BookBrowse Reviews A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

A Long Way Gone

Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

By Ishmael Beah

A Long Way Gone
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Feb 2007,
    240 pages.
    Paperback: Aug 2008,
    240 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book


A rare and mesmerizing account of war through the eyes of a child soldier. Memoir

Ishamel Beah was a normal 12-year-old boy living in a rural area of Sierra Leone - going to school, forming a rap band in imitation of the American singers he idolized and (perhaps not so usual) reciting speeches from Shakespeare in the town square for the benefit of his father and other members of the community. One day he, his brother and a friend went to the local town to compete in a talent show. While they were away their village was pillaged by rebel forces. In an instant their childhoods were swept away as they fled for their lives not knowing if any of their family were still alive. For months, Beah and a small group of ragged boys, traveled from village to frightened village trying to stay one step ahead of the rebels while finding enough food ...

In 2008, in the wake of the exposure of various 'fictional' memoirs such as those by James Frey, The Australian newspaper called into question some of Beah's claims - not that he had ever been a child soldier but that certain events that happened in the course of his narrative were known to have taken place at times different to his recollection which, if correct, meant that he could not have served as a child soldier for as long as his memoir states and that the age that he would have joined would have been closer to 15, not 13 years old. Beah denied all The Australian's allegations and pushed back saying that this was the second attack by the publication which had formerly claimed that his father was still alive, which was later shown to be a ...

Members Only

BookBrowse's reviews and backstories are a members-only benefit. Full information is available on books for a limited time when they are featured as "Editor's Choices" - but that time has now elapsed for this book.

Find Out More
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Stranger on the Train
    by Abbie Taylor
    The opening chapter of Abbie Taylor's debut novel, The Stranger on the Train, took me right back to ...
  • Book Jacket
    Night Film
    by Marisha Pessl
    One of the central tenets of Hinduism states that the world as we know it is just an illusion –...
  • Book Jacket: Complicit
    by Stephanie Kuehn
    When seventeen year-old Jamie Henry receives word that his older sister Cate, is being released from...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Tomlinson Hill
by Chris Tomlinson

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  152The City:
    Dean Koontz

All Discussions

Who Said...

The only completely consistent people are the dead

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

O O T F P, Into T F

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.