Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala

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The harrowing, utterly original debut novel about the life of a child soldier in a war-torn African country—the basis for the critically-acclaimed Netflix original film directed by Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) and starring Idris Elba (Mandela, The Wire)—now available as a limited Olive Edition from Harper Perennial.

“Remarkable. . . . Iweala never wavers from a gripping, pulsing narrative voice. . . . He captures the horror of ethnic violence in all its brutality and the vulnerability of youth in all its innocence.” —Entertainment Weekly (Grade: A)

As civil war rages in an unnamed West-African nation, Agu, the school-aged protagonist of this stunning novel, is recruited into a unit of guerilla fighters. Haunted by his father’s own death at the hands of militants, which he fled just before witnessing, Agu is vulnerable to the dangerous yet paternal nature of his new commander.

While the war goes on, Agu becomes increasingly divorced from the life he had known before the conflict started—a life of school friends, church services, and time with his family, still intact. As he vividly recalls these sunnier times, his daily reality continues to spin further downward into inexplicable brutality, primal fear, and loss of selfhood.

In a powerful, strikingly original voice, Uzodinma Iweala leads the reader through the random travels, betrayals, and violence that mark Agu’s new community. Electrifying and engrossing, Beasts of No Nation is an extraordinary literary achievement.

Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala
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