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Monday, 25 February 2013

What is the What?

In For English, we've been reading a book called What is the What. It is an autobiography of a man named Valentino Achak Deng, one of the famous Lost Boys of Sudan.
It's about his walk from war-torn Sudan to a refugee camp in Ethiopia, another walk to another refugee camp in Kenya, and finally a lucky plane ride to America in the hope of a better life. I would continue to write about the plot; but that's not the purpose of this blog post. I'm going to talk about what I think of the book so far. 

I think What is the What is neither a good book or a bad book. The story of his time in Sudan I find very interesting, I would love to know more about it. But the way dave Eggers writes I find very annoying. He uses a device where Valentino is talking to the people around him in his head. There are many reasons I dislike this; the first being that it's completely unbelievable. No man would recount his entire life story in his head over the course of a few days, let alone try to telepathically say it to a random stranger. The second reason I dislike this device is that the story keeps chopping and changing. As soon as you enter the world of the Lost Boys, struggling to walk to freedom in the heat of the Sudanese desert... you get snapped back out of it. It's gone. This makes everything hard to focus on... hard to understand.

However, I believe I have learned a lot. I haven't learned straight out facts, but more like a lot of interesting points. Before, I barely knew what 'the Lost Boys of Sudan' were, but now I have a deeper understanding. I realize that thousands of Lost Boys were walking, thousands died, thousands were killed.

I think writing this post will be pretty beneficial to me as well as (hopefully :P) interesting for you to read. When I write, I can kind of organise my thoughts, so now all the things I've been thinking about in my head are somewhere I can remember them. 

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