Deb's Reviews > What Is the What

What Is the What by Dave Eggers
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's review
Aug 19, 2008

really liked it
Read in August, 2008

This fictionalized biography covers the story of Achak Deng, a Lost Boy of Sudan from his life in Sudan, to his escape to Ethiopia and Kenya and then his life in the US. Deng's life is filled with tragedies on top of tragedies, and Eggers holds nothing back. We learn about his collective losses, fear, victimization and ultimately neglect in US systems.

The story is stripped bare, and it evoked strong emotional responses (scan the reviews on goodreads). Understanding the conflicts in Sudan and the impact they have on millions of people is exceedingly important, and the book serves as a perfect tool for educating an American audience.

Several of the stylistic approaches that Eggers chose left me frustrated. Some of the stylistic elements felt clumsy, but the story was compelling enough to keep me engaged.

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