To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
What is the What Paperback – October 9, 2007
|New from||Used from|
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Thence comes the eponymous phrase whose unknowable answer frames Dave Eggers' latest book. Through the survival struggles of one of the country's thousands of Lost Boys, WHAT IS THE WHAT traces the late 20th Century history of Sudan, from the incipient struggles of the black African south against the Moslem-leaning government of Khartoum to today's current manifestation of this genocide, Darfur. When the story opens, Valentino Achak Deng has already left his native country for Atlanta, one of the many Lost Boys (and a smattering of Lost Girls) who have gained asylum and sponsorship in America, Canada, Australia, and other Western countries. Achak has been mentored and assisted to the degree that charitable organizations and personal acts of kindness can accomplish. Still, we quickly learn that he finds himself struggling at every turn to make enough money in menial jobs to survive, achieve a few modest comforts, and maintain respectable grades in his community college studies so as to seek admission to a full, four-year college.Read more ›
Be prepared, though, this is not a book that deserves a simple glance or casual committment. It's a brilliantly woven tale, mostly true, of a young Sudanese and his daily struggle to understand his place in wartime Africa ... and in the United States. Before you judge that this is a political tale and you watch enough CNN to know what's going on, consider the first reason why you're curious: you're looking for a good book, maybe one that you won't lend to anyone else because it might not be returned.
Here's what's going to happen. First, Valentino's voice will come alive. When you're pretending to laugh with friends at the bar, you'll hear Valentino's voice retell a story about lions that you just read hours before. You'll see what he sees and you'll tire easily, running with him through the desert or riding a bike for the first time. Your heart will break and you'll occassionally feel undeniable urges for hope and love and luck. You'll beg and plead your boyfriend/husband/friend to read it with you. And if you're like me, you'll get late-night emails from others, unsure if you've already read about Tabitha or not.
So, if you're looking for something simple and easy, something that maybe your Mom might read, this is not the book for you. If you're looking for something simply brilliant and deeply felt, this is something you might want to give your Mom. It may be one of the best gifts you could give.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book should be required reading for the top 50 most richest people in the world.Published 3 days ago by Crazy Mary
Quite difficult to get into. I'm glad I kept with it because days later I'm still thinking about some of the things described in this book.Published 22 days ago by Amazon Customer
I could not put this book down. It inspired me and made all the things we have to overcome in this country seem small compared to African nations and those displaced by them. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Trudy James
This is a great book. Read it several years ago. I'm not a big reader, but I enjoyed this and really helped me understand what is going on in this region of the world.Published 1 month ago by Pkg Guy
Structurally messy and unnecessarily fragmented, still this story is Epic and riveting .
And true. Why is it a must read? Read more
This book is startling in its coverage of the war against Sudan. Brilliant writing by Mr Eggers. It's a very difficult book to read because of the depth of the story. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Penny Andrews
I read this for a summer reading assignment for school. The book starts out extremely slow with events that make you want to think "What else would you expect at your door in... Read morePublished 2 months ago by UrbanRonin