Agu is just a boy when war arrives at his village. His mother and sister are rescued by the UN, while he and his father remain to fight the rebels. 'Run!' shouts his father when the rebels arrive. And Agu does run. Straight into the rebels' path.
In a vivid, sparkling voice, Agu tells the story of what happens to him next. His story is shocking and painful, and completely unforgettable.
BEASTS OF NO NATION gives us an extraordinary portrait of the chaos and violence of war. Unlike anything else we have read this year, it is a gripping and remarkable debut.
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'Extraordinary ... you don't come across writing like this very often.' ( The Bookseller)
This is a work of visceral urgency and power: it heralds the arrival of a major talent ( Amitav Ghosh)
'So scorched by loss and anger that it's hard to hold and so gripping in its sheer hopeless lifeforce that it's hard to put down.' ( Ali Smith, Guardian)
'A harrowing and compelling vision ... the narrator's voice is so authentic you have to check you are still reading fiction ... This is a novel which leaves an impression like a blood-soaked hand print, disturbing not only for the terror around this cleaving, pulverising slayer, but the terror turning to 'ennui' within him. To call it shocking would be to do it a disservice. To call the writing beautiful would hardly be praise. To call the book staggering would be an understatement' ( Waterstones Books Quarterly)
'The power of his material and its hideous relevance rolls all before it ... This book about children that is in no sense a children's book deserves to be read' ( Independent)
'This is an extraordinary book ... horrifying expose ... vivid ... It casts a powerful, if gruesome spell' ( Sunday Telegraph)
'Iweala makes a compelling story from experience which in its nature defies articulation ... Uzodinma Iweala's is a confident and promising new voice' ( Times Literary Supplement)
'Gives a name, a voice and a heart to one of Africa's innumerable child soldiers ... This is urgent writing, starkly unsentimental and convincing' ( Observer)
'His riveting revelations... make this a truly shocking and unforgettable book.' ( Waterstone's Books Quarterly)
'First-time novelist Uzodinma Iweala has made a virtue of simplicity and, in beautifully unadorned language, has captured the universal tragedy of war and its victims.' ( Telegraph/Seven, Sally Cousins)
'Linguistically ingenious, Beasts of No Nation is a remarkable debut, a hugely resonant discourse on an uncomfortable subject.' ( Observer, Helen Zaltzman)
'This sad, unforgettable novel is a fitting testament to the countless Agus who continue to kill and be killed across that most tragic of continents.' ( Daily Telegraph, David Isaacson)
'A chilling work of fiction that has visceral impact.' ( Guardian/The Guide)
'Compelling ... perturbing, painful and powerful' ( Irish Independent)
'A stunningly mature debut' ( Big Issue)
'Compelling, haunting and refreshing' ( The Review)
'Stream-like sentences that convey irrestible, rushing activitiy ... Iweala's powerful debut recalls Saro-Wiwa's first-person masterpiece of a soldier-boy' ( The Times)
'A searing first novel' ( Independent)
'Beasts of No Nation is written with the authority of someone who knows what they're talking about' ( London Review of Books)
'A simple and brutal account of war ... Beasts of No Nation is a raw, compelling first novel' ( Literary Review)
A stunning novel about a child-soldier in Africa that introduces a brilliant young writer and will be much discussed.
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