God Grew Tired of Us: A Memoir
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God Grew Tired of Us: A Memoir

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4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  1,583 ratings  ·  191 reviews
"Lost Boy" John Bul Dau’s harrowing experience surviving the brutal horrors of Sudanese civil war and his adjustment to life in modern America is chronicled in this inspiring memoir and featured in an award-winning documentary film of the same name. Movingly written, the book traces Dau’s journey through hunger, exhaustion, terror, and violence as he fled his homeland, dod...more
Paperback, 287 pages
Published January 22nd 2008 by National Geographic (first published January 16th 2007)
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Daniel
I have some really mixed opinions here. Take a quick look at the general tone of ratings and reviews on this book, and you will arrive at the unmistakable conclusion that this is a profoundly moving book. I agree wholeheartedly. The story of the Lost Boys of Sudan is powerful and tragic, and this first-person retelling of those events carries a moral weight that can't easily be denied. What fuels my mixed response is the close-mindedness that occupies the latter parts of the book.

The first half...more
Camille
Having been friends with a 'Lost Boy' who didn't talk about his past, I enjoyed reading John's memoir because it gave me a feel for the similar events which brought my friend to Utah.

I also liked his perspective on the USA as a whole. So many of us take our freedom for granted and fail to accept responsibility for our success or lack there of. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in what is wrong and forget how many great people live here who freely give of their time, talents, and money to he...more
Caitlin M
After reading God Grew tired of Us by John Bul Dau, the reader comes to understand that great help can come from the most foreign of places and that a difficult childhood does not mean that a person won't succeed in life. This book was a memoir of John Bul Dau's life as a lost boy. There were not any other major characters, just a few friends he made on his journeys. He was a part of the Dinka tribe in Sudan, and when the Djellabas attacked his village in 1987, he was forced to flee from his hom...more
Eliza

In God Grew Tired of us by John Bul Dau John wants to reconnect with his family after leaving Africa because of the wars but, it is too dangerous to turn back so, he waits until he is in the United States and has the resources to connect with his family. One way this book was very different than most was the action or the cause took place at the beginning and the rest of the book was effects. the weakness of this book was it was never interesting enough I didn't want to put it down, or at least...more
Narasimhan
Very interesting and thought provoking.
Its a kind of biography of John.
John is from Sudan.In his childhood at his 11th year or so,his village was bombed by Muslim militants and he ran for his life.Its all about his journey to save his life till he reached America as a refugee and established his living hood.

The story would move our heart..It just shows of the contrast..When he ran for the life,he was around 11yrs..1981..ethnic warfare started spreading Sudan completely.His village was bombed and...more
Joanne
This is an excellently written autobiography of John Bul Dau, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. His experiences as a refugee, his struggles in America, and his eventual triumphs make for an riveting story. I have used this book, and the Movie based on this book in my classroom as part of a unit on the Lost Boys. My students are riveted and really develop a desire to take action and to try and help other refugees after learning about John Bul Dau and the other Lost Boys.
Roni
Feb 24, 2008 Roni rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Roni by: Maureen Keene (my boss)
This is an amazing story of one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. It is amazing that things like this are still happening. It was an eye opener for me. There is a large population of Sudanese refugees in the Denver area. A family was recently baptized into my ward that fled the Sudan and Egypt. I was the mother's visiting teacher and the girls I got to know in Young Women's. I never really talked about the pain that they had to go through to get to America, but I was glad that I was aware of what they...more
Julie
This is the amazing journey of John Bul Dau, one of the Lost Boys of the Sudan. He, along with tens of thousands of other children (mostly boys) was dispossessed during the civil war of the mid-1980s and became a "wanderer in the desert" for the better part of 15 years -- hungry, thirsty, often fearing for his life, living each day as if it would be his last. I cannot imagine being to able to survive such a life -- let alone survive it with integrity and joy. It's the "joy" of it that truly has...more
Jill
An amazing story. I had the privilege of meeting him and hearing him speak- what a great spirit. Some books deserve to be read not because the authors are great writers but because the story is worth knowing. This is one of those.
Lydia
LOVED this book. I had no idea the recent history of Sudan. So it was enlightening plus I was amazed at the John's attitude and abilities throughout. This is his autobiography of that time of his life. I am glad I bought this one as it is one I will love having on my bookshelf.
Tiffany
An excellent read about the lost boys of Sudan. I was skeptical at first, but really enjoyed the story as well as learning about another culture. I learned that hard things are still happening all over the world today, even though most of the time I am oblivious to a lot of it.
Rachel
The story of one of the Lost Boys of Sudan- heartbreaking and inspirational- John Bul Dau's story has impacted me in many ways. I appreciated the opinion of the US from an outsider, and how different our culture is from how he grew up. I think everyone should read this book.
Davis Aujourd'hui
This is an amazing tale of the lost boys of Sudan told by a remarkable survivor of the carnage that swept through his homeland. It is a story of the strength of the human spirit. It is truly inspirational.

