BEASTS OF NO NATION EBOOK

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The harrowing, utterly original debut novel by Uzodinma Iweala about the life of a child soldier in a war-torn African country—now a critically-acclaimed Netflix original film directed by Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) and starring Idris Elba (Mandela, The Wire). Home>; FICTION>; Literary>; Beasts of No Nation - EPUB. Share This Title: shipping on bilgedumarre.ga To read e-books on the BookShout App, download it on. The harrowing, utterly original debut novel by Uzodinma Iweala about the life of a child soldier in a war-torn African country—now a critically-acclaimed Netflix.


Beasts Of No Nation Ebook

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Beasts of No Nation: A Novel (P.S.) - site edition by Uzodinma Iweala. Publication date: October 13, ; Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; Language: . Beasts ofNo Nation A NovelUzodinma Iweala Fo r those who have suffered Je parvins à faire s'évanouir dans mon e. Compre o livro Beasts of No Nation na bilgedumarre.ga: confira as ofertas para livros Beasts of No Nation (English Edition) e mais milhares de eBooks estão.

I am crushing the grasses under my feet and just looking at how all of our footprint from the day before is everywhere. They are drying in the mud so it is looking like somebody is playing football here the night before, but I am knowing that this is never happening because nobody is playing football anymore during the war.

My feets is paining me. My leg is paining me.

My knee is hurting because we are training very hard now. All the time just training training. They are telling us to run up and down so we are running up and down like we are running race when I am schoolboy. They are telling us to be crawling on the grasses and to be running zigzag to be dodging pretend bullet. I am hot and my body is too tired.

I am not feeling good at all at all. I am not liking this field even if Commandant is loving it — Beasts of No Nation — 33 because he says it is taking away insubordination. I am not liking everything Commandant likes even if I am supposed to be liking it. But I am liking his shiny forehead and his big nose that is covering his whole face and even his top lip.

I am liking his mustaches and his big black beard, and I am liking how he is squeezing his chin and all of its hairs in his fist when he is thinking very hard. I am wanting beard so I can be doing that. If you are seeing Commandant, you will be knowing that he is just very big man even though this war is coming to make most men small like children and children small like baby. He is so tall that looking at him is like climbing tree, so big that if he is standing next to you, then his shadow is blocking the sun.

He is so strong that I can be seeing the vein on his arm. It is funny to be watching him moving also because he is walking like his leg is wooden pole that is not bending for anything. Before the war, this how I am seeing soldier moving when they are parading in the town near my village so I am knowing he is real soldier.

Even when we are running his leg are moving this way and it is making me to want to laugh at him, but nobody is laughing at him because that is annoying him.

He is beating people who annoy him and one time he was even killing one man who just annoyed him too much. We are leaving that man somewhere on the roadside with one big hole in his head and his eye wide open.

As we are standing in this field, Commandant is walking in front of us and shouting, are we soldier? We are saying, yes Sah! Are we army? Are we strong and proud? And we are saying, yes Sah! Yes Sah! I am not knowing why he is so angry with us all of the time for not acting like real soldier. We are not even looking like real soldier. There are almost one hundred and twenty of us standing at attention, but none of us is even wearing the same dress.

Some of us is wearing green camouflage like real soldier are doing, but our own is just fulling with hole and having thread just blowing this way and that in the wind. If we are killing soldier or finding it on any dead body, then person is always quarreling and sometimes even fighting to be stealing it.

Other soldier is wearing black trouser and black shirt with red stripe on the arm which is the uniform that the police is wearing before the war. This uniform is not as good because it is making you too hot in the sun and it is making you too easy to see in the daytime, but that is not mattering to anybody. People are just wanting to wear anything that is looking like uniform. I am not even having one uniform because I am too small. I am just wearing my short and shirt that I am taking from village we are looting one day.

I was really wanting trouser to be stopping the mosquito from biting me on the leg, but I am not finding any small enough for me to be wearing. Anyway, I am really liking my shirt even if it is dirty and I am having to fold the sleeve a whole six time. I am liking it even if it is too big so it is coming down over my short. Sometimes I am thinking, if army is always having one uniform for its soldier to wear, and we are not all wearing the same uniform, then how can we be army.

And if army is made of soldier and we — Beasts of No Nation — 35 are not army, then how can we be real soldier. This is why I am not knowing why Commandant is always so angry with us. Commandant is saying we are going to raid one village. Where is the village, I am asking to myself. And what are we to be taking from them? I am not knowing, but I am not going to be asking or he might be beating me. We are stomping the ground and sometimes even jumping up in the air.

He is saying to us if the enemy is killing our mother and our father and burning our house and we are answering softly, yes Sah, because we are all thinking of all the place and person we are leaving behind. I am thinking of my mother and my sister who are running away. I am not knowing if they are dead or alive or if I can even be knowing what they are looking like if I am seeing them today.

