10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A simple and powerful story,
This review is from: A Long Way Gone: The True Story of a Child Soldier (Paperback)
This story is simply told. There are no fancy literary flourishes designed to manipulate the reader's emotions and no eloquent explanations designed to sway us to a particular viewpoint. It is the simple story of a child unwittingly caught up in the appalling violence of civil war. The narrator tells his own story. It is the story of how civil war destroys the normality of life in his village, of how he runs from the advancing violence, but eventually cannot avoid being drafted into its very heart as a child soldier. He describes the process of desensitization that allows him to survive the horrors he participates in and the even more difficult process of learning to re-engage with civil society once he has been rescued from the battlefield.
Some readers may be disappointed by the fact that the book provides only very limited historical background to the conflict in Sierra Leone and by the fact that the narrator engages in only very limited introspection about what he has experienced. The plot also contains a few scenes that come across as a bit contrived and unlikely, but none of this detracts from the picture that is painted of the horrors of child soldiers involved in civil war. The power of the story lies in its simplicity and in the fact that we know it is being told by someone who lived through it.