"If you can write, that's great. If you can tell a story, that's even greater. But if you can work a resilient premise into both, you're worth digging to find."

Saturday, February 24, 2018

A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

Synopsis: Memoir of a child soldier recounting his traumatic ordeal fighting a civil war in Sierra Leone.

Writing Style: First person, gripping.

Pacing: Fast.

Personal Highlights: It was not easy reading about a child innocently headed to one of many trips he and friends trekked to perform (down with the OPP) talent shows, to wend up reading...what felt like on the very next page... that same young boy and his friends and brother, being chased into a war staged in a theatre of the Armageddon feel.

Overall I especially appreciated the vivid visuals; Ishmael’s family, the customs and cuisine, the incredible sounds and topography. The writing is detailed, thoroughly conscripted from a child’s eye, and sparing embellishments, believable. It was as hard to read this book, as it was to put down. The rich storytelling brought this deeply troubling, but compelling testimony off the page. A recommended must.

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