Zeitoun - by Dave Eggers
Zeitoun

"you can hardly believe it's a work of non-fiction"


It doesn't take a foreign government to commit terrorist acts on Americans. But before I spoil the surprise, let's get a little backstory on Abdulrahman Zeitoun. He was born and raised in Jableh , Syria with a family of fishermen. Distaster struck in many different ways, until Mr. Zeitoun settled in New Orleans.

Abdulrahman is a very optimistic man, staying in the face of Hurricane Katrina to protect his business, house, and neighbors in New Orleans. He maneuvers around in a canoe, providing care and help to those less fortunate, convinced he was right to stay. His wife however, is not without problems out on the road away from the storm.

Zeitoun is lucky to have such supplies and goodwill after such a magnificent storm. The tone of the book reflects this too, with chipper scenes and hopeful diction. Until you get to Part III. Things take a sharp plunge, giving any reader a new outlook on American government. I can't tell you what happens, but the stark contrast can best be described by the Cormac McCarthy quote in the front of the book, "....in the history of the world it might even be that there is more punishment than crime....."

Dave Eggers has really outdone himself with Zeitoun. Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius was great, but Zeitoun is magnificent. It manages to shine the light of hope through the dark veils of disaster and trials. Most of the time, you can hardly believe that it's a work of non-fiction because the writing is so surreal. I would recommend Zeitoun to anybody, because this hurricane account is too good to overlook.

   - Review by Luke P.