Zeitoun Paperback – 24 Feb 2011
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Eggers uses Zeitoun's eyes to report on America's reasonless post-Katrina world. Reminiscent of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's documentaries, this is a true story told with the skills of a master of fiction. Immensely readable (Independent)
Masterly. Brilliantly crafted, powerfully written and deftly reported (Guardian)
The shocking tale of a true New Orleans hero. This is narrative non-fiction at its very, very best (Herald)
Shocking (The Times)
Extraordinary, gripping (Daily Telegraph)
Riveting (Vanity Fair)
From the Inside Flap
"This is a beautiful book. "Zeitoun" is a poignant, haunting, ethereal story about New Orleans in peril. Eggers has bottled up the feeling of post- Katrina despair better than anyone else. This is a simple story with a lingering
radiance. My admiration for the humanist spirit of Eggers knows no bounds."
-- Douglas Brinkley, author of "The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast"
""Zeitoun" is an American epic. The post-Katrina trials of Abdulrahman
Zeitoun would have baffled even Kafka's Joseph K. Though Zeitoun's story could have been a source of cynicism or despair, Dave Eggers's clear and elegant prose manages to deftly capture many of the signature shortcomings of American life while holding onto the innate optimism and endless drive to more closely match our ideals that Zeitoun and his adopted land share. Juggling these contradictions, Eggers captures the puzzle of America." -- Billy Sothern, author of "Down in New Orleans"
""Zeitoun" is a gripping and amazing story that highlights so much about the tragedy of Katrina, post-9/11 life for Arabs and Muslims, and the beautiful nature of American multi-cultural society."
-- Yousef Munayyer, policy analyst, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
""Zeitoun" is an instant American classic carved from fierce eloquence and a haunting moral sensibility. By wrestling with the demons of xenophobia and racial profiling that converged in the swirling vortex of Hurricane Katrina and post-9/11 America, Eggers lets loose the angels of wisdom and courage that hover over the lives of the beleaguered, but miraculously unbroken, Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun. This is a major work full of fire and wit by one of our most important writers."
-- Michael Eric Dyson, author of "Come Hell or High Water" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I have subsequently read in addition the tragically hysterical "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" which was superb and will be guided by other Amazon readers on Mr Eggers other works? But let me add that "Zeitoun" is as far away from Eggers frantic debut as possible not only in the way the book is constructed but the style and sheer power of the writing.
This is a non fiction account of Abdulrahman Zeitoun an immigrant from Syria and his wife Kathy who in 2005 owned a successful house-painting business in New Orleans. When Katrina hits Abdulrahman stays behind to watch out for his property. Eggers was not present at the disaster but has essentially ghost written this book for the Zeitoun's. And what a story it is. There are no great rants against Bush or the incompetent New Orleans authorities. Eggers doesn't need to do this since the facts as presented are the most massive indictment in their own right and speak for themselves.
Without giving away the story what compounds this Kafka style nightmare for Abdulrahman Zeitoun is his Arab and Muslim heritage and the continuing rolling paranoia which still rumbled on from the aftermath of Al Qaeda's savage attack on the twin towers.Read more ›
Post-Katrina, New Orleans was effectively a city under martial law, with the enforcers - many from outside the city - getting increasingly frenzied by media reports of looting, rape and murder. There's a quote at the start of the book that "to a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail" - to them, every person looked like a looter, even an elderly woman retrieving a packet of sausages from her own car. The system was so screwed that they prioritised building a temporary prison ahead of feeding their citizens and providing them with essential services.
It's a very simply written but immensely readable book. Eggers tells us what people were thinking and how they were feeling, but largely resists passing judgement on the situation, allowing the reader to draw their own conclusions. I tore through it, feeling increasingly angry and disbelieving at what Zeitoun was going through and how this could be happening in a major US city in 2005. While the book is about a specific situation, it also gets you thinking about how easily things can spin out of control and how easy it is to be the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is an eye opening and important story, powerfully told.
The book is about Zeitoun, a Syrian born American and his experience in New Orleans at the time of hurricane Katrina. It takes the American dream (a hard working immigrant with a supportive and loving family doing well in the US) and then shows us just how badly a country can treat its own people when things go wrong. And the levels of just how wrong things got are almost unbelievable.
As Katrina approaches New Orleans, Zeitoun evacuates his family but decides to stay to look after his property and business. As the floods come he finds himself in a canoe, paddling around the city helping rescue people, feeding abandoned pets and distributing food and water. Just the sort of person you would want as a neighbour or to help in a crisis.
After a few days things take an ugly turn when Zeitoun, along with three friends, is arrested for looting his own house and his own property. Put into a temporary prison, allowed little food, no external contact or legal representation Zeitoun is swept up in the paranoia and administrative mess that was post Katrina New Orleans. He and other innocent individuals were all held for considerable periods of time before being released with no charges, and the tales of what was done are horrific, the elderly diabetic lady locked up for getting food from her own car, people arrested and having all their money 'vanish' during their processing, all incredible.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A worthwhile read, if anything to appreciate how this novel differs in style to others by the same author. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Tim Cook
This excellent work of journalism based on research and interviews with the principal real-life protagonist gave me a different view of the plight of New Orleans after Hurricane... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Richard Wilcocks
Everyone should read this = ormaybe just Republicans and Trump supportersPublished 6 months ago by TJ MCGINN
Extremely informative, gripping, and well written. Couldn't put the book down!Published 6 months ago by pauline
I have already read this book and bought it for someone who I know will also enjoy the read.Published 9 months ago by Seebass
Have listened to the audio book, it is interesting but scary. Have peered into the future on American news websites but am trying to discount the slanted views for the moment. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Chrissie
true story - tragic way to be treated by the powers that be!!!!
I'd sue the very life out of them!!!!
Loved this book - could not put it down. An amazing story that reads like fiction and is heartbreaking to know the story is true. Highly recommend it to othersPublished 14 months ago by Meeta S
Too many pointless stories on the Zeitoun family history back in Syria and how his wife Kathy became a Muslim. Read morePublished 15 months ago by george
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