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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars16
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 15 November 2012
War is an experience that noone should experience let alone a child. It is horrific, brutal and society destroying. Africans especially are known for the cruelty they inflict on each other. What Mr Jal does is to post into the window frame of one of many of Africa's forgotten wars and brings us face to face with the terror, horror and the drive for vengeance that is all part of war for those who experience it.

What is particularly brilliant about this book is the Jal tells the story through a child's eyes, and through these eyes we initially see innocence with no harbour of hatred but for what is told to him, piece by piece through violence and hatred we see that innocence crushed, the hatred fester and then explode to create the enigma that was the child warriors. Children filled with hatred, completely indoctrinated and single minded in there quest for vengeance. Watching the conditioning of a human mind from one of normality to one brutality is as fascinating as it is horrific. Not only that but what this child had to to endure, the hardships and privitations that Jal survived can only be described as remarkable, it is hard to put into place the distances that he travelled or the conditions he had to travel in, Sudan is more than twice the size of UK with half the country either desert or swamplands pretty much hostile to human life and for a young child to survive all this to tell the tale speaks testaments to the man.

The book is a fantastic incite and an amazing tale. Perhaps I am being harsh in marking down the book but I felt it was more an incite than a story book. It lacked polish and structure in some places especially the latter parts, which flowed more like a memoir than a book. Parts where patchy and one section in particular confused me. By the end of the book he seemed eager to finish as they are rushed.

All in all, I recomend this book to anyone, the conditioning of a boy brought to hatred and the love that brought him back to inner peace is a testament of how the world of cruelty and love can change people. Amazing book, not to be missed.
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on 28 February 2011
Brilliant book if you are interested in African/Sundanese affairs, modern politics etc. The story of the child soldier is brilliantly told and leaves you with vivid images of life in the refugee camps, moving around the Sudanese dessert and near death on several occasions. Another thing that I really liked about this book was the hope and perseverance which Emmanuel Jal had, this book is a true inspiration.
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on 8 September 2014
A heart rending insight into Emmanuel Jal's life as a child and a young man in Sudan and Kenya. Since reading this I have read other books about the Lost Boys and have immersed myself in their stories. I read this whilst in Africa and could not put it down. Since then I know that this book has been passed avidly from reader to reader, and it will continue to inspire and educate. Emmanuel Jal inspires hope, determination and ultimately faith in human nature and leaves the reader with a deeper knowledge and understanding of what the boy soldiers endured. This is a book which should be recommended for children also as it is very accessible and would help many young people to realise how lucky they are and what horrors other young children faced and still face today.
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on 25 February 2011
I have a keen interest in Child soldiers after studying the sociological aspect at uni. This is a fantastic way of getting into the mindset of these young children who are killers but are still CHILDREN. Sad but compelling...highly recommend this book.
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on 30 July 2012
The book is hard hitting and difficult to stomach. It made me cry many a time but I couldn't put it down. Emmanuel Jal is inspiring and articulate and you gain a real insight into the terrors of war and life as a child soldier. I would recommend this book to anyone.
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on 8 October 2009
Incredible book. couldn't put it down. So sad, i'm sure not many people know what goes on in Sudan. It's very educational and informative. Well written, and an easy read. I would recommend it to anyone. After reading this book I would like to see the documentary "War Child" and listen to Emmanuel Jal's music. Very inspirational.
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on 2 September 2012
I love and hated this book. It made me ashamed of myself and our world leaders. I'm happy I was able to purchase it in perfect condition and cheaply. Its now in my 'revered' book collection.
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on 5 December 2012
A good expose of what people have and are going through. War never and will never birth anything good. Learn
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on 20 February 2016
wonderful but very sad and thought provoking
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on 6 March 2011
Emmanuel Jal is a worthy Nobel Peace Price candidate, if there ever was any. Read his book to understand why.It's a good read, but the quality of the prose will not be his claim to fame - the story of his life will be.
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