What Is the What

What Is the What From the bestselling author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius What Is the What is the epic novel based on the life of Valentino Achak Deng who along with thousands of other children the s

  • Title: What Is the What
  • Author: Dave Eggers
  • ISBN: 9781932416640
  • Page: 469
  • Format: Hardcover
  • From the bestselling author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, What Is the What is the epic novel based on the life of Valentino Achak Deng who, along with thousands of other children the so called Lost Boys was forced to leave his village in Sudan at the age of seven and trek hundreds of miles by foot, pursued by militias, government bombers, and wild animals,From the bestselling author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, What Is the What is the epic novel based on the life of Valentino Achak Deng who, along with thousands of other children the so called Lost Boys was forced to leave his village in Sudan at the age of seven and trek hundreds of miles by foot, pursued by militias, government bombers, and wild animals, crossing the deserts of three countries to find freedom When he finally is resettled in the United States, he finds a life full of promise, but also heartache and myriad new challenges Moving, suspenseful, and unexpectedly funny, What Is the What is an astonishing novel that illuminates the lives of millions through one extraordinary man back cover

    • ↠ What Is the What ↠ Dave Eggers
      Dave Eggers

    About “Dave Eggers

    • Dave Eggers

      Dave Eggers is the author of ten books, including most recently Your Fathers, Where Are They And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever , The Circle and A Hologram for the King, which was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Award He is the founder of McSweeney s, an independent publishing company based in San Francisco that produces books, a quarterly journal of new writing McSweeney s Quarterly Concern , and a monthly magazine, The Believer McSweeney s also publishes Voice of Witness, a nonprofit book series that uses oral history to illuminate human rights crises around the world Eggers is the co founder of 826 National, a network of eight tutoring centers around the country and ScholarMatch, a nonprofit organization designed to connect students with resources, schools and donors to make college possible He lives in Northern California with his family.

    329 thoughts on “What Is the What

    • If you know me at all, you know I read a lot So I don t take these reviews lightly Here goes What is the What is without a doubt one of the best books I have ever read The story of Valentino Achak Deng, a so called Lost Boy of the Sudan, is so moving that after reading the book I went to his web site and signed up for information on how I can help the cause Dave Eggers, who is easily one of my favorite fiction writers, has donated the proceeds of the book to a foundation co founded by he and Val [...]

    • It takes a certain and rare kind of writer to make a story about civil war, genocide, and a refugee crisis boring and unreadable that writer, specifically, is Dave Eggers It s not that I don t understand the purpose that this book serves just as we import the Third World s raw resources to fuel our own material greed, so must we import their tragedies to break up the monotony of our lives My question is can t we get better books to do it First of all, the voice is terrible At points it reads lik [...]

    • Valentino, I just don t know what God has against you These words were directed at the subject of this novel biography and are pretty much a motif that runs throughout most of this book.This is one man s true story of the Lost Boys of the Sudan Valentino Achak Deng, at age seven, and thousands of boys just like him, endured all manner of hardship as they fled their homes as civil war beginning in 1983 devastated their country Their journey from refugee camp to refugee camp is fraught with the mo [...]

    • TOO MUCH, AND NOT ENOUGH A PARADOX With her open and confident sexuality, she was the constant igniter of everything flammable within usHmm, if this Sudanese refugee now American Valentine Achak Deng can turn a phrase like that, how come he needs Dave Eggars to shape his book and cop the byline Okay, maybe he can t, maybe those delightful sentences are pure Dave So what about this I had feared for a long time that secretly Tabitha was well versed in the ways of love and that the moment we were a [...]

    • GREAT STORY, NOT SO GREAT BOOK This took me THREE MONTHS to finish I did read other books in the meantime, but believe me, I wouldn t have dragged my feet on this one if the storytelling hadn t been so TERRIBLY AWFUL Examples of STORIES told particularly badly.a The drama teacher Miss Gladys and the Dominicsb The romance between Achak and Tabithac Life at Kakumad The story of Maria, the girl who called him Sleepere The walk from Pinyudo to Kakumaf The play times with Achak and the Royal Girls of [...]

    • Now that was a lot of information Too much.Valentino Achak Deng is one of the lost boys of the civil war in Sudan He survived a genocide, walking from Sudan to Ethiopia where boys were getting picked off one by one by lions in the night Crocodiles, vultures, dysentery, soldiers tying to blow him up, starvation, a car accident, and a robbery in Atlanta after being relocated to the US.Life has not been easy for Valentino Yet he somehow keeps going with a positivity that is hard to believe The stor [...]

    • Nine years after this was published I ve finally read it Have meant to read it since loving Zeitoun a few years ago Wife listened to audiobook on long commute and deemed it a truly heartbreaking work of staggering genius also proclaimed herself an Eggers fan after not being so into his memoir I didn t get to it for so long in part thanks to reviews on here that called it boring, unreadable, a mess, lacking structure and characterization, on and on, all of which I can now officially deem sort of [...]

