A review by sbossen
What Is the What, by Dave Eggers


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.