‘A Long Way Gone’ – Ishmael Beah

A stunning, unflinching story which leaves the reader haunted…’A long way gone’ by Ishmael Beah is an extraordinary memoir, a firsthand report of the hardships and horrendous concepts such as massacre, that a child soldier faces.

Joyous, rap music-lover, Ishmael Beah with movies as the only exposure to war, at the tender age of 12, along with his country Sierra Leone, is suddenly thrown into a long, bloody civil war, and is transformed from a gentle, loving boy to a ruthless, cold-hearted killer.

The book vividly describes the impact on the young minds, on being witnesses of families being torn apart and also sufferings of the sick, helpless, and those left behind.

Descriptions on the state of refugees, who are ill-treated, bribed by their own nation, and in sequence are forced by circumstances and fate to join the army and commit cruel crimes and atrocities, leaves the reader haunted.

The book, thankfully, takes a turn and Beah is handed over to UNICEF for rehabilitation. He slowly and painfully overcomes his drug addiction and is reinstated with his uncle in Freetown, where again he finds himself heading to war. He tries to escape being a rebel or worse even a recruit, and is successful in his endeavour.

 The book is a must-read and one which kindles the feeling of gratitude that we, who live in a part of the world which is so safe and sheltered, have escaped such pain and brutal cost of losing one’s immediate family at such a young age. The book leaves a lasting impression of a long way gone by a determined mind which comes back, overcoming such trauma, with both humanity and sanity intact.


The Three Questions…

Name of the Book: The Three Questions
Author: Leo Tolstoy
Other Works by the the author: War & Peace, The Godson & many others

It is a well fabricated story about a king in whose mind arise three important questions, whose answers vary from person to person, so he undertakes a quest to find the true answers. The rest of the plot revolves around the King’s determination to find the answers & how he finds them.

Throughout this story, the author, Leo Tolstoy has kept the reader absorbed and interested to know the answers of the questions posed by the thoughtful king. The author has set a fine example of how even a short story in simple language can be thought provoking for readers of all ages.

Harry Potter & the deathly hallows

Author: J.K. Rowling
Publisher: Bloomsbury

Year of publication – 2007, First Edition
Price: Rs. 795.
Other books: Harry Potter Series (1-6)

The brilliant, breathtaking conclusion to J.K. Rowling’s series is not for the faint of heart– such revelations, battles, and betrayals portrayed that no fan will make it to the end unscathed. Rowling has prepped her loyal readers for the end of her series by doling out increasingly dark and dangerous tales of magic and mystery, shot through with lessons about honor and contempt, love and loss, and right and wrong.

The heart of Book-7 Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows is a hero’s mission–not just in Harry’s quest for the Horcruxes, but in his journey from boy to man–and facing more danger than that found in all six books combined, from the direct threat of the Death Eaters and you-know-who, to the subtle perils of losing faith in himself. Never has Harry felt so alone and faced a future so full of shadows. But Harry must somehow find within himself the strength to complete the task he has been given. He must leave the warmth, safety and companionship of the Burrow and follow without fear or hesitation: the inexorable path laid out for him.

In the finale of the series, J. K . Rowling unveils in spectacular fashion, the answers to many questions that have been so eagerly awaited. The spellbinding richly woven narrative, which plunges, that takes twists and turns at a breath-taking pace, confirms the author as a mistress of storytelling. And so the book will be read and re- read.

The journey is hard, filled with events both tragic and triumphant, the battlefield littered with the bodies of the dearest and despised, but the final chapter is as brilliant and blinding as a phoenix’s flame, and fans and skeptics alike will emerge from the confines of the story with full but heavy hearts, giddy and grateful for the experience.