Sunday, December 14, 2008
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a boy solider. My Book Review.
I grabbed this book in the airport just the other day. It looked like an interesting read, but I hadn't heard of it, so I had my usual apprehension about dropping too much money in an airport book store. A Long Way Gone is a firsthand account of a boy's life as a solder during the civil war that fractured Sierra Leone in the early nineties.
Ishmael Beah was just 13 years old when he was "recruited" into the army and given an AK-47. He had lost his entire family to brutal killings by rebel soldiers. They were burned alive, locked in their huts just a short time before Ishmael was to reunite with them. His only hope for survival was the army. Hopped up on cocaine and other stimulants, Ishmael saw and did unimaginable things during that war. Things he should have never known.
It's a story of love, hate, war, and finally, a bit of hope. It takes you from the lowest depths of humanity, to the highest highs.
I had trouble putting this book down. It's well written and a quick read. But it leaves you with lasting memories. Not all of them good.