Every time we are seeing woman or girl, I am looking at them well well to be knowing if they are my mother or my sister. Commandant is shouting at us to be ready for fourteen hundred hours.

I am thinking that this is very funny and I am wanting to laugh. Everybody is knowing that the day is not having fourteen hundred hours and I am looking down the line of soldier to see if Strika is also thinking it is funny. He is leaning forward to look at me, sticking out his tongue and opening his mouth wide.

I am wanting to laugh, but instead I am sucking in my belly and holding my breath. Commandant is raising his head high until his face is shining like it is made of metal. Some of these soldier, everything he is doing, they are doing. Everything he is saying, they are doing. Some other men is holding their gun by the front and letting the end to be dragging in the ground like plow when the men is going to find shade to be resting in. I am going to find Strika. I am finding him sitting under tree far away from the other men, holding stick and scratching picture into the dry ground.

Over and over again he is drawing the same picture of man and woman with no head because their head is rolling away on the ground.

Strika, I am calling to him, and he is looking up at me. No noise from him. He is not saying anything, I am telling myself. Since I am becoming soldier, I am never hearing the sound of his voice, but now, I am knowing what is his problem. His picture is telling me that he is not making one noise since they are killing his parent.

I am not believing him the first time he is telling me this, and every time I am trying to get him to say something or at least be making one sound from his mouth. I am feeling sad for him. I am getting used to it; this is how he is behaving from the very beginning.

Strika is moving to one side so I can also be sitting in the shade next to him. Because I am tall more than him, I am knowing that I am older, but nobody is really telling how old they are anymore.

All we are knowing is that, before the war we are children and now we are not.

I am looking at Strika and how his skin is just brown in some place and black in other place, looking just like camouflage dress everybody is wearing. I am laughing when I am seeing him and — Beasts of No Nation — 37 saying to him, ha ha.

Kehi kehi kehi. Strika is looking like shirt. I am hungry too, but the word are not coming out of my mouth. There is no food left for anybody in the camp. Strika is putting his head on my leg and licking his cracking lip.

The blood on them is dry and shiny, making his lip to look like he is swallowing red paint. I am touching his forehead with my hand and then I am touching my own to be seeing if he is hotter than me, but we are the same hotness.

He is not having fever and I am not having fever.

Beasts of no nation : a novel

We are just tired. Strika is punching the air above his head. We are not wanting to fight. We are tired of fighting. I am saying to him, one day there will be no more war and we can be living together in a house and eating all of the food we are wanting to eat. He is not acting like he is hearing anything I am saying because he knows it is lie. We will always be fighting war, but sometimes it is nice to be thinking that there is something else for our future.

Get ready! Time to go. And then we are loading the truck on the road near to our hut and building. Even the truck is not wanting to go. They are not sounding good at all at all. The engine is coughing and spitting like sick old man.

The back of the truck is having long wooden seat that is chooking you with splinter if you are even luckying enough to getting seat. And, if you are not luckying, then when the truck is moving, your head is moving from side to side with 38 — Uzodinma Iweala — the bump in the road and you are feeling like you have been in battle before the killing even starts. Commandant is having smaller truck for himself which I am liking better because it is giving more comfort.

Sometimes, if we are making him to happy, he is taking Strika and me to be riding in, but this is only sometimes. Most of the time, we are having to ride in the big truck with the other soldier. Commandant is dividing people like this, you. Come with me.

You, go with Luftenant. You come with me. You go with Luftenant. I am standing next to Strika when he is putting person here and there because I am wanting to be in the same group as Strika. And also I am wanting to be in the same group as Commandant because he is real soldier and making people to behave more like soldier than Luftenant.

Commandant is choosing. One of the people he is taking is Strika and one of the person he is not taking is me. I am wanting to be with Strika and Commandant, but of course the thing you are wanting most is always the thing that is not happening.

I am not wanting to be with Luftenant and I am not wanting to ride in his truck. I am not liking Luftenant because he is coward. I am knowing he is coward because his skin is looking very light and yellow like one of his parent is white man. I am not knowing if it is his mother or father that is white because, most of the time, I am wondering if he is even having mother or father. One time I am hearing him say that before the war he is selling shoe, but that is only because he is not having chance to go to school; and I am hearing him say also that his mother and his father are dying in car crash when he is young and that is how he is ending up selling — Beasts of No Nation — 39 shoe in the market.

I am not believing him and I am thinking that no other soldier is believing him. I think he is being born to sell shoe and that he is only Luftenant of rebel because he is bribing somebody to be giving him this rank. I am knowing it because one day after Commandant is abusing him for not fighting, I am hearing him grumbling that he is becoming Luftenant because he is thinking that officer is not having to fight.

