Over the summer I was assigned the book, ‘Zeitoun’ by Dave Eggers. Of course I wasn’t incredibly excited about reading it because it was a true story and it was summer. I love to read, but come on! I would much rather be reading a fantasy or thriller!
Unfortunately, it wasn’t a book I could skim through and then spout fluff about how much a certain part spoke to me. So, after putting it off for basically 3/4’s of my summer I started to read it and found that I really liked it! The story was great, the situation they were put in was one I hadn’t heard about before, I learned about the Muslim religion and how the stereotypes out there aren’t true, and in the end the characters won their battle because of their love for their family.
It was the perfect story. I even thought about finding more books like it (Key word: thought).
Summer ends and it’s the first week of school and I’m all prepped to discuss ‘Zeitoun’. Until this happened:
“…But in recent years, the stable, loving relationship between Mr. Zeitoun and his wife, Kathy, that was described in the 2009 best seller has taken a series of dark turns. The couple divorced last year after he was convicted of assaulting her. And on Wednesday, the New Orleans police charged him with plotting to have Kathy Zeitoun, her son and another man murdered,” (Celebrated Hero in ‘Zeitoun’ Book Facing Charges in New Orleans, Robbie Brown, New York Times).
and my school ignored the fact that they ever made us read it.
So everything that I admired about ‘Zeitoun’ has all gone to… You can fill in the blank and I wasted the last few days of my summer vacation reading something that I wasn’t even going to need for school.
And this isn’t the first time our school has assigned us a true story book that has come back and bitten them in the butt. The first time this happened was when we were to read, ‘Three Cups of Tea’ by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin.
Now that book was awful. I’m sorry everybody, but that book was the most tedious read of my life. I wanted to rip the book in half and shred it, but I pulled through and finished it.
And then this happened:
“…The report, to be aired by CBS on its “60 Minutes” programme on Sunday night, alleges that Mortenson’s charitable organisation has also taken credit for building schools that do not exist or were built by others. Mortenson was awarded among others the Sitara-e-Pakistan for his work.
The investigation by correspondent Steve Kroft quotes Into Thin Air author and mountaineer Jon Krakauer as saying he learned from one of Mortenson’s companions that the tale of how Mortenson got started was “a beautiful story” but “a lie,”” (Three cups of tea: ‘US author fabricated charity work in Pakistan’, Agencies, The Express Tribune).
This was literally the worst experience of my life due to the fact that (unlike ‘Zeitoun’) I had to write about five papers on this book and then it just didn’t count anymore.
So the lesson to this story is: Always make sure you’re not about to read BS and to be really safe, just stick to fantasy and fiction.