    • When so much hype and reputation converge on such a complex and sensitive topic only to receive unchecked praise from the American publishing industry and profitable sales, I fear disaster, choir preaching and the perpetration of harmful stereotypes Despite my interest in African literature, in African conflicts and in the way that the developed world engages with Africa, I have been avoiding this book since I learned of its existence A friend of mine who has lived and worked in Sudan vouched un [...]

    • I m having trouble coming up with the right word to describe reading this book Enjoyed is definitely not the right word although the book is well written, it s hard to call it enjoyable, nor is it trying to be Moving Something seems facile and reductionist about that, to reduce the story to something that affected me briefly, as if it is all about me.Note The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in policy and enforcement You can read why I came to this decision here.In the m [...]

    • Dave Eggers tells Achack s story much like you would hear it if you had befriended the Sudanese refugee yourself this book is like a conversation with a good friend you start where you are hello, how are you, i am being robbed at gun point you move back to the begining this is where i am from, the world was dust, we knew it to be Sudan, there was no but, to explain the begining, and to get to the end, you often have laughs in the middle successful with women eventually a life is woven infront o [...]

    • It took me a million years to finish reading this book Even up to the very end, 30 pages from the end, then 20, then 10, then 5, I kept thinking, Isn t this over yet I keep wondering if not being crazy about this novel makes me a bastard, because not only does the book aim to educate people about the staggering crisis in southern Sudan, but Dave Eggers donated 100% of the proceeds to help build schools, public libraries, etc in the protagonist s war torn village It just struck me as being very m [...]

    • ugh I had read Heartbreaking Work and did not enjoy it, but I thought I d give Eggers another chance I m plodding through this book and have been since March I m sad about it, because I m interested by the subject matter Oh well, lots of people disagree with me, so you don t have to take MY word for it

    • A while back I d slogged through the simultaneously compelling and and head scratchingly moribund epic Acts of Faith by Philip Caputo which dealt with the Sudanese Civil War of the mid 1980s through today and ensuing humanitarian efforts while I wasn t terribly impressed by that novel, it did leave me with many questions about the situation in Sudan, many of which were addressed if not exactly answered by the far superior novel What Is the What by Dave Eggers.I put quotes around novel primarily [...]

    • This was the most amazing book I ve ever read There were times I just wanted to put it down, some of the events were just too much to handle and I wondered whether it was worth being brought down to such dark depths But even through the unbelievably sad and shocking things that happened to Achak, the narration is so incredible and personal I couldn t stop reading, and I couldn t stop thinking about him In the past few weeks that I ve been reading this, Achak is always on my mind, he s with me wh [...]

    • You know who should read What is the What Um everyone It s one of those rare books that are really easy to read, really gripping it will grip you but also globally consequential.What is the What, by Dave Eggers, is a docu drama type novel based on the real life of Valentino Achak Deng At the age of seven maybe eight he watches his Sudanese village be attacked and destroyed by government sponsored militia Not knowing if his family is alive or dead, he s forced to run and ends up trekking on foot [...]

    • I picked this book up at this particular moment for a reason While I ve really liked, even loved, several of the books I ve read so far this year, I haven t really felt blown away by anything I was looking for something that was going to blow me away, and I thought this book might fit the bill Luckily for me, I turned out to be totally right.This book succeeds completely on two levels On the one level, if you want to learn about what was happening in Sudan in the eighties and nineties, this book [...]

    • I finished listening to What is the What by Dave Eggers, narrated by Dion Graham, a couple of days ago, but didn t have a chunk of quiet time to write about it until now It s the somewhat fictionalized biography of Valentino Achak Deng, a young boy in the Sudan at the outbreak of the civil war, through to his adulthood as a refugee in America.The story is epic in scope, but is told in a very personal, down to earth fashion You re as likely to hear about the title character s first fumbling attem [...]

    • This book is the fictionalized autobiography of real life Sudanese refugee Valentino Achak Deng, who grew up mostly in a refugee camp in Kenya where he lived for 10 years Eggers weaves a present tense with the story of Valentino s childhood in Sudan In the present tense Valentino is getting robbed and beaten in his Atlanta apartment because he trusted the people who came to the door Finally when he is discovered bleeding on the floor of his apartment by his roommate, he is taken to the hospital [...]

    • Does truth matter Does the difference between fact and fiction matter Purportedly there is a guy named among other names Valentino Achak Deng, and Dave Eggers wrote what you might take to be a transcribed and well edited autobiography of the man and his amazing, tortured journey as a child refugee of the Sudanese civil war It s a spellbinding story that s beautifully written and deeply moving.Only it s not tue It s fiction It s not authored by Deng, it s authored by David Eggers Or is it fiction [...]

