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Starred Review. For former hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina, words are the most powerful weapon in the human arsenal. For good and for evil, as was the case in the spring of 1994 in Rwanda. Over 100 days, some 800,000 people were slaughtered, most hacked to death by machete. Rusesabaginaâinspiration for the movie Hotel Rwandaâused his facility with words and persuasion to save 1,268 of his fellow countrymen, turning the Belgian luxury hotel under his charge into a sanctuary from madness. Through negotiation, favor, flattery and deception, Rusesabagina managed to keep his "guests" alive another day despite the homicidal gangs just beyond the fence and the world's failure to act. Narrator Hoffman delivers those words in a stirring audio performance. With a crisp African accent, Hoffman renders each sentence with heartfelt conviction and flat-out becomes Rusesabagina. The humble hotel manager not only illuminates the machinery behind the genocide but delves into Rwanda's complex and colorful cultural history as well as his own childhood, the son of a Hutu father and Tutsi mother. Hoffman successfully draws out the understated elegance of Rusesabagina's simple and straightforward prose, lending the story added vividness. This tale of good, evil and moral responsibility winds down with Rusesabagina visiting a church outside Kigali where thousands were massacred and where a multilingual sign-cloth now pledges, "Never Again." He once more stops to consider words, the ones he worries lack true convictionâlike those at the churchâas well as the ones with the power to heal. For the listener, the words of Paul Rusesabagina won't soon be forgotten.
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Rusesabagina . . . weaves his countrys history with his personal history into a rich narrative that attempts to explain the unexplainable. . . . The books emotional power comes from his understatement and humility. (The Boston Globe)
An extraordinary cautionary tale. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Rusesabaginas story of survival amid manic slaughter is as awful as it is gripping. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Read this book. It will humble and inspire you. (Sunday Telegraph, London)
Extraordinaryhorrific and tragic, but also inspiring, because Rusesabagina refuses to give up his belief in the basic decency of humanity. (The Times, London)
Excellent account of the genocide in Rwanda. Disturbing to think we are capable of such atrocities. My only criticism of the book is the last 50 pages or so. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Walter R. Mead
The horror! How easily the contract that sews society can unravel and the next day you are hacking your neighbors to pieces or being hacked by your neighbors. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Art Hansen
This is a story of human survival,very inspiring and plenty of wisdomPublished 3 months ago by bernardo azcuna
An amazing first hand account of the genocide that took place in Rwanda. The author saved more than 1200 lives by sheltering them in a hotel he managed. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Candy
I read this book in less thank 24 hours. I just couldn't put it down. This is the story of one hotel manager who saved the lives of more than 1,200 people during the Rwandan... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Melissa N.
This is by far the most interesting book I have read in this past year. This man calls him "Ordinary" but he is so far from ordinary it's truly amazing. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Rebekah Hammond
The Nelson Mandela of Rwanda... An extraordinary man who could have been president...Published 10 months ago by Lewis Codington