Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

In the Sea There are Crocodiles: Based on…

In the Sea There are Crocodiles: Based on the True Story of Enaiatollah… (edition 2011)

by Fabio Geda

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
280None40,037 (3.65)10
Title:In the Sea There are Crocodiles: Based on the True Story of Enaiatollah Akbari
Authors:Fabio Geda
Info:Doubleday (2011), Edition: First English Edition, Hardcover, 224 pages
Collections:Your library, Books Read - 2012
Tags:Afghanistan, Middle east, Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Refugees, Biography, Memoir, Fiction

Work details

In the sea there are crocodiles: the story of Enaiatollah Akbari by Fabio Geda

  1. 00
    The Other Hand by Chris Cleave (Limelite)
    Limelite: True fiction but much better exploration of the harrowing effects of people fleeing oppression and terror, with the bonus of including how their undertakings can have unexpected and horrifying consequences for those who get involved in helping them.
  2. 00
    Maus: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman (raton-liseur)
    raton-liseur: Ces deux livres illustrent cette constante que, dans les drames humains à la fois individuels et collectifs, ce ne sont pas les meilleurs qui survivent, seulement les plus chanceux, ceux qui passent à travers les gouttes, ni plus courageux (ni moins), ni plus ingénieux, sans mérite ou propos particulier, seulement les plus chanceux.… (more)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 10 mentions

English (28)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  Norwegian (1)  Spanish (1)  Catalan (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (35)
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
The Taliban take over a small town in Afghanistan and ten-year old Enaiat is taken and left in Pakistan by his mother who is hoping that he will be safe away from the fighting. This book is the interesting and heart wrenching story of his six year journey through Iran, Turkey, Greece and finally to Italy where he receives asylum. ( )
  mlbelize | Jan 27, 2014 |
While instructing readers to believe the book is a work of fiction, the author insists this tale is based on the true life experiences of Enaiatollah Akbari. He is an Afghan boy whose mother took him from his native village to Pakistan where she abandoned him to make his own way, spiriting him out of his Taliban-dominated homeland where violence and oppression ruled. On his own and attaching no importance or significance to those who helped him in his journey, the narrator – Akbari – delivers his travelogue.

It is a thin “and then” story, replete with harrowing escapes from authorities, captures, more escapes, perilous treks across mountains, dangerous open water crossings aboard inflatable rafts, and expensive and dangerous transport arranged by human traffickers hidden in secret compartments of lorries or clinging to the undercarriages of heavy vehicles.

Regarding the literary merit of the book: There is no authorial reflection, no looking backward by the main character to gain understanding of how his experiences impacted him, much less consideration of what might have been. Akbari makes it plain that he felt no human involvement with others. Beyond making a phone call to his mother 8 years after she abandoned him and committing to send her money along with a vague plan to return to Afghanistan once it is democratic, the book is devoid of human feeling.

The story is a mild page-turner, but it is not compelling, nor is it memorable. It is but another of the endless such tales of desperate emigration to lands of hope and promise but nothing distinguishes it from the ordinary. It is not uplifting, nor particularly unique, and absent an angle of perspective, it reads like a list of events that don’t particularly impact the reader because there is no emotional content at all. Consequently, the reader has no reason to empathize.

Further, the egregious insertion of the "translator’s" (Geda) questions put to "Akbari" also annoys. Nothing is added to the reading experience by them, and the content of the various prodding questions could have been simply stated in a prologue, “Enaiatollah records what happened to him but offers no meaning, interpretation, or assessment of those events on the man he is today.”

Sadly, this book could have been much better had the author done his job of fictionalizing the story adequately. Instead, he instructs the reader to take on the task of suspension of disbelief with no help from him. ( )
  Limelite | Aug 1, 2013 |
The true and heart-wrenching story of a ten year old Afghan boy who has to fend for himself. He crosses into Pakistan then begins an arduous five year ordeal with human traffickers and occasional sympathetic help that takes him through Iran, Turkey, Greece and finally Italy. A story of hope and survival, with an epic need to find a solution to the underlying problems. ( )
  St.CroixSue | Jul 5, 2013 |
This was an interesting story loosely based on a true story. It showed that there are other refugees around the world. ( )
  MrsBakitch | Jun 23, 2013 |
Translation from Italian, Italian author Geda tells the story of an abandoned Afghan boy who makes his way to Italy, incredible story.
  jennifermary | May 7, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fabio Gedaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Onnis, MaurizioEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
The thing is, I really wasn't expecting her to go.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385534736, Hardcover)

When ten-year-old Enaiatollah Akbari’s small village in Afghanistan falls prey to Taliban rule in early 2000, his mother shepherds the boy across the border into Pakistan but has to leave him there all alone to fend for himself. Thus begins Enaiat’s remarkable and often punish­ing five-year ordeal, which takes him through Iran, Turkey, and Greece before he seeks political asylum in Italy at the age of fifteen.

Along the way, Enaiat endures the crippling physical and emotional agony of dangerous border crossings, trekking across bitterly cold mountain pathways for days on end or being stuffed into the false bottom of a truck. But not every­one is as resourceful, resilient, or lucky as Enaiat, and there are many heart-wrenching casualties along the way.

Based on Enaiat’s close collaboration with Italian novelist Fabio Geda and expertly rendered in English by an award- winning translator, this novel reconstructs the young boy’s memories, perfectly preserving the childlike perspective and rhythms of an intimate oral history.
Told with humor and humanity, In the Sea There Are Crocodiles brilliantly captures Enaiat’s moving and engaging voice and lends urgency to an epic story of hope and survival.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:22:07 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

An unflinching, inspirational, and incredibly moving novel based on the true story of Enaiatollah Akbari, a young boy whose agonizing struggle begins after his native Afghanistan becomes a dangerous place to live. His mother shepherds him across the border into Pakistan but has to leave him there to fend for himself.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
43 wanted
3 pay3 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.65)
1 1
2 3
2.5 1
3 22
3.5 11
4 29
4.5 4
5 8


An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 89,491,604 books! | Top bar: Always visible