As the author of a spiritually-themed novel, I am always on the outlook for books that provide food for my soul. This one certainly did it for me! It is an amazing journey of a thirteen year-old boy who loses his family when he has to escape from the ravages of civil war. Following that he ends...more
Rebekah
This book is one of the best books I've ever read. Two summers ago, in summer school, there were a couple students who had come to the US from Sudan. One of these youngsters was having a very hard time from all she had seen and adjusting to this new home and culture. I had previously heard of the Lost Boys, but never really heard much. I started researching a little and reading about this part of the world. I rented the movie documentary of the same title, but reading John's story was even more...more
Rock Angel
this review pertain to the movie (documentary) by the same name.

The movie got a 4.5 star rating. If I go along with that, then the book "What's the What" (another Sudanese autobio) should get about 40 stars.

To be fair, "God" focused on the Sudanese boys' American life, spending only about 10-15 min on their Sudanese history, whereas "What" spent >3/4 on Valentino Achak Deng's Sudanese days; and that the latter book is almost twice as long as the first.

Still, for a documentary, "God" advocate...more
Ronda
The autobiography of a young man who at 13 yrs old is caught in the war in southern Sudan and separated from his family finding his way to a series of refugee camps and eventually to the U.S. It is helpful to understand more of what is going on in Sudan. Today in a different region of the country the Darfur region is still in turmoil. I would rate this book a 3 1/2 there are slow moving sections, but I enjoyed the ending where he had a chance to reflect on his experiences and to begin trying to...more
Laurie Garcia
John Bul Dau's story of his journey as a Lost Boy and his life in America is a deeply moving, heartwarming and inspirational story. Although he endured many hardships, suffering horrors that I cannot even begin to imagine, he overcame all those obstacles and has done absolutely amazing things with his life. His optimism and outlook on life are so beautiful. His words are very profound. You come away viewing life differently and appreciating the life we have been given that is often taken for gra...more
Andrea
My husband asks "Why do you always read those sad stories?" Maybe I do lean a little towards tragedy, but this book, as well as some of my others, I like to classify as survival. I enjoy reading about other peoples lives, especially when they overcome negative circumstances(in this case - horrific) and continue on to create or continue an amazing life. John Bul Dau did exactly that. We have so much to learn from people like John Bul Dau.
As a Lost Boy, after losing his family in an attack on his...more
Nolan
"I did not say so at the time, but I felt one more thing above all others. It was a private thing, so I did not share it. But I felt, very strongly, the grace of God. I can take no credit for it; grace is not something anyone can earn. Rather, grace opened before me like the door, and I walked through it. I knew I had been blessed. How else could anyone explain the impossible odds I had overcome- the dangers, the miles, the despair. God had not forgotten me after all."- John Bul Dau "The lost bo...more
Louise
Excellent memoir!

From back cover:

"John Bul Dau is a hero, though too modest a man to ever say so himself. When civil war came to his peaceful village, death became his constant companion but never destroyed his belief in the simple strong values of Dinka society. On a life journey spanning thousands of miles from rural Africa to an American university, this born leader has approached each new day as a gift from God and met every challenge with a steadfast spirit that refused to despair. His memo...more
Marcy
I heard about this book from NPR. It is the story of John Bul Dau, a lost boy from Sudan. Interwined is the history of the wars between the north and south of Sudan to provide a comprehensive understanding as to what takes place within the story. Also included are the quotes from the "friends" of John Bul Dau, both Duk Payuel, his childhood home in Sudan, in the surrounding countries where the lost boys stayed for periods of time, and in America, where John Bul Dau presently lives and prospers....more
Tom Carrico





God Grew Tired of Us
By John Bul Dau with Michael S. Sweeney

(Note: John Bul Dau’s God Grew Tired of Us has been selected by the Lynchburg Public Library for 2010’s “Lynchburg Reads” program. There will be book discussions and other public programs offered this spring and Mr. Dau will speak at Randolph College on April 21 at 8:00 P.M. Mr. Dau’s appearance is being funded by The Friends of the Lynchburg Public Library, The Holocaust Education Foundation of Central Virginia and Randolph College.)

