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Uzodinma Iweala: 2008
Beasts of No Nation

07/21/2008  by Arlo Haskell  18 Comments
Uzodinma Iweala

Uzodinma Iweala

Uzodinma Iweala reads from his critically acclaimed debut novel Beasts of No Nation, which tells the story of Agu, a child soldier fighting in a civil war in an unnamed west African country. In this section we are introduced to Agu, his friend Strika, Luftenant, and Commandante, as Agu kills for the first time.

Luftenant is saying don’t think. Just let it happen. He is saying that the second you are stopping to think about it, your head is turning to the inside of rotten fruit. Commandante is saying it is like falling in love. You cannot be thinking about it. You are just having to do it, he is saying, and I am believing him. What else can I be doing?

From KWLS 2008: New Voices.

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This recording is available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights belong to the author.© 2008 Uzodinma Iweala. Used with permission from Uzodinma Iweala.

18 Responses

  1. tobechukwu okoye says:

    This book is a nice one, it really shows the qualities and productivity we are as Africans. Keep it up.

  2. Christina Dominique says:

    I have just read a synopsis of your book and in all reviews it has been named notable. I am looking forward to reading it.
    –Thanks for a contribution to great literature

  3. Kristin says:

    I just read this book for an extra assignment given to me in class and really felt the deep emotions conveyed in Agu. I really enjoyed this reading as well – it helped me connect to the text.

  4. Chinyere Anukam says:

    Been away from literature in a long while.Your book has plunged back my interest……..
    …It just took me back to what i have always loved.

  5. Amos Chy says:

    It’s nice literary work from Uzodimma. Keep it up!

  6. Emmanuel Ekpo says:

    I have just read the brief of this book and i must confess that its really catchy and intriguing,i really enjoyed it and found no trouble connecting with the story line,bravo for a great work such as this,you have proven to be a true son of Nigeria.

  7. Ebenezer Ogor says:

    Great Work…. Gr8 work from an American based Nigerian….

  8. paul says:

    Even though incredibly sad, it is great to listen.
    Will try to get the book and read it in full.

  9. nwanne chinwuba says:

    I have read the synopsis,reviews and everything I could lay my hands on and I have enjoyed them immensely, but it has been very difficult to get a copy of the novel,here,in Lagos,Nigeria and it is a pity.

  10. Ogulo prince says:

    Great work… froman american great based Nigeria

  11. Nonso says:

    I have read this book. Uzodinma is remarkable in the construction of his characters. I love his writing style. It is unique.

  12. David Wurawa says:

    Well done Mr Iweala. This is a truly a well written work of literature. The truth of your words and the state of affairs in many African states where children are robbed of their youth and innocence on a daily basis leave me sad and helpless.

  13. Taofeek says:

    An insightful work that adds to the previous works done by Nigeria’s literary giants Wole soyinka, Chinua achebe and others. Thanks for keeping the energy flowing.

  14. Demi says:

    I find it amusing the number of Nigerians calling him an American based Nigerian. He’s not. He’s an American citizen, born in the United States who also holds Nigerian citizenship – a Nigerian-American in the true sense of the word. That said, I can not believe that it has taken me do long to hear of him and his critically acclaimed debut novel. This situation is one I plan to remedy soon.

  15. Catherine Saxton Steele says:

    I saw the film tonight and i will request the book from my library. I heard Ishmael Beah speak in my home town and read Radiance of Tomorrow.

    I had a home in my home town with many bedrooms. I opened the rooms to young parents who were just getting sober and willing to live in a sober household. One of our housemates was a young father with two boys. He came through Silicon Valley, earned good money, and spent (wasted?) on drugs (cocaine?), and one day he told me his background. He was a boy soldier in the Philippines. His story unfolded very much like Agu’s experience. He can not escape his own story. The boys seem to have done well, completed high school, some college, and moved into adulthood.

    Thank you to Mr Iweala and to Mr Fukunaga for bringing this terror into global eyes.

  16. Aniedu Ugo Ifeanyi says:

    An awesome work. I even saw the movie few days ago. The major thing that came to my mind after seeing the movie was the way and manner BOKO HARAM kidnapped more than 200 Nigerian girls and for more than a year nothing has been heard about these innocent girls. I wish our leaders especially African leaders will shun corruption,greed, selfishness etc and get a Ph.D in leadership common sense.

  17. chukwuemelie George says:

    Great novel, It reminds me the biafra war 1967. I believe that the beast of no nation will one day have a nation (i.e Biafra nation). Am proud to a BIAFRA. You wrote great

  18. Kat says:

    I just finished watching the Movie and will now, watch again, this I have never done. First I am listening to the Author Uzodinma Iweala read from his book where Agu is initiated with his first killing. The Movie should have been nominated for best film as well as Abraham Attah and Idris Elba for best actor and supporting. I am certain that the Book too will rank as high and also should be awarded as well for this wonderful young author’s first work especially.
    The Academy Awards will be televised tonight and the fact that they have ignored this film and these wonderful actors is, to say the least incompetent and corrupt. And if the Academy Awards now also is incompetent and corrupt along with everything else in the American culture, why watch–‘corrupt entertainment.’ I appreciate Netflix for making this wonderful but heart wrenching film available. Sad because it’s based on fact. I cannot wait to buy and read the book today.
    I understand that young Abraham Attah is not an actor, has never had any training–yet his performance is outstanding especially for such a young boy. I am hoping that this Novel and this great film will propel young Abraham into acting, hopefully into the Theatre.
    Thank you Mr. Iweala for such a wonderful gift and a means by which the world has been introduced to the young Mr. Abraham Attah, entertained by Mr. Elba’a great performance and reminded (or informed) of a heart wrenching period of African history.

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