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A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (2007)

de Ishmael Beah

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaConversas / Menções
6,1072931,204 (4.02)1 / 250
This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s. Children have become soldiers of choice. In the more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But until now, there has not been a first-person account from someone who came through this hell and survived. Ishmael Beah, now 25 years old, tells how at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he'd been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts.--From publisher description.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 293 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
his writing is actually quite good. (this falls maybe somewhere between my tags of 'general' and 'literary' even.) it's beautiful in parts, which is interesting both because of the subject matter and how english isn't his first language.

this is an important an awful story, but in the end it's one of hope. my problem with it, and why i didn't rate it higher, is that we don't really get a clear picture of how that hope manifests. we see him go from soldier to civilian, and the months in between where he starts to become himself again. but during that time we aren't really shown how he is rehabilitated at all. he gets to be a spokesperson for how it's possible to rehabilitate children after war, but i don't have any idea how that was made to happen for him and his fellow soldiers/friends. i also would have liked him to take the story just another few months forward, of him getting to new york and what it was like to move here, to find a mother figure after losing so many family members, etc. all together this feels like something big is missing in this book for me. still, that resilience he has, and the abundant joy that is in his face in the author photo, is remarkable. ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | Jan 8, 2021 |
Ishmael Beah's memoir tells the story of his time as a boy soldier who was forcibly conscripted to fight during the civil war in Sierra Leone in the 1990s. It's a compelling story, albeit one delivered in prose that's often flattened and vague and which often skitters past what would seem to be powerful opportunities for reflection and change. How much of that is the result of Beah's having spent those years on a powerful cocktail of drugs, and how much of it is Beah's unwillingness (inability?) to truly relive what—if this account is to be believed—must have been the killing of dozens of people? I certainly can't imagine what fortitude it must take to come through such experiences with one's sanity intact.

It should be noted, however, that there have been claims that these issues may be the result of Beah's having exaggerated or even falsified part of his narrative—most particularly an incident that Beah describes occurring at a UNICEF camp. (A much smaller point, but I myself found it difficult to believe that a precocious child who liked to discuss Shakespeare and to recite soliloquies from Hamlet had never heard the English word "snow" before first arriving in New York City.) ( )
  siriaeve | Dec 29, 2020 |
This is a tough one, because it's a powerful story and important subject matter. The writing was actually really beautiful too, but overall I was meh on it. I've read war memoirs in the past and felt like this one fell short a bit. I ended up not finishing it due to some reviews I'd heard about the end. I just felt like this story has been done better by other authors. So I'd recommend it but I didn't love it.
  JustZelma | Dec 20, 2020 |
This memoir tells the incredible story of Ishmael, a young child who is forced to be a boy soldier in Ghana. It does a phenomenal job of explaining how innocence can turn to cruelty and the incredible trauma experienced by children who were forced to commit horrific acts. It is a honest and truly harrowing tale that made me sob on multiple occasions. ( )
  dafnab | Oct 21, 2020 |
An amazing story, I highly recommend this book. ( )
  baruthcook | Aug 26, 2020 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 293 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
The book, A Long Way Gone: Memoir of a Boy Soldier, is a story about how a boy at a young age had to witness something major that was taking place in Africa, his homeland. This leave the audience shocked because he explains what he went through as a child and how it affected him as the war went by. For the ones who have read this book understand the struggle that the main character, Ishmael, Ishmael Beah, went through. He was separated from his family and was taken in by the group who would kill the rebels to survive. The rebels are known as the ones who started the war.
adicionado por Kayla_Tovar | editarBook, Kayla Tovar (Dec 17, 2018)
 
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To the memories of Nya Nje, Nya Keke, Nya Ndig-ge isa, and Kaynya. Your spririts and presence within me give me strength to carry on,

to all the children of Sierra Leone who were robbed of their childhoods,

and to the memory of Walter (Wally) Scheuer for his generous and compassionate heart and for teaching me the etiquette of being a gentleman
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This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s. Children have become soldiers of choice. In the more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But until now, there has not been a first-person account from someone who came through this hell and survived. Ishmael Beah, now 25 years old, tells how at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he'd been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts.--From publisher description.

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