“I...more
Nicole Waugh
God Grew Tired Of Us is a beautifully written memoir of John Bul Dau's journey as a Lost Boy of Sudan. It opened my eyes to how bad some others have it in life and makes me thankful for what I have. I have my family. I can’t imagine how these boys felt then or feel now. This memoir is emotional at some times. It gives you the first hand perspective of what it was like.
It starts off with John and his family living in their hut happily in their Dinka tribe. One night they are bombed and John ran...more
Jessica
A moving memoir of a Lost Boy of Sudan who fled his country when his village, Duk Payuel, was attacked. (view spoiler)...more
Candice
An excellent book by one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. It begins when John is just 12 and his village is attacked. He is fortunate to escape with his life but spends years escaping to safe spots and survives horrendous conditions. Eventually John makes his way to the United States where he now lives and runs the John Dau Sudan Foundation to help others in Sudan. It is evident from the book that Mr. Dau loves his new country, but loves his Dinka heritage as well. He has praise for America and Americ...more
Rachel N
Remarkable story. It's hard to give a star rating to such a heart wrenching story. I feel like it forces me to rate the quality of writing as though it was meant for my entertainment. But such a book is not "entertaining." It's a story that must be told and must be heard. In the West, we have NO IDEA of the hardships suffered in war-torn countries like the Sudan. No Idea.

With that said, I would have to give God Grew Tired of Us a 3 for quality of writing, but the story itself - John Bul Dau's a...more
Sheila Callahan
I had seen Christopher Quinn's wonderful documentary about the Lost Boys of Sudan and remember clearly the scenes of one group's arrival in Syracuse, NY, where volunteers took them to a grocery store for the first time, showed them how to flip a light switch, use a stove and all the other wonders that we take for granted in our modern world, so I was a little reluctant to read this memoir, thinking it would be redundant. Boy, was I wrong. John Dau's account begins the night his village was attac...more
Angela
This book was yet another wonderfully written memoir about the genocide/war in Sudan, specifically about the Lost Boys. To learn about the Dinka tribe's culture and traditions and beliefs was lovely. I had no idea that most are Christian, and so this was refreshing to read about because John referenced the bible several times. Previous books I've read about genocide have not been about Christian tribes, but have been just as educational and interesting to read nonetheless, from a different persp...more
Heather
I must say a tear came to my eye more than once as i read this book. Quite amazing what some people must endure for freedom. Not to mention the staggering power of human will.
What i appreciated most of all about this book came at the end. I really appreciated Dau's perspective on America-- our strengths and weaknesses, where we have gone astray, and the results. I won't go into specifics-- its better as an end to the book...
Overall, i thought this read was very thought-provoking. Quite saddenin...more
Sheridan
What courage. What perseverance. Despite experiences unimaginable, John's background rooted in traditions of Ubuntu, pride, and respect, left him still able to grow up to be a man all men should strive to be. His quiet faith is quite remarkable. Add to that his hilarious take on America, its customs and gadgets, and you have a wonderful and inspiration story that really puts life and our purpose into perspective.
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John Dau is a survivor of a 14-year journey from his home village in Duk County, Sudan in 1987 to his arrival in Syracuse, New York in 2001. As a young boy he fled Sudanese government troops and eventually arrived at the Kukuma refugee camp in Kenya in 1992. During this journey of more than 1,000 miles, he led thousands of younger children through violence and starvation. Selected to come to Syrac...more
More about John Bul Dau...
Lost Boy, Lost Girl: Escaping Civil War in Sudan

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“Times slows when your life is in danger. Every second takes a minute to pass, and even the smallest event gets chiseled into memory. (95)” 7 likes
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