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Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

Zeitoun (2009)

by Dave Eggers

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,1401501,787 (4.08)303
  1. 60
    What Is the What by Dave Eggers (jmarsico)
  2. 10
    A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge by Josh Neufeld (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Neufeld's compelling graphic novel depicts the effects of Hurricane Katrina through the true stories of seven of the city's residents.
  3. 10
    1 Dead in Attic: After Katrina by Chris Rose (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: A columnist for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Rose delves into the aftereffects of the storm on his adopted city in this compelling collection of essays.
  4. 21
    Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans by Dan Baum (bdav1818)
  5. 10
    Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink (TooBusyReading)
    TooBusyReading: Both books are fascinating and heartbreaking looks at how much went wrong as Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.
  6. 00
    Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History by Erik Larson (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: Story of the hurricane in Galveston in 1900 resulting in unexpected and devastating flooding
  7. 00
    A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster by Rebecca Solnit (Othemts)
  8. 00
    Proved Innocent by Gerry Conlon (Othemts)
  9. 00
    The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim Defede (LynnB)
    LynnB: Story of ordinary people, like Mr. Zeitoun, who made a difference.
  10. 00
    The Best Democracy Money Can Buy by Greg Palast (Othemts)

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» See also 303 mentions

English (142)  Dutch (5)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  All (150)
Showing 1-5 of 142 (next | show all)
Not my favorite Eggers, but solid in its own right and a very manageable read. Paced more like fiction than non. This is a window into Hurricane Katrina through the perspective and experience of one particular family (and really the male head of the household at that). It's empathetic and warmly written, but it's one man/family's truth or personal account versus comprehensive or objective reporting. If you like your non-fiction more on the personal side and/or drawn to understand more deeply the impact of Katrina (or other natural disasters), this should make your list. ( )
  angiestahl | Apr 4, 2017 |
This book is nothing more than a hagiography, just an askew view of a man and a family in an effort to paint them as perfect cause that's the politically correct way.

As much as Mr. Eggers brilliant writing permeates every page so do this hagiography inconsistencies (i.e. lies) every so often.

The fact is that the hard working father that never takes a vacation, as we are told in a quite elaborate couple of pages, we later find out, in the same book, goes on vacation for as long, and as far (Spain, Syria) as anybody else.

The quaint mom&pop small business run from home, is not really run from home but from an office in a dedicated building and is not so small as it has at least a dozen workers at any time and a side real state operation. So kudos to them but it's insulting being told for the first 50 or 100 pages one cute little story only to discover the contradicting facts further along.

And in the middle of the constant hammering about the purity and sanctity of this Muslim family somehow is ok for them to become racists themselves and discriminate about other nationalities/religions based on just rumors and personal bias ... as in this lovely little passage:
"That was it, she realized. Her husband was an Arab, and there were Israeli paramilitaries on the ground in the city."

As it happens so many times the author could have sticked to reality and come out of it with a really good book, as the breakdown of the judicial system was very much as real and terrible as he describes but his pink shaded glasses and political correctness blindness make this a biased account of the facts. ( )
  emed0s | Feb 3, 2017 |
A Syrian man, Zeitoun, decides to ride out Hurricane Katrina, at his home in New Orleans. He is a contractor and has several rental units around town. His wife and children leave town for safety's sake. This book chronicles his experience preparing for the storm, during and post-hurricane. Very, very good. Demonstrates how ill prepared FEMA was and how it effected Zeitoun, as well as others. ( )
  LivelyLady | Jan 7, 2017 |
Very well written book about a family's struggles after Hurricane Katrina.

Dave Eggers deftly conveys the story of the Zeitouns, a Muslim husband and American wife (who converted) and their family who have lost their home and business after Katrina. Told in alternate voices between Abdul Zeitoun and his wife Kathy, the reader learns about the prejudice against Muslims (this is after 9/11), the frustrations they experienced as citizens of New Orleans who are trying cope with this devastation, Zeitoun's heroics towards his neighbors and the subsequent consequence he suffers as a result of his benevolence.

A very good read. ( )
  NancyNo5 | Nov 22, 2016 |
This is nonfiction but it reads like fiction - like suspense. It is horribly frustrating because of how people did stupid shit during hurricane Katrina - and how people's stupid prejudices overtake them during times of stress and fear. It's a good choice for multicultural literature cause it is the story of a Muslim family when the prejudice against muslims was still rampant and it is a straight retelling of facts, so you don't get a viewpoint - you get to make your own. ( )
  trinityM82 | Sep 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 142 (next | show all)
In “Zeitoun,” what Dave Eggers has found in the Katrina mud is the full-fleshed story of a single family, and in telling that story he hits larger targets with more punch than those who have already attacked the thematic and historic giants of this disaster. It’s the stuff of great narrative nonfiction.
"Zeitoun" is a warm, exciting and entirely fresh way of experiencing Hurricane Katrina.

Eggers' sympathy for Zeitoun is as plain and real as his style in telling the man's story. He doesn't try to dazzle with heartbreaking pirouettes of staggering prose; he simply lets the surreal and tragic facts speak for themselves.

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dave Eggersprimary authorall editionscalculated
Sumpter, RachellCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Timmermann, KlausÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wasel, UlrikeÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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...in the history of the world it might even be that there was more punishment than crime...
Cormac McCarthy, The Road

To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
Mark Twain
For Abdulrahman, Kathy, Zachary, Nademah, Aisha, Safiya, and Ahmad in New Orleans.

For Ahmad, Antonia, Lutfi, and Laila in Málaga.

For Kousay, Nada, Mahmoud, Zakiya, Luay, Eman, Fahzia, Fatimah, Aisha, Munah, Nasibah, and all the Zeitouns of Jableh, Lattakia, and Arwad Island.

For the people of New Orleans.
First words
On moonless nights the men and boys of Jableh, a dusty fishing town on the coast of Syria, would gather their lanterns and set out in their quietest boats.
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
...in de geschiedenis van de wereld is er misschien wel meer straf geweest dan misdaad...
Cormac McCarthy, The Road (De weg)

Voor wie een hamer heeft, lijkt alles op een spijker.
Mark Twain
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, longtime New Orleans residents Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun are cast into an unthinkable struggle with forces beyond wind and water. In the days after the storm, Abdulrahman traveled the flooded streets in a secondhand canoe, passing on supplies and helping those he could. A week later, on September 6, 2005, Zeitoun abruptly disappeared-- arrested and accused of being an agent of al Qaeda.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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