WHAT IS THE WHAT Author:Dave Eggers What is the What is an epic novel about the lives of two boys during the Sudanese civil war. For those who think they know about the so-called Lost Boys of Sudan, this novel will be an eye-opener. And if you think you know the work of Dave Eggers, this is in many ways a complete departure: it's straightforward and unflinching, and yet ful... more »l of unexpected humor and adventure amid the madness of war. Eggers has been working on the book for four years now, deeply entrenched in the community of Sudanese refugees in the U.S., and in 2003 went to southern Sudan with a refugee named Valentino Achak Deng. During that trip, Deng was reunited with the family he hadn't seen in 17 years. What is the What is a book about the lives of these two boys -- one, at seven, too young to know what's happening to his country; the other, at ten, old enough to fight for the rebel army. Through it all, the two boys persevere through one of the most brutal civil wars the world has ever known, finding themselves in one unbelievable, utterly surreal situation after another. What is the What is thought-provoking, exciting, and repeatedly heartbreaking. Presented unabridged on 17 CDs.« less
The story has resonated with me for over a year since i first read it. I gave five copies as gifts b/c it is so moving. It's "fiction from truth" the stories of many Lost Boys of Sudan all rolled up into one.
My friend's student, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide who is now a US college student, once told her during a fire drill "I didn't walk halfway across Rwanda to die in a fire at school"
that's what this book is about, w/out the humor. To survive the most horrendous experiences that these boys did, then to end up victims of crime and "the system" in America - it's heartbreaking - and at the same time, inspirational.
Read it, share it, remember it, and do something for others.
I don't think the Book Description or the other two reviews encapsulate what this book is really about. Its just about one boy and his journey and the things he sees along the way. If you know about the lost boys you will figure it would just be tragic, but it is a pleasure to read because of Valentino Achak Deng's voice. You won't be sorry to read this worthwhile novel.
An amazing story of a boy growing up in the midst of social chaos created by civil war in Africa. One aspect which made the story interesting is the reflection of the past in Africa as a child with the present in the US as an adult.
I read this book for a school assignment (at a really amazing expeditionary learning school) and really enjoyed it. It was a heartbreaking and yet intriguing story about a man who experienced far more brutality than most do. I am biased as I take special interest in the character's country of origin, it is very informational in terms of culture, both in his country of origin and in the United States. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to better understand what's going on in the international and even local community.
This is not a story about TWO boys...it is primarily concerned with one. Valentino, one of the Lost Boys of the Sudan, is the focus of this book from the beginning to the end.
Don't be intimidated if you know little about the conflict in the Sudan. The plot is easy to follow and well explained.
This was one of the most amazing, thought provoking, well-written books I have read in a long time. I emerged with a better understanding of Africa, the absurdity of American culture to much of the world, human rights, and the inexhaustible human spirit. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Mine is going on my keeper shelf.