A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah

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A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah

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Ene 30, 2014, 11:58 am

I picked this up because of a reading challenge at my local library, I did what I always do at libraries, went to the section I needed, walked past and let some invisible string draw me to a book. There are questions on Amazon about if the author is telling the truth or not, but for me that isn't as much the issue here. Suggesting that his personal credibility degrades the book is like saying that the war and those young soldiers never existed in the first place. This story is one that has to be told, and could be about anyone so long as the feeling is conveyed, which was beautifully done. I ignore the doubters and share the book with you here.

The only thing that consoled him, for a few seconds at least, was when the woman who had embraced him, and now cried with him, told him that at least he would have the chance to bury them. He would always know where they were laid to rest, she said. She seemed to know a little more about war than the rest of us. p13

This was one of the consequences of the civil war. People stopped trusting each other, and every stranger became an enemy. Even people who knew you became extremely careful about ow they related or spoke to you. p37
There are more instances of this in the book, where people actually become afraid to see children in the distance. It just brings reality to the front, really.

I was glad to see other faces and at the same time disappointed that the war ahd destroyed the enjoyment of the very experience of meeting people. p48

"Every time people come at us with the intention of killing us, I close my eyes and wait for death. Even though I am still alive, I feel like each time I accept death, part of me dies. Very soon I will completely die and all that will be left is my empty body walking with you. It will be quieter than I am." p70
Saidu talking of their experiences.

We walked fast as if trying to stay in the daytime, afraid that nightfall would turn over the uncertain pages of our lives. p88

Talking about going to get the visa to come to visit america for a conference... He was perplexed at the fact that the person doing the paperwork talked with glass separating her from the people who came to her and didn't look at them on top of that separation.
"Do you have any guarantee that you will come back to your home country?" I was thinking, when she continued, "Do you have any property, a bank account that will guarantee your return?"

I frowned. Do you know anything about people's lives in this country? I thought of asking her. If she could only look at me directly, perhaps she wouldn't have asked the last two questions.