227 of 248 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Zeitoun (Hardcover)
I had never read anything by Dave Eggers before, but his reputation set some pretty high expectations. I am a fan of narrative non-fiction and non-fiction, and enjoy books like "In Thin Air" or "The Colony." I picked up the book yesterday, and finished it this morning. It was spectacular.
The writing style is perfect. It is not over the top with descriptions, but still makes you feel as if you are there, canoeing along in the streets of New Orleans. The subject matter is interesting, not just in a "can't stop watching this train wreck" sort of way, but because it ties together Hurricane Katrina and 9/11, two of the largest national events of the last decade. I never thought or knew about much beyond what I saw on TV regarding Katrina. This book thoroughly explores one story of one family, but manages tell it from a perspective that everyone can understand.
Much like the book Three Cups of Tea brought attention to the plight of women in Pakistan, I hope that Zeitoun will bring to light the problems and issues that still need attention in the US and in New Orleans.
Eggers took the main event, Katrina, and by telling the Zietouns' story, made it of human scale.
I'm rambling--all I can say is, I think this book is worth a read for everyone. It isn't preachy-it is interesting. I learned a lot about many different subjects. I hope it ends up on the best seller list and stays there for a long time. Unlike some books that end up on the best seller lists, this one really deserves to be there.
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Showing 1-10 of 33 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 21, 2009 10:18:00 AM PDT
Thanks for your thorough, fitting review. I agree that Eggers's simplistic story-telling style--and his ability to narrate without intruding on the narration--was compelling. I agree with your likening Three Cups of Tea to this book in that it highlighted the plight of a voiceless people. But this book did that with regard to a population here, on American soil--something that most authors are afraid to approach [not sure why] . . .
Posted on Oct 12, 2009 11:19:20 AM PDT
Frankye L. Jones says:
amen to everything you have said - also, this book was an enormous eye-opener for me because I had no knowledge or awareness of citizens being treated in the very frightening way that he was by authorities. I have also had the thought that I hope it stays on the best-seller list for a long time. So far, it's doing so here in Seattle.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2009 6:56:23 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Aug 9, 2010 2:27:50 PM PDT]
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2009 7:00:22 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Aug 9, 2010 2:28:05 PM PDT]
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2009 6:50:23 AM PST
Evangeline, I am in the middle of this book now, but just reached the part where the 'discovery' about running water is made, and I, like you, wondered the same thing. I also found the bit about the prostitute to be somewhat far-fetched, although it didn't strain my credulity to the breaking point.
I have concerns, though, not being from New Orleans and/or having witnessed any of Katrina's aftermath, after reading your comments on the hospital. I do not wish to cast aspersions on Zeitoun or his family, but you do make some excellent points, and I, like you, would like to read some other views authored by those who were there. What is the real truth? Will any of us ever know?
Thank you for your input; it was enlightening. I shall take off my rose-colored glasses now and resume reading.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2009 8:36:29 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Sep 2, 2010 1:58:22 PM PDT]
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2009 8:39:43 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Aug 9, 2010 2:30:04 PM PDT]
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2009 8:41:51 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Aug 9, 2010 2:30:17 PM PDT]
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 27, 2010 11:22:18 AM PST
M. Townsend says:
"If these things happened, it would be a matter of record." This from a progressive liberal? The government always comes clean and tells the truth?
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2010 5:00:31 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Aug 21, 2010 4:14:19 PM PDT]