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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This story is truly amazing
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...
Published on June 23 2007 by Jenny J.J.I.

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Very informative
This book is informative and teaches us how to appreciate a normal life, with a loving mother and father, rather than a father who comes and goes. This young boy survived but only by joining in the killings and butchering of hundreds of people. Very sad. Very little love in this child's life and then he turns to killing others to survive and get food, and drugs. He has...
Published 5 months ago by penelope costin


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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This story is truly amazing, June 23 2007
By 
Jenny J.J.I. "A New Yorker" (That Lives in Carolinas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A Long Way Gone (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
5.0 out of 5 stars What an absolute stunner., Sept. 7 2008
By 
Jack Blatant (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Long Way Gone (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Just my opinion, July 10 2007
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This review is from: A Long Way Gone (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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5.0 out of 5 stars So sad for these people, July 7 2014
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars A sad truth, June 30 2014
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Sad but true. Not enjoyable to read but mesmerizing nonetheless .
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, June 11 2014
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and Moving, May 20 2014
By 
J. S. Wilson (Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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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3.0 out of 5 stars Very informative, Feb. 14 2014
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This book is informative and teaches us how to appreciate a normal life, with a loving mother and father, rather than a father who comes and goes. This young boy survived but only by joining in the killings and butchering of hundreds of people. Very sad. Very little love in this child's life and then he turns to killing others to survive and get food, and drugs. He has a cocaine habit along with other drugs by the age of 14. Astounding how anyone survives this type of life and is later saved by 'good' people and goes on to lead a normal life in the west. Should be read to get an idea of the horrors of genocide.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, Feb. 7 2014
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This review is from: A Long Way Gone (Hardcover)
This novel s a look into what usin the west almost never see. Imagining that this is a real story is beyond belief. This is a definite read!!!! For anyone taking their life for granted.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, May 23 2013
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This review is from: A Long Way Gone (Hardcover)
What an amazing story - and so well written. Very sad but very empowering at the same time. Highly recommend this book.
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A Long Way Gone
A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah (Paperback - Aug. 5 2008)
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