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A Long Way Gone Paperback – Aug 5 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Douglas & Mcintyre (Aug. 5 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155365398X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1553653981
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 14 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #68,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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4.6 out of 5 stars
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Jenny J.J.I. TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 23 2007
Format: Hardcover
I like to say that "A Long Way Gone" is quite a depressing story but very inspiring. Ishmael Beah tells the story of becoming a boy soldier in Sierra Leone and of his later rehabilitation. This was a heartbreaking story and very difficult to read from an emotional standpoint. I read the book over a short period of time as it is so gripping that I did not want to put it down, but at the same time it brought an overwhelming sense of sorrow. The horror that Beah so well describes, was unbelievably moving.

The book is well written and flows rather nicely. However, the story itself is so incredible that, even if it were poorly constructed, it would have been worth reading. Saying that it was "worth reading" is not really adequate. All people should read it in order to remind us what the reality of life is outside of Western culture. It is partly because we block incidents like those described by Beah that they can continue to happen.

I would not presume to know how to stop the carnage that occurs in so many Third World countries, but I can not help but think that if we as a society, were more aware of them and had to face the emotions and gut wrenching sorrow that come with the knowledge of such atrocities, we would be far less willing to allow them to happen.

Ishmael Beah has demonstrated that he is a remarkable individual with great reserves. He shows what changes can come about when people are caring and thoughtful of others. I would venture to say that Ishmael Beah feels guilt for what he has done. However, I think he should be proud of the fact that he has endured and triumph over so much evil and pain in becoming who he is today. It was an honor to be allowed to read Beah's story, as it must have been as equally difficult to recount it, as it was to live through it. Highly recommended.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jack Blatant on Sept. 7 2008
Format: Paperback
Incredible. I remember when I saw Jon Stewart's interview with Ishmael Beah that Stewart said that the book "made my heart hurt." Incredibly, terribly, amazingly true. Beah tells his story in a way that is simple and genuine. His writing style is not terribly developed and at times can be a bit rough, but that is more than compensated for by the fact that the story he has to tell is so mind-boggling. Beah chronicles the collapse of order in Sierra Leone, at least insofar as it affected his village and local area; his flight from his home and attempts to survive in the wild; his recruitment as a boy soldier, and his rehabilitation.

His story is so compelling that it held my grade eleven class of hard-bitten non-readers spellbound as I read the entire book to them aloud over the course of a few weeks. When I read the book for the first time, I went and hugged my wife and all of my children just to give thanks for their lives, and I'm not the sort of person who does that sort of thing ordinarily. (Not that I'm a jerk or anything, I just don't cry when Bambi gets shot.)

This is one of the books that everyone should read, if only to realize how damn lucky most of us are.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Wassy on July 10 2007
Format: Hardcover
In my opinion, all great books are depressing and at the same time, uplifting. Such is the case with LONG WAY GONE. I'm attracted to books set in exotic locales, and this one fit the bill perfectly. What I wasn't prepared for was the remarkable writing style and great story. The story of a boy becoming a man, this is no average "coming of age" tale. Ishmael Beah teaches us something great in this work--that we can change, and that we can change others. Given the situation of the world today, I can't help but think this book is all the more relevant. I've recently read three incredible books lately, and this was by far the best---actually a tie with A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS and the incredible novel MIDDLESEX by Eugenides. I highly recommend all these.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very disturbing. So sad for these people. "love it " isn't the right expression for this book, but if comes with the 5 star rating. Everyone should read this book, especially highschool kids! Might put their troubles into perspective.
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By Brenda F. on June 30 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sad but true. Not enjoyable to read but mesmerizing nonetheless .
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By abbylane on June 11 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is very hard to believe this is happening in the world. I"m glad Ishmael Beah has told his story.
I'm sorry he has has to endure such hardships. The story has great sadness for all involved with
the fighting and death. The soldiers are so young, and the adults are so corrupt and evil in
recruiting these young children to fight. This book brings great awareness to the life of the
child soldier. I would recommend that everyone reads this book and does what they can to
support the end of this atrocity.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A powerful and moving story of a boy caught up in the war in Sierra Leone. It is quite sad how quickly a society can disintegrate and move from humanity to the baseness of animals and it is evident in many places around the world not simply in Africa.

Ishmael's life is far from pleasant and the images involved quite nasty. But truth is quite nasty many times and I thank him for sharing his story with us.

I highly recommend this - I couldn't put the book down and quickly finished it over several short flights.
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