Review Blog

Aug 24 2011

In the Sea there are Crocodiles by Fabio Geda

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Random House, 2011. ISBN 9781846554766.
Highly Recommended. This is a compelling and intimate story about Enaiatollah Akbari and his journey from Afghanistan to Italy. Fearful for her son's life, Enaiatollah's mother takes him to Pakistan. Without explanation and without warning she leaves him there to make a life of his own. He is only 10 years old. What is truly incredible about Enaiatollah's story is that it is not unique; there are other boys, just like him, refugees from Afghanistan trying to survive, trying to stay safe, trying to find a place they can call home.
Before she left him, Enaiatollah's mother made him promise that he would not steal, he would not take drugs and he would not use weapons. Three promises she left him with, as a manifesto, a guide to follow whilst making his journey into manhood. Without the protection of family, as well as living in strange and violent lands Enaiatollah strives to uphold those ideals.
Fabio Geda retells Enaiatollah's story with warmth and compassion, interacting with him in a gentle and intimate manner which brings depth to the story. Although written as a fictional piece the story is recreated from Enaiatollah's memory.  With its simplistic style, the reader is drawn into the world of the child: his thought processes and his perceptions. The story spans five years, Enaiatollah is only fifteen when he arrives in Italy and realizes that this is the place he wants to call home.
Sue Mann

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