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Posts Tagged ‘War’

Book: The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
Pages: 218
Entertainment Rating: 4/5
Snooty Rating: 4/5
Total Rating: 8/10
Books Read Total: 32/50
Pages Read Total: 7066/15,000

A solid story of love, loss, secrets, discovery, horror, and some sort of forgiveness. I found this book very readable and I read it straight through (it even prompted me to spend an extra 20 minutes on the treadmill this morning) but I never quite felt like I got what I was looking for. The plot is great, but I got lost in the execution. I didn’t feel particularly sympathetic or angry or really any sort of emotion, despite the emotionally driven plot, and it seems to me that that’s a fairly significant shortcoming. I wouldn’t say don’t read it, because it is an interesting book, but I can’t quite agree with the LA times when they say that it “ensnares both heart and mind”. Unless maybe my heart is made of stone (which we know is not the case from the emotional gushing that sometimes appears on this blog).

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Book: A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
Pages: Audiobook
Entertainment Rating: N/A
Snooty Rating: 5/5
Total Rating: 10/10
Books Read Total: 18/50
Pages Read Total: 3188/15,000

This book will blow your mind. It will probably give you nightmares, and if you have any soul at all it will make you cry. It will make your stomach turn, your heart ache, and your palms sweat. There will be times when you absolutely must put the book down and walk away, but I promise you it is worth it. I cannot describe this book to you in any way that will do it justice, but I beg you to read it.

From the website:
A gripping story of a child’s journey through hell and back.

There may be as many as 300,000 child soldiers, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s, in more than fifty conflicts around the world. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them. He is one of the first to tell his story in his own words.

In A LONG WAY GONE, Beah, now twenty-six years old, tells a riveting story. At the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, 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. Eventually released by the army and sent to a UNICEF rehabilitation center, he struggled to regain his humanity and to reenter the world of civilians, who viewed him with fear and suspicion. This is, at last, a story of redemption and hope.

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