Beasts of No Nation

Beasts of No Nation

A Novel

Book - 2006
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In this stunning debut novel, Agu, a young boy in an unnamed West African nation, is recruited into a unit of guerrilla fighters as civil war engulfs his country. Haunted by his father's own death at the hands of militants, which he fled just before witnessing, Agu is vulnerable to the dangerous yet paternal nature of his new commander. While the war rages on, Agu becomes increasingly divorced from the life he had known before the conflict started -- a life of school friends, church services, and time with his family still intact. As he vividly recalls these sunnier times, his daily reality spins further downward into inexplicable brutality, primal fear, and loss of selfhood. His relationship with his commander deepens even as it darkens, and his camaraderie with a fellow soldier lends a deceptive sense of normalcy to his experience. In a powerful, strikingly original voice that vividly captures Agu's youth and confusion, Uzodinma Iweala has produced a harrowing, deeply affecting novel. Both a searing take on coming-of-age and a vivid document of the dark face of war, Beasts of No Nation announces the arrival of an extraordinary new writer.
Publisher: New York : Harper Perennial, 2006.
ISBN: 9780060798680
Characteristics: xii, 142 pages, 20 pages ; 18 cm


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Aug 19, 2018

We didn't read the book but did see the movie: Powerful.

Oct 16, 2015

The movie is better because the writing is difficult to become submerged into.

May 16, 2012

I, too, had a bit of trouble with the writing as I am guessing the author was trying to put into English the grammar of the African language spoken by the boy soldier. I persevered and must admit that i did skip over some of the killing descriptions as they are pretty graphic. It is an interesting look inside the head of the boy as he goes from a normal school boy to a conscript plied with gun drugs and given a machete to go out and slaughter people, and then to a rescued boy who is trying to get back to his former life of books and learning. The story is told baldly with no judgment, leaving the reader to evaluate the situation as they like.

Mar 15, 2012

I didn't get past the first chapter because the way it was written got in the way of my enjoying it as English literature.


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nypl_mid_manhattan Sep 24, 2012

While at Harvard, Iweala earned the Hoopes Prize and Dorothy Hicks Lee Prize for Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis, 2004; Eager Prize for Best Undergraduate Short Story, 2003; and the Horman Prize for Excellence in Creative Writing, 2003. In 2007, he was named as one of Granta magazine’s 20 best young American novelists.


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