Uzodinma Iweala is impressed by Ishmael Beah's A Long Way Gone, the vivid testimony of a former boy soldier in Sierra Leone. That makes A Long Way Gone all the more gripping.” “A Long Way Gone is one of the most important war stories of our generation Ishmael. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier is a memoir written by Ishmael Beah, an author from Sierra Leone. The book is a firsthand account of Beah's Cover artist: Jennifer Carrow, Michael Kamber.
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It's also where his memories of what he experienced were set up in stark relief to the difficulty of his recovery -- that contrast, and the level of detail that then emerged, made for compelling reading.
In fact, I'm upping from 2 to 3 stars solely based on the redemption the rehabilitation segment offers the story. It made up - to some extent - for flaws 1 and 2.
Maybe the entire story should have been set during the a long way gone period, with flash forwards and flashbacks? Because of some work I am a long way gone right now for an organization working in the field of international development and poverty reduction, I am particularly interested in how to tell these kinds of stories: What level of detail?
What tone and POV?
- A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
- A Long Way Gone - Wikipedia
- A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
Dave Eggers wrote a jacket blurb as did Jon Stewart -- and this book shows me a little why A long way gone approach, as in What Is The What at its heart, a remarkably similar journey and in Zeitoun -- works so well, where this one didn't. It takes a deft writer to manage these literary choices: Maybe that's just me -- maybe I'm asking a memoir to use fictional devices and story-telling techniques and maybe that's just not fair.
Caught by surprise, Ishmael, Junior, and their friend split up and run into the swamps. It is unknown what happens to his friends afterwards.
Review: A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah | Books | The Guardian
Ishmael roams around the wilderness by himself for a while, until he meets up with another group of traveling boys whom he recognizes from his home village. The boys then travel together to another village on the coast.
Many refugees fled to this village because the A long way gone Leone Armed Forces occupied it. In search of safety, the group of boys and Ishmael go to that village, but soon leave. Ishmael then learns from a woman from his hometown that Junior, his younger brother Ibrahim, and his parents are a long way gone in another village with many others from Mattru Jong.
Slaughter of innocence
Just before they reach the village, the boys meet a man named Gasemu whom Ishmael knew from Mattru Jong. Gasemu tells them that Ishmael's family are indeed safe in the village, and ask the boys to help him carry bananas back to that village.
However, moments before they reach the a long way gone, it is attacked by the RUF.
Although their bodies are not found among the dead or in the burning house where they lived, Ishmael assumes that his family is dead. Devastated, and believing that Gasemu is to blame for his not being able to see his family on a long way gone, Ishmael attacks Gasemu but is stopped by the other boys.
They are then chased into the forest by remaining RUF soldiers, and Gasemu dies from being shot, leaving Ishmael more saddened. Recruitment and life as a child soldier[ edit ] The boys then settle into another village protected by the army.
After many uneventful days, the lieutenant in charge of the troops in the village announced that the RUF was beginning to assault the village. The lieutenant said that in order for the people to survive, they must contribute to the war effort by enlisting in the army; escape was not an option.
Ishmael becomes a junior lieutenant for his skill in executing prisoners of war and is put in charge of a small group of other child soldiers. As a child soldier Ishmael is exposed to extreme violence and drug usage.
The drugs he used are described in the book as " brown brown ", "white pills", cocaine, and a long way gone. Rescue and rehabilitation[ edit ] In Januaryduring one of the roll calls, a group of men wearing UNICEF shirts round up several boys and takes them to a shelter in Sierra Leone's capital, Freetownwhere a long way gone and a long way gone other child soldiers are to be rehabilitated.
However, the children cause much trouble for the volunteer staffers at the facility, with Ishmael experiencing symptoms of drug withdrawal as well as troubling memories of his time as a child soldier.
A Long Way Gone: memoirs of a boy soldier by Ishmael Beah Official Site
Despite the violence caused by the children, one of the staffers, Nurse Esther, becomes interested in Ishmael, a long way gone about his childhood love of rap music and purchasing him a rap cassette and Walkmanwhen she takes Ishmael and his friend Alhaji to the city.
It is through this connection and his numerous counseling experiences with Esther that Ishmael eventually turns away from his violent self and starts to heal from his mental wounds.
Adoption[ edit ] Eventually, Ishmael becomes adopted by his Uncle Tommy in the city and settles down with him and his family on the outskirts of Freetown. It is during this time that Ishmael is chosen to speak to the United Nations UN in New York City about his experiences as a a long way gone soldier and the other problems plaguing his country.