Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Dave Eggers has taken a day-by-day account of the life of a Syrian immigrant Zeitoun, before and after the 2005 massive Hurricane Katrina that destroyed New Orleans and turned it into one personal tragedy piggy-backed atop another. A man filled only with the need to help others worse off than himself stays in his devastated neighborhood paddling his canoe to rescue dogs and neighbors from the rising flood waters, bring food and water to those stranded and help in anyway he can to alleviate pain and suffering.
Zeitoun is an upstanding and longterm businessman, contractor and family man who takes pride in and loves his adopted city New Orleans. He stays too long in the evacuated city after the hurricane and is ultimately arrested and jailed along with a few other neighbors who have stayed to protect their properties, by the very forces who have been sent in protect and save people. Anarchy ensues and the area descends into lawlessness making it doubly hard for a Muslim man to be treated fairly.
Eggars’ first person account beautifully and clearly expresses just one of the myriad stories of devastation, but he takes it two steps farther. He helps start several non-profits to aid victims and gives all proceeds from the book to those in need. Yea Dave, a true artist with a conscience!
Wow! Just leaned another new computer skill. I can now take a review from Goodreads and post it to my blog. Onward and upward.
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Read from December 12 to 18, 2011
I heard about Nicole Kraus’ book while in NY where she was doing a book signing which I was disappointedly unable to attend. The idea of following the history of a huge old library desk around the world and through the years, following the writers that used it, was very intriguing. Love and loss is tantamount, but the methods of expressing the theme get draggy and repetitive. I had trouble keeping the characters sorted out and had to go back consistently to straighten things out. All in all it was a wonderful multitude of stories with strong interesting characters.
Read from October 29 to December 18, 2011
The Unnamed is a good title for this unstory. Read along through about a third then threw it in the Goodwill bin. When I got to the stream of consciousness stuff I looked ahead to see how far it went and then I gave up. It was such an intriguing idea, but for me came to nothing. Oh well, I tried.
Being a former Marine and Environmental Science teacher I relate to T.C Boyle’s subject in When the Killing’s Done. He has done his research. The fight between the environmentalists and the save-all-animals activists kept changing sides, but Dave Lajoy being such a creep tipped the scales for me. Loved the backdrop of the harsh islands off the coast of California and a bit of their history. Coming from Costa Rica and Florida and their warm waters, his environment really chilled me.