Kerri's Reviews > What is the What

What is the What by Dave Eggers
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Jun 04, 08

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, non-fiction
Read in May, 2008

I don't know how I've ended up reading so many heartbreaking humanitarian-type books-- that in some way or another involve Muslims-- in a row. But here's another one. This, by one of my favorite authors, was the fictionalized account of a real life "Lost Boy" who is now an adult in America -- a boy who was displaced from his home and family by the violence of government-incited war, and who walked from one location to the next, until settling in a refugee camp.

The story was engaging, and was informative. I've never been very well versed on the various and complicated conflicts that have happened (and that continue to happen) on that part of the continent, so this helped me understand this part of it a bit more.

The voice in this novel wasn't typical Eggers. There were glimpses of him in its quirky style, but the narrative could have really been written by any competent author. I don't think that "style" would have been appropriate, though. It would probably come off as disrespectful. I appretiated that the ending was open-ended and untidy. It gave me a sense of hope for the man, but also a sense of the real struggles to come.
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