21 April 2016
“Beasts of no nation” is a gripping tale of war and the effects of war on societies and individuals as told by the writer, Uzodinma Iweala.
It is a story of a young boy, Agu, whose life and family ties is torn apart when war comes to his idyllic village.
Agu is forced to run after watching his father die and is found by a rag-tag group of guerrilla fighters led by a man called, Commandant, who recruits him as a child soldier and teaches him to fight and kill.
Agu’s inner turmoil is revealed in the story as he moves between recollections from his past life to his present one and tries to come to term with the reality of his life and actions and the repercussions he will face.
The story is told from the first person point of view of Agu, in such a way that the bad language and grammar stay with you long after each action takes place.
It tells of the evil of war and what it does to men and uses the innocent view of a child to paint the picture of what happens when children are involved in situations they should never be a part of: A story of a nation’s past and a warning for its future.