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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

There was a buzz around this book when it came out last winter, and now that I've listened to it, I can see why.  The audio voice of the main character "Little Bee" is absolutely haunting, and she narrates this tale of what powerful and distant greed does to the most innocent people.  On it says the publisher didn't want to ruin the story by revealing too much of the plot.  What I can say is that reading this book is a chance to step into a completely foreign existence, to see our world from the outside in.   For me, it reinforced the fact that everything we do (such as filling our gas tanks) has consequences for someone, like a "butterfly effect" of our own free will and making.  In this book, you'll go to Nigeria, and England, and meet a little boy who thinks he's Batman.  You'll see the real price of oil, and greed, and dishonesty, and desperation.  But you'll also see the value of the human spirit when all else is stripped away and no immediately-discernable hope is left.  Just as how you get to know people in real life, the history of the characters becomes more and more clear as the book goes on.  And the characters are all transformed by the circumstances.  A bit unforgettable, this book, and a beautifully produced audio book too.  I listened to several author interviews, but this one from Better World Books podcast (also on itunes) is my favorite and has less spoilers.