A Long Way Gone
By: Ishmael Beah
Week three; part two
A Long Way Gone is one of the best books I have ever read. Ishmael is so descriptive to what is going on around him, and to his own thoughts. He is very good at clearly describing the situations going on around him; I haven’t been confused about the events once. The pain of not just him, but everyone around him is described. Although the pain is unimaginable, you feel like you start to understand what he is going through when he is so close to his family, but then the die before he can get to him. Or his torched feet from running continually on burning sand. Through his descriptions, it is easy to visualize places, like the deserted towns he passes. Although I love the descriptions, I wish that the book had more variety. At this point, I don’t want to hear the same thing about another deserted town, or another scary night. I want more range in the events.
It is unbelievable to me what Sierra Leone went through in this civil war. I can’t even begin to imagine why the rebels think that killing citizens, splitting families, and demolishing villages will actually help their country and promote their cause. And the fact is that this kind of war is going on around the world right now, and I am powerless. I could donate money, or help survivors, but I can’t stop the war nor can I turn back time and revitalize the killed loved ones.
This book keeps bringing one visual back into my mind. In the movie Hotel Rwanda, when Paul Rusesabagina, the main character, is driving back from picking up supplies for his hotel. His friend, that is actually an enemy, suggests going a different way back. Paul takes his advice, to find out that it was a trick. Instead of having a dirt road, it is a road piled full of dead bodies. Thousands piled on top of each other for miles ahead. I picture this scene whenever Ishmael describes the bodies in villages left behind, killed from the rebels.
I predict, that very soon, Ishmael will be captured and turned into a boy soldier. I think that he will have to be separated from his traveling buddies. As a boy soldier, he will have to kill many people, and I think that his mind will be permanently damaged from the actions he was forced to take.