Jeffrey Zeldman's Reviews > Zeitoun

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
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Feb 19, 2010

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Read from February 19 to July 27, 2010

This is a wonderful book, an important book, but I'm finding it impossible to finish because the injustice it chronicles enrages me. It tells the story of an amazing man who chose to stay behind during Hurricane Katrina, saved the lives of his neighbors, and then ended up in a cell because he is Muslim. Zeitoun was eventually freed—I know this. But it still kills me to read what happened to him, his wife, his kids, in our country. I also know, we all know, he is not the only man locked up for being Muslim. Zeitoun is a good man and remains forgiving and optimistic. But his story makes me furious, and the book makes it too real. I need to take a break.

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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Aaron Gustafson I'm glad you like the book. It is a painful, distressing read, but so well done. I'm currently reading What Is the What (another fictionalized biography by Eggars) and it is very much the same: emotionally draining but a riveting read.

Kimberley Jeffrey, I knom how you feel. I just finished it and I am soooo angry and afraid that this could happen to anyone in this country.

Deena I also thought of not finishing the book because the injustice so enraged me, but I had to finish it in preparation for a book club discussion. So interesting to see that, in the end, it isn't so much that Zeitoun is Muslim that subjects him to this travesty as the horrible incompetence of the government response to the disaster. To some a great extent all people of color were in the path of this juggernaut.

message 4: by Dave (new) - added it

Dave The current reality for Zeitoun is even more disturbing -

Judy Elliott I really appreciated this book and yes I was enraged by what it chronicled. NOT IN MY COUNTRY!!! However, I have since googled Dave Eggers and found an update on Mr. Zeitoun that is equally disturbing--spousal abuse, attempted murder. It really made me look at the story in an entirely different light. I realize I need not to be so gullible.

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