Greg's Reviews > Zeitoun

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
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's review
Jul 22, 2015

really liked it
bookshelves: mcsweeney-s
Read from June 07 to 18, 2011

Eggers' style always makes for an easy read. It's quick and jumps from perspective to perspective often enough to keep you engaged but not so much that you get confused. He's got a great story here, and I found myself almost dreading reading more as it built up to the enivitable disaster, for both the city and the protagonists. You just know something awful's going to happen to Zeitoun, and as much as you dread it, you want to know what it is.

I can't even begin to describe how depressed and upset this can make you about the whole response to Katrina by the government and by people in general. Far too many people saw the disaster as an opportunity to beneift themselves, whether in pretending to be important as "first responders" who really didn't know how to respond, or by the government's failure to plan for or envision how out of control parts of the populace and parts of the government itself could get. Or by those who took the opportunity to loot. And of course Zeitoun, who should have left with his family when he had the chance. The message gets through: you don't just discard the rules when disaster strikes--we created those rules for a reason.

As always, Eggers keeps you rooted to the story and gives just enough background and insight to keep you reading about people caught up in horrible circulstances (as he did marvelously in What is the What, also excellent). A really great, easy read about a tremendous failure on many levels.

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06/07/2011 page 76
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