Wednesday, March 21, 2007

NYT Notable Review: Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala

A horrible and shocking little book. At 142 pages, it sure packs a wallop, and is a book I probably won't forget for a long, long time. Set in an unnamed African country, it is the story of a young boy who is conscripted to be a soldier in some unnamed war. Placed in a terrible dilemma - go along with the soldiers or die - you journey with him into hell.

One of the difficult things about reading this book is that it is written as the character would think -- in other words, in a type of pidgin English. You get used to it very quickly, but here's a small sample:

This darkness is so full like it is my mother's hug. Heya! I am remembering my mother and how she is so good to me that each time she is hugging me that is all I am needing to see the dark skin of her arm holding me close to her and I am knowing that the life I am living is so good. I am walking with my hand stretching out in front of me because I am trying to catch all of those thought that is floating around me so I can make sure no part of me is missing.

On a side note, the author of this book - notable by the New York Times, was born in 1982. So that's what it's come to. I'm reading books by people born when I was in high school. Boy, do I feel old.

3 comments:

Orange Blossom Goddess (aka Heather) said...

The type of book that would have me crying after the first page.

MyUtopia said...

That's cool. My brain wants to read faster, but it is hard to read. It looks and sounds interesting.

Anglophile said...

i saw the author speak of this book twice, once in seattle and once in nyc and he was amazing.if you can ever hear him he is worth the listen.