the Zeitoun family. Nothing in Kafka compares to the faceless bureaucracy the Zeitouns had to fight. I am still waiting to hear the Government come forth with anything resembling an adequate apology. I am still waiting for the individuals responsible to bear any of the consequences for their actions. Sadly, as I write this, time has shown that the consequences for the Zeitouns ran much deeper than Mr. Eggers guessed at when he wrote this book. Abdulrahman Zeitoun has paid a terrible price for the way the US Government has treated him.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • KP
  • Oakland, CA
  • 02-05-10

a good read!

Great book! I suppose one reason I say that is because I usually don't find myself drawn to non-fiction; it's just not compelling reading in general. HOWEVER, this book reads like a novel. I think it's in the category called "creative non-fiction." So the power of the story combined with the fact that it's TRUE make it a knock out. Another thing that makes the story so powerful is the way Eggers builds suspense. It starts in the beginning, but also there is a switch that takes place about half way through the book, and then the suspense and the drama really take off!! I also like the way the book makes such a powerful statement about parts of our country, but it does it through telling the story of ONE FAMILY. It is such a human, not a political, story, and that made all the difference for me. I previously read Eggers memoir and didn't like it, so I was pleasantly surprised with this one!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Markey
  • Browns Mills, NJ, United States
  • 03-25-10

Wasted Audio Credit

Based on a true story I expected this book to show some bravery and heroism. What I heard were stubborn people making very bad choices and then living with the results of their decisions. The book was also very contradictory in places. First making statements then proving those statements wrong later in the book. It was completely uninspiring from
the writing to the storyline to the narration. Finally finishing the book I am actually still
upset enough to write this review. Don't waste your time or Audio Credit, it's just not worth it.

6 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • MargoS
  • Indianapolis, IN, USA
  • 12-01-17

A Must Read book.

What a great book, to this actually happened is beyond me. It's a must read!!!

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  • Performance
  • Story

really good book. happy this was a required readin

hey... that's pretty good. loved it. amazing that this is all true. amazing book yall

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  • Story

better than I expected

I love New Orleans. I've visited many times. After Katrina, the school I worked at ran numerous find raisers and staff joined rebuilding efforts. This book told aspects of that event from an intensely personal perspective. I enjoyed the writing and the portrayal of Muslims. I was shocked and sad about other parts of the story, but overall, it was very well done and narrated just right.

  • Overall
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amazing

An amazing story where empathy and strong morals triumph and shine through darkness with the light of humanity.

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  • Story

Hope after miscarriage of justice

This story wrenched my heart, but I loved the attention to detail and care Egger did with this family's horrific ordeal. Yet another instance of our government dehumanizing its citizenry in their time of great need, as it does with our military-prison-industrial complex. How police used FEMA money for these injustices reminds me of what North Dakota is doing at Standing Rock.

All this aside, this story makes me want to meet Zeitoun's family.