Whenever he is near Commandant, he is acting like one scared dog and not even speaking. And in battle, he is never coming to the front and always staying at the back where he is trying to tell people what to be doing. Always, he is hiding behind the truck or anything that is giving him protection from the bomb and the bullet. I am even seeing him use dead body for protection, but I am also seeing other people doing the same thing so I am not too angry about that.

Still, I am not wanting to be with Luftenant because I am fearing that I will be dying too quickly and then I will never be seeing my family again.

I am angrying that Commandant is not taking me and Strika together and I am fighting very hard to get into the back of truck first so at least I am not having to stand and be too too tired wherever we are going to raid. I am finding my seat in the corner where I am having wood wall on one side. This way no one can be pushing me this way or that way.

Beasts of No Nation: A Novel

No one will be making me to get up. The road is going on and on. I am looking through the wooden board to where the tree is moving by like it is running and I am seeing the road, which is moving like black river carrying 40 — Uzodinma Iweala — us to far away. I am feeling the cold air on my body that is pushing away all the heat from all of the body on this truck so I am not sweating as much.

And my head, it is moving from side to side so much that I am having to use my hand to be holding it in one place. Hunger is attacking me because I am not eating anything since so long. Sleep is attacking me because the truck is just rocking back and forward and back and forward with all of the bump in the road. Sleep is attacking me and I am beginning to think of my village. It is so long since I am even seeing it in my dream. All the truck is stopping. We are here at one junction and everybody is getting down, but I am the last to get down because I am the first to be sitting in the truck.

As soon as I am jumping down into the outside, I am starting to sweating and it is sticking to my skin like million shiny insect. I am brushing the sweat away, but it is only making my hand wet and to be smelling like wet mud. Commandant is walking up and down and folding his hand one on the other and just looking around. He is putting his hand in his hairs and also holding his beard and this is making me to fear somehow.

I am wondering if he is knowing where we are going or how we are going to be getting there. I am looking behind me down this hill at the land that is stretching for kilometer and kilometer. Everything is green because this is the South of the country and we are having many — Beasts of No Nation — 41 tree. These tree are very fat because they are having so much water to drink. From the top of this hill, I am seeing through the tall grasses by the roadside to where the land is meeting the sky.

I am not knowing where the hill is stopping or the bottom of the cloud is beginning because it is so far away that all of this is happening. I am seeing many many tree, too many tree that it is making me to wonder if God is planting all of the tree He can think of in this part of the country. Maybe He is running out before He is getting to the North where Government is and this is why they are angrying at us and wanting to kill us, because God is forgetting them.

From this hill it is looking like you can just be jumping into the top of the tree for them to catch you, but I am knowing that that cannot happen. One day one soldier from our group is jumping off tall rock because he is saying he is finding heaven in all of the tree. I am thinking that he was madding in the head. I am not knowing if he is finding heaven, but I am not wanting to try it for myself to be finding out.

Nobody is telling me the name of these tree, so I am making it up. I am only knowing the Iroko tree, so I am calling those one when I am seeing them. But some of the tree are shorter than the Iroko tree and I am calling these one the children of the forest.

There are tree with leaf that are having five point, so I am calling them the star-leaf tree because it is like their leaf is becoming the star in the sky when they are falling.

I know because when this leaf is falling to the mud, it is becoming yellow like the color of star. And there is some smaller tree with vine that is strangling them. I am calling these tree the slave tree because they are slave to the vine that is using them to climb up to the 42 — Uzodinma Iweala — sun.

If I am tree, then I will be liking to be like the Iroko because they are so tall and strong that nothing is bothering them, but I am thinking that I am more like slave tree because I can never be doing what I want. I am not wanting to fight today because I am not liking the gun shooting and the knife chopping and the people running.

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I am not liking to hear people scream or to be looking at blood. I am not liking any of these thing. So I am asking to myself, why am I fighting? Why can I not just be saying no? Then I am remembering how one boy is refusing to fight and Commandant is just telling us to jump on his chest, so we are jumping on his chest until it is only blood that is coming out of his mouth.

Commandant is saying, form rank. You who are going with me and you who are going with Luftenant. We are forming them but they are not even straight. My leg is shaking shaking. Even Commandant is fearing because he is turning his head from side to side and looking down the road one way and then up the road the other way. He is looking up to the sky and I am knowing that he is thinking about how government is sometimes flying plane or helicopter to be dropping bomb and fire on everybody.

This village is between these two road, he is shouting, so people with me will be attacking from one end when people with Luftenant is attacking from the other. That — Beasts of No Nation — 43 way there is not even any place for these dog to be running. We will be killing them like they are killing us and we will be stealing from them what they are stealing from us.

