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What Is the What
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 »
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ISBN-13: 9781602832626
ISBN-10: 1602832625
Publication Date: 10/12/2007
Edition: Unabridged
  • Currently 4.6/5 Stars.

4.6 stars, based on 4 ratings
Publisher: BBC Audiobooks America
Book Type: Audio CD
Other Versions: Paperback, Hardcover
Members Wishing: 2
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed What Is the What on
Helpful Score: 5
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.
reviewed What Is the What on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
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.
reviewed What Is the What on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed What Is the What on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
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reviewed What Is the What on
This unabridged audio recording is outstanding.

The novel begins with a bit of a disclaimer from someone who says it is mostly his story, with a mix of the stories of others from his cohort in Sudan, explaining that the result is a novel.

I can only respond as a listener to the story (having gotten the book on CD), and I recommend it to anyone who can put up with some of the descriptions of atrocities during war.

The larger part of the story is of optimism and perseverance in during part of a lifetime.

Pat I.