Beasts of No Nation

Beasts of No Nation

Book - 2005
Average Rating:
Rate this:

The harrowing, utterly original debut novel by Uzodinma Iweala about the life of a child soldier in a war-torn African country--now a critically-acclaimed Netflix original film directed by Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) and starring Idris Elba (Mandela, The Wire).

As civil war rages in an unnamed West-African nation, Agu, the school-aged protagonist of this stunning debut novel, is recruited into a unit of guerilla fighters. Haunted by his father's own death at the hands of militants, which he fled just before witnessing, Agu is vulnerable to the dangerous yet paternal nature of his new commander.

While the war rages on, Agu becomes increasingly divorced from the life he had known before the conflict started--a life of school friends, church services, and time with his family, still intact. As he vividly recalls these sunnier times, his daily reality continues to spin further downward into inexplicable brutality, primal fear, and loss of selfhood. In a powerful, strikingly original voice, Uzodinma Iweala leads the reader through the random travels, betrayals, and violence that mark Agu's new community. Electrifying and engrossing, Beasts of No Nation announces the arrival of an extraordinary new writer.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, c2005
ISBN: 9780060798673
Characteristics: xii, 142 p


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Oct 16, 2015

The movie is better because the writing is difficult to become submerged into.

May 16, 2012

I, too, had a bit of trouble with the writing as I am guessing the author was trying to put into English the grammar of the African language spoken by the boy soldier. I persevered and must admit that i did skip over some of the killing descriptions as they are pretty graphic. It is an interesting look inside the head of the boy as he goes from a normal school boy to a conscript plied with gun drugs and given a machete to go out and slaughter people, and then to a rescued boy who is trying to get back to his former life of books and learning. The story is told baldly with no judgment, leaving the reader to evaluate the situation as they like.

Mar 15, 2012

I didn't get past the first chapter because the way it was written got in the way of my enjoying it as English literature.


Add a Quote

nypl_mid_manhattan Sep 24, 2012

While at Harvard, Iweala earned the Hoopes Prize and Dorothy Hicks Lee Prize for Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis, 2004; Eager Prize for Best Undergraduate Short Story, 2003; and the Horman Prize for Excellence in Creative Writing, 2003. In 2007, he was named as one of Granta magazine’s 20 best young American novelists.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at PPL

To Top