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Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
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Zeitoun (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Dave Eggers

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,3891622,371 (4.07)321
Member:napoleon-in-rags
Title:Zeitoun
Authors:Dave Eggers
Info:Vintage (2010), Edition: 1 Reprint, Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:To read
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Work details

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers (2009)

  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.
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    TooBusyReading: Both books are fascinating and heartbreaking looks at how much went wrong as Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.
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    SqueakyChu: Story of the hurricane in Galveston in 1900 resulting in unexpected and devastating flooding
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    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.
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» See also 321 mentions

English (154)  Dutch (5)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (162)
Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)
Perhaps because of the cover, I assumed this was a fictional tale. It’s not, though I wish it were.

Zeitoun tells the story of a resident of New Orleans resident, Abdulrahman Zeitoun, and his wife Kathy and children, in the midst and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It begins as a humanitarian tale, with Zeitoun staying behind in the family house to take care of it and elderly neighbors and pets in the hurricane and its aftermatch.

But the story morphs as Zeitoun is detained in the days following Katrina, accused of being an Al Qaeda terrorist based on vague hysteria. The story is told from Abdulrahman’s experience as well as Kathy’s in his imprisonment. It is the stuff of a great action thriller, except that this story happened to one family of American citizens.
( )
  patl | Feb 18, 2019 |
This account held my attention, perhaps because I hadn't previously read any personal accounts of someone who had been present during the Katrina hurricane disaster in New Orleans.
Eggers focuses on one couple: Zeitoun and Kathy, beginning with scenes from their younger years which help us understand their strengths, values, and relationship. This is mixed in with events later, but each section is clearly identified by a date header so I had no difficulty following. We understand that Zeitoun's choice was rooted in his family history of being the best one can be, and that he had the skills and strength to remain behind and take care of his neighborhood and properties. And then events go madly awry as National Guardsmen assume he is a looter or worse, because of his Middle Eastern appearance.
Some chapters give an overview of events while others go into the specific details so at times I felt like I had read something before, but that technique did help to reinforce important points.
More than just an account of how a children and parents were affected by the separation caused by evacuation and the ways in which some rescue relief efforts were sidetracked by agendas of hate and greed, it is an exposition of how the US governmental system was incompetent in ensuring justice was carried out. ( )
  juniperSun | Dec 2, 2018 |
I saw that this book was chosen as the 2012 Big Read for Dayton, OH. When I explored the topic of the book, my curiosity was piqued. Having heard about the devastating results of Hurricane Katrina, I was interested in reading a direct account from a survivor of the disaster. Following the Zeitoun family through the trauma of the hurricane and its aftermath definitely brings the reader close to the tragedy brought on not only by weather but by humans and bureaucracy. ( )
  Rdglady | Nov 20, 2018 |
This is a very powerful book. I really can't say enough good things about it. Everyone should read it. ( )
  bibliosk8er | Aug 16, 2018 |
Put down Matterhorn to read this for BookClub. Interesting juxtaposition of the jungles of Vietnam and the 3rd world country New Orleans became in the aftermath of Katrina. You've heard the horror stories of Katrina, but this is one family's personal tale, and it is not pretty! ( )
1 vote Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)
'Zeitoun was sterk', schrijft Dave Eggers in zijn verwoestend mooie boek Zeitoun. 'Hij had nog nooit zo'n gevoel van urgentie en vastberadenheid gehad. (...) Er was een reden, wist hij nu, waarom hij was achtergebleven in de stad. Hij had zich gedwongen gevoeld om te blijven, door een kracht die hij niet kende. Hij was nodig.'De eerste helft van dit zonder opsmuk geschreven non-fictie boek heeft iets van een sprookje.
De details die de auteur heeft opgediept, maken dit boek tot een meesterwerk. In de postmoderne romancier Eggers bleek een verslaggever van het zuiverste water schuil te gaan, een observator met een gouden pen.
 
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 (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dave Eggersprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bijnsdorp, MaaikeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schaap, LucieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sumpter, RachellCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Timmermann, KlausÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wasel, UlrikeÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
...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
Dedication
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.
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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.
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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)

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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