Steve Duong's Reviews > Zeitoun

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
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Dec 16, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: big-picture-301
Read from December 01 to 14, 2010

Recommended by my adviser Ed over a year ago. I have finally read Zeitoun and I think it's pretty good. It's raw, no-bullshit non-fiction at it's best.

The Zeitouns are a successful Muslim family in the suburbs of New Orleans and the owners of a prominent company. The story begins soon after Hurricane Katrina forms and two days before it actually hits New Orleans and becomes one of the most spiritually damaging natural disasters in American history. Mr. Zeitoun is a native Syrian who moved to new Orleans in his late twenties to settle down and start a family. There he met Kate, at the time, a single mother struggling to make ends meet with a job that didn't support enough financially.

As the storm slowly approaches the gulf of Mexico, standard precautions fogs the local media but the Zeitouns like many of the native residents of New Orleans was less then concerned. Much too common does a a hurricane or tornado make the news but disperse before coming into contact with the American states. This one didn't seem so different. Time slowly serves Hurricane Katrina growing power and now state wide evacuations were recommended for everyone to embark. Katy, along with her four children take it upon themselves to leave and find refuge with Kate's family as Zeitoun stays to tend the family business, much to Katy's discretion. What happens next between August 30- September 29, 2005 is an experience of heroic ambition, punctuated by hints of racial injustices that will leave you questioning "What did we do wrong?" in our efforts to save a city called New Orleans.
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