If your memories aren’t too bad then you’ll remember last week that I posted my review for Chris Abani’s Song For Night, a novella which centres on the wartime experiences of boy soldier My Luck.
So impressed and moved was I by Abani’s fictional story that I wanted to read a bit deeper into the lives of boy soldiers, especially those embroiled in the trouble hotspots of Africa. Enter Ishmael Beah with A Long Way Gone (Harper Perennial), a true account of his time spent as a boy soldier in the war torn country of Sierra Leone. Here’s the cover blurb:
This is the story of Ishmael Beah’s childhood – how, aged just 12 he fled from rebels attacking his village to wander a violent land, before being conscripted into the army – where he learnt that he too was capable of terrible acts. Once he emerged he decided to tell his story, a story of the loss of innocence and the power of redemption.
Having read Song for Night this cover blurb could almost read as a carbon-copy for that book. But then I remember that A Long Way Gone is a true story, and that chills me to the bone. I’ll let you know sometime in the future how I get on with it.
Harper Perennial | January 2008 (UK) | £7.99 | PAPERBACK | 250 PP | ISBN 9780007247097