Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala - review by Toby Lichtig

Toby Lichtig

Zero Zero One

Beasts of No Nation


John Murray 177pp £12.99

In an unnamed African country, a ragged militia swarms through a series of villages, slaughtering and pillaging. Its merciless Commandant rules over a posse of child soldiers like a grotesque Pied Piper. On the threshold of adolescence, but still very much a child, is Agu, so scared that he cannot even remember his own name. The Commandant gives him a choice: join up or die. Thus begins Agu's monstrous and premature coming of age.

Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala is a simple and brutal account of war. Agu used to fantasise about warfare, but now he realises ‘that to be soldier is only to be weak’. He dreams instead of becoming a doctor, so ‘I will be able to be helping people

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RLF - March