Dave Eggers’ brilliantly crafted Zeitoun tells the biographical tale of New Orleans residents Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun after their lives were turned upside down in the disaster of Hurricane Katrina. When the hurricane strikes, Abdulrahman (known to us as merely Zeitoun) decides to stay behind to watch out for his house, but little does he know the horrors that are in store for him. After surviving the worst of the storm, Zeitoun goes about the city of New Orleans, helping the other survivors find food, shelter and safety; however, in a tragic turn of events, Zeitoun is arrested and taken as a prisoner, and during his jail time he finds that even the hurricane cannot compare to what he is about to endure.
Eggers weaves the Zeitoun family’s story in a compelling and haunting manner, leaving readers with a renewed perspective on the Hurricane Katrina disaster. The heavy content makes it better suited for more mature readers, but regardless, Zeitoun is a highly important novel. And, as a biography written in prose, it is a remarkable and emotionally driven read.
Rated: High for frequent moderate language and about one use of strong language as well as instances of violence and abuse in prisons.