Through the eyes of a hard-working, upper middle class Muslim couple in New Orleans, Dave Eggers tells the story of Hurricane Katrina – a story that we all should be mostly familiar with by now. But Eggers brings a new vigor to telling the story, albeit vigor in a low key way that builds to a crescendo of disbelief and Kafkaesque reality.
Just before the hurricane hits, Kathy Zeitoun gather the children and heads off for relatives in Baton Rouge. Abdulrahman Zeitoun decides to stay and protect their many properties and perhaps help where needed. Eggers covers the early days of the flooding, as Zeitoun sets out in a canoe to help where he can – rescuing elderly couples from the attics of their flooded homes, feeding abandoned animals. It’s all pretty standard fare as far as what we already know of the natural disaster.
But then it becomes unnatural and Eggers kicks it into high gear. What the Zeitouns (and others) went through as FEMA and Homeland Security take matters into their own hands makes for shocking reading And compelling. I read it virtually straight through in two sittings.
You’ll want to get your hands on this one.