A LONG WAY GONE, MEMOIRS OF A BOY SOLDIER by Ishmael Beah [Review]

A Long Way Gone Book

I first heard of this book a couple years ago when the author, Ishmael Beah, was a guest on the Daily Show With John Stewart. I typically don’t read too much non-fiction, but I was intrigued because this is a true story of real events that happened to Beah. I can remember John Stewart saying that his heart physically hurt as he read this book because the subject matter is no incredibly sad, and he was right.

Beah was born in 1980 in Sierra Leone and escaped from attacking rebels at the age of 12, which left him separated from his family. He was eventually captured by the government army and forced to be a boy solider. He describes all the events in his life in such detail, and with such honesty, you feel as though you are right there along with him. I think he did a great job of giving exposure to events that aren’t widely known by many Americans, as well as helping the reader to understand how normal, good hearted children can turn into murderers, through no fault of their own. He also shows, not only through his writing, but in his life, how boy soldiers can be rehabilitated.

Be warned that this book isn’t for the faint hearted as there is a good amount of graphic violence described. It’s also a book that will stay on your mind a long time after you read it. Beah’s writing is superb and he narrates from a perspective that will give the reader a true sense of Beah’s world before and after the war. A quick read, at only 226 pages, A Long Way Gone will definitely leave a lasting mark on you.

Buy A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah on Amazon by clicking here.

Print This Post Print This Post

Please make sure to read our comment policy before posting a comment.
  • David

    You are so right, this book left me thinking about it weeks after I read it. It is such a sad story and opens your eyes to what is going on in the world.

    Beah tells the story so well you feel you actually know the people involved. I also watched John Stewart advertise this on his show and he was correct in what he said.

    Would give it a 9/10 for the impace it has on you after reading, but not one I could read again

  • Ruth

    Even though I read this book several months ago I’m getting tears in my eyes as I read your review, Amie. How could anyone, let alone children, survive such hellish condititons. I agree with David; it is not a book I would read again.