Book review: Strength in What Remains

Book review: Strength in What Remains

by Tracy Kidder, New York: Random House, 2010

This is a magnificent story of the courage and good fortune of Deogratias, a survivor of the Burundi/Rwanda genocidal violence in the 1990s.

It feels like Kidder held back on allowing his own emotions to be reflected in the prose, which is simply too matter of fact in some chapters for my taste. I guess it’s difficult to talk about hundreds of thousands of people being brutally killed by their neighbors and countrymen.

Deo was lucky — he survived numerous very close brushes with death — and in that context his story seems unavoidably anecdotal, which saps some of the power of this narrative.

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Semi-spoiler alert: only parts of Strength in What Remains will make you feel good.

Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2017 All rights reserved.

As usual, I offer my kind of thoughtful book summary above. It’s a devastating history book. I’m telling you how this story affected me, and expressing my reflections on a brutal horror. I think the plot line is obvious, and you don’t need to know much about the characters other than Deogratias.

Your comments on my poems, book reviews and other posts are welcome.

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Originally published at Richard Subber.

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