    • What is the What is the soulful account of my life from the time I was separated from my family in Marial Bai to the thirteen years I spent in Ethiopian and Kenyan refugee camps, to my encounter with vibrant Western cultures beginning in Atlanta, to the generosity and the challenges that I encountered elsewhere, Valentino Achak Deng writes.Dave Eggers did such a great job bringing Deng s story to life, that I enjoyed this book even than I did Egger s memoir This is a novel that is historically [...]

    • When the civil war between the north and the south of Sudan reaches Achak s far western Dinka village of Marial Bai, he is a child of about seven years old who still spends most of his time with his mother, or playing on the floor of his father s general store He did sometimes go out with the others boys, including his friends William K and Moses, to watch the cattle, but he is with his mother the day the government helicopters come, killing indiscriminately, which was only the beginning When th [...]

    • On the cosmic scale of noble publishing ventures, What is the What must rank near the top Though billed as a novel, the book is the story of one of the Lost Boys of Sudan by the name of Valentino Achak Deng and, though written by Dave Eggers, all proceeds from the book go to Deng s foundation Noble.Deng s story is a harrowing one A brief and characteristic example comes after he buries a friend during the long march spoiler redacted When I was finished, I told him that I was sorry I was sorry th [...]

    • The absence of the question mark from this book title is a question Lynne Truss and I have been debating for weeks on end In the book itself the title is a question i.e what is the meaning of life so one can only assume that Eggers left the question mark off to give the title a symmetry of sorts, or to introduce a shade of the postmodern to what is a direct, linear narrative.Who knows It s not a question on the lips of most folks who read this compelling and exhausting account of Valentino Achek [...]

    • Yemek getirdi ini d nd kleri helikopterlere ko an ocuklar n kar l k olarak mermi yedikleri bir co rafyay d n n Bir de unu ekleyin U urtma Avc s ve Bin Muhte em G ne in yazar Khaled Hosseini nin son zamanlarda okudu u en etkileyici roman.San r m ne ile kar kar ya oldu unuzu az ok anlatabildim nsan n bo az nda d m bir kitap, oras kesin.

    • I ve read a couple stories of survival recently, and I m always astonished at the good and the bad that is intrinsic in our fellow human beings Achak is one of the good guys exposed to so much death and gore in his early years, struggling with his belief in God and who wouldn t given his life and this man is someone we all need to know This man is loving, kind, endearing, adorable It was the descriptions of the bad in people, however, that brought me to tears than once, wondering again how does [...]

    • In lesser hands than Dave Eggers , 500 pages of tragedy, violence and deprivation would have been intolerable reading material Fortunately for me, Eggars writes this story of the Lost Boys of Sudan with care, courage and even some humor so that I never lost interest or felt it went on too long.Although it s classified as fiction, it reads like a memoir We learn the personal tragedy of Valentino, a Sudanese boy whose world and family is ripped apart by war He runs from his village under attack a [...]

    • Ik heb getwijfeld tussen drie en vier sterren Het verhaal is hartverscheurend en zou, zeker in deze tijden, door iedereen gelezen moeten worden Alleen was ik niet zo hard onder de indruk van de manier waarop het is geschreven, waardoor ik het bij momenten moeilijk had om erdoor heen te geraken Ik ben uiteindelijk blij dat ik ben blijven worstelen, en zo het volledige verhaal van Valentino Achak Deng heb gelezen Dat ik door de ogen van een jongen uit Soedan naar de wereld heb kunnen kijken, ook D [...]

    • I can t finish this I was going to, just to give it a fair shot, but me being the idiot I am, left my copy on the table where someone s root beer spilled all over it, making it a soggy, sticky mess Though horrified at a book being destroyed, I felt almost a sense of relief knowing I wouldn t have to pick this up again I will not be buying another copy.The story is actually very, very good You d have to be a demon spawn straight from the Gates of Hell for this story not to affect you it is heartb [...]

    • Apart from a sometimes painfully awkward framing device and a style of writing that is dull enough to actively distance readers from emotionally connecting to the life and pain of one Valentino Achak Deng a.k.a Dominic , What Is the What ended up being not half bad I suppose it was only a third bad Or maybe not actually bad Maybe just one third Not Great Which is okay We can t all be great What is the what is a question that Valentino had been asking himself for a long time Ever since he was Ach [...]

    • This book is one of a series that make up the Voice of Witness series a collection of books intended to give a voice to people whose lives have been plagued by conflict, persecution, exile and other such humanitarian crises Such noble intentions aside, most people will encounter this book because of the author, Dave Eggers, author of the love it or hate it novel A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.The book tells the semi fictionalised biography of Valentino Achak Deng, a young man who has [...]

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