Top positive review
One person found this helpful
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.