Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala

4 Stars
“Nobody is really telling how old they are anymore. All we are knowing is that, before the war we are children and now we are not.”

First, I have to admit finishing this book on Veteran’s Day is some seriously f*&^%d up timing. Second, this is a story that is written in a type of “Pidgin English” – you’re either going to go with the flow of it or you’re going to hate it. Third, I thought this was a memoir. I had no idea it was written by a dude who grew up in America and went to Harvard. Sometimes it pays to know nearly nada before starting a book.

I came across Beasts of No Nation due to my non-book-reading-husband’s recommendation. He’s a movie buff/Netflix addict and had watched the film version a week or so ago. He also never tells me what I should read because he knows my TBR already extends to infinity and beyond. When he said this was a must read I knew I had to get it ASAP.

This is the story of Agu, the son of a teacher growing up in a West African village . . .

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When word of war begins to spread, the villagers pack up their wives and daughters and send them to a refugee camp. It isn’t long before the rumors of war become a terrifying reality and the adult men, including Agu’s father, are forced to “dance” by the TAKA TAKA TAKA of the machine guns – leaving only the young boys behind . . .

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The remainder of the story is about Agu’s life as a child soldier . . . .

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and it’s a real heartbreaker . . .

“I am not saying many thing because I am knowing too many terrible thing to be saying to you. I am seeing more terrible thing than ten thousand men and I am doing more terrible thing than twenty thousand men. So, if I am saying these thing, then it will be making me to sadding too much . . . I am wanting to be happy in this life because of everything I am seeing. I am just wanting to be happy.”

Luckily it’s short. It took me three days to read it as is because I had to keep putting it away. I didn’t cry (since I have no soul), but it did mess with my head more than a little bit. It’s that powerful. It’s also a book that I think should be a required read in high school. Especially high schools of privileged children who will never have to worry about what is for dinner, where they will sleep, or wonder who will come crawling into their bed at night.

Now before I downward spiral myself into head-in-the-oven mode, let’s end on a good note . . .

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Dear People Who Are Choosing The Next James Bond: If you don’t pick Idris Elba y’all can just . . .

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