Reviews

What Is the What, by Dave Eggers

madtnation's review

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adventurous dark emotional informative inspiring sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.75

meaganchurch's review

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5.0

Moving, heart wrenching and absolutely beautiful. It's simply told, but it's a story that will touch you at your deepest part...at your very core. Challenging and perspective shifting.

brandijm's review

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5.0

An incredible book. No words really, just so incredible. 12/10

sbossen's review against another edition

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4.0

Excellent book about the suffering of the Sudanese that is playing out even now as those in Southern Sudan vote to become their own country. This is a heartbreaking story of hope of a young boy who turns into a man during terrifying times. His story is all too similar to the fate of so many other young boys. The depth of evil to which people and governments are capable of is truly eye-opening.
The main problem with the book is that it is a fictionalized story that could be the example for the experience of thousands of these 'lost boys'. Nor is it an autobiography, the reader does not know which is truth and which is fiction or where the voice of Achak ends and David Eggers begins. Apparently the reason it was fictionalized is that Achak fled his village when only around 6 years old and there where many gaps in his memory which would have made a true autobiography impossible.
However, many of the events in this story are true and I can not recommend this book enough to all.

mrtjsn's review

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adventurous challenging emotional informative sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0

wmainwold's review

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5.0

I would recommend this book to EVERYONE!

It was really good. Long (my version was 530+ pages), but worth it. This book has everything: it will make you laugh, cry, feel sadness and joy and appreciation and shame and leave you with a new perspective on human suffering and, more importantly, the strength of the human spirit. Its beautifully written, engaging, and enlightening. It's also, I think, meant to be a call to action.

There were parts that were very hard to read, and they are mostly concentrated at the beginning of the book. Force your way through these tough parts, as what you will learn and feel at the end of the book is totally worth it!

PS - Eggers is the man for taking so much time learning, reading, and writing this wonderful story, only to have all the proceeds donated away. I love him even more now!

vdsmerel's review

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adventurous dark emotional reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.75

kbhenrickson's review

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5.0

This was an incredibly powerful book, and I realized that I knew almost nothing about Sudan before I read it. Despite all of the terrible ordeals and tragedies, the overall tone of the book is hopeful. Worth reading.

ktuzinski's review

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5.0

Amazing story. This one has stayed with me for days.

raewynsangari's review

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5.0

It's really a good portrayal of what has been going on in Sudan.