Carla's Reviews > A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
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's review
Oct 08, 2008

really liked it
Read in March, 2009

Mr. Beah did visit my School on 3/6/2009 and I missed him (in NYC for a faculty recruiting event). He made quite an impact on the community and I believe that I got a taste of that through his memoir. My guess is that the story would come alive if hearing him tell it in person. I also believe that I would have been in awe of a young man who had traveled (literally and figuratively) so far in his lifetime. The book was well written -- a story of a child who was left with no choice but to fight for his country's army after he was left wandering in the wake of losing his family and village. The brutality of the war, pillaging and disregard for human life was shocking. These children became killing automatons -- their feelings and consciences blunted by drugs, desensitization to human violence and the will to survive. The most memorable part of the book, for me, was Mr. Beah's rehabilitation. His descriptions of detoxing, leaving behind the wanton violence and gaining trust in those that saved him were keenly felt. It is amazing to realize that this young man had something in him that allowed him to survive, speak out against the atrocities, find a new family and graduate from college.
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03/09/2009 page 50
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Nancy (new)

Nancy I brought this book home, intending to read it myself. Tom read it first and told me he thought I couldn't handle it: too much graphic violence. You'll have to let me know. I noticed the author spoke at Hopkins. How was that?

Carla So far, I am liking the book. Unfortunately, I missed the author speaking at Hopkins (I was at a faculty recruiting event in Boston). My children really liked him, though, and I heard positive comments from other members of the community.

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