He is taking his people, one of them is Strika, but he is leaving me to be going with Luftenant and Rambo. I am liking Rambo and wanting to be wearing red bandanna like that on my head like he is wearing to be keeping the sweat from pouring into his eye when he is busy killing killing.

Nobody is knowing why he is getting the name Rambo, but I am knowing of the movie and how that man is very tough and mean and I am thinking to myself, yes, yes this Rambo is very tough and also mean, but he is also very smart. I am liking the way his eye is so sharp that they are seeing everything each time we are in battle. He is dodging bullet and bomb and all of the thing that are killing people.

Sometime I am wondering if he is having his own juju to be making him live without fearing death, but I am not wanting to ask him or he will be laughing at me.

I am knowing that if I am staying with him, then at least I am surviving, so it is not making me to feel too so mad that I am having to go with Luftenant this time. There is not enough gun for each person to be having one and so I am not having gun.

Anyway, Commandant is saying that I am too small to be carrying gun because small person is not holding gun well well and just bouncing up and down when they are shooting. Instead he is giving me knife. But everybody is getting gun juice. Everybody is always wanting gun juice because it is drug and making life easy easy.

Gun juice is making 44 — Uzodinma Iweala — you to be stronger and braver. It is making your head to hurt and it is tasting like bullet and sugarcane. I am not liking how it is the color of oil and the color of black paint or water in the gutter, but I am struggling to get my own so I can be putting it in my mouth. It is tasting like licking rock and it is tasting like eating pencil, but it is also tasting like licking sweet.

My throat is burning like the fire of gun, but it is also sweeting like sugar cane. I am wanting more gun juice. My belly is growling like hungry dog because the gun juice is making it to be that way. I am feeling hungry and I am not feeling hungry. I am wanting to vomit and I am not wanting to vomit, but I am thinking, let me not be vomiting because I am not even eating very much food so if I am vomiting there is nothing staying inside my stomach to be giving me energy.

Commandant is shouting, but I am hearing him like he is speaking through one big bag of cotton. He is saying, let us pray, let us pray and then he is asking the Lord to be guiding us in everything we are about to be doing. I am thinking that we should not even be asking God for anything because it is like He is forgetting us.

I am trying to forget Him anyway even if my mother would not be happying with me. She is always saying to fear God and to always be going to church on Sunday, but now I am not even knowing what day is Sunday. I am saying bye to Strika and watching him walking away with Commandant.

I am just waiting for the gun juice to start to working so I am not having to think as much anymore. We are walking down into the valley and down into the bush so I am feeling like animal going back to his home. My forehead — Beasts of No Nation — 45 is heating up and my hand is hot and I am finding it hard to be breathing like the air is water, like in the place the cloud is borning before they are bringing rain.

I am hearing water and I am thirsty and wanting to drink, but the stream we are coming to is having too much mud. Anyway, it is not mattering. I am putting my head in the water and when I am bringing it out the sky is many different color and I am seeing spirit in the cloud. Everybody is looking like one kind of animal, no more human.

Nobody is having nose or lip or mouth or any of the thing that is making you to remember somebody. Everything is just looking like one kind of animal and smelling like chicken or goat, or cow. Across the stream, I am feeling in my body something like electricity and I am starting to think: Yes it is good to fight. I am liking how the gun is shooting and the knife is chopping. I am liking to see people running from me and people screaming for me when I am killing them and taking their blood.

I am liking to kill. Across the stream, I am feeling like man with big muscle and small head and I am thinking that nothing can be stopping me and nothing can be slowing me down—not even the hill we are climbing. I am like leopard hunting in the bush and I am feeling like I am going home.

All of the leaf is red and dripping and all of the plant is too thick. The bush is chooking me with its branch and it is trying to trip me with its root, but I am running running through all of the color of this world, through all the tree, through all the flower.

If I am falling on my knee it is not mattering because I am getting 46 — Uzodinma Iweala — up and running, running, running. Nobody is knowing we are coming here, coming just like cloud when you are not even expecting it. On the path, I am feeling wet mud between my toe and the grasses like knife on my ankle. I am saying prayer to God but all my word is going to Devil. Help me to be doing the thing You want me to do, I am saying, but I am only hearing laughter all around me in the tree and in the farm we are passing, many farm that is having no more yam or cassava because there is nobody staying to be growing them.

And on the path, we are coming to the edge of this village where there are the poor person house made of mud and tin and wood. There is nobody living inside so we are tearing them down and setting the thatch roof on fire and then we are moving on to more house. Each person is taking house and saying, this is my house and everything that is in it is belonging to me. I am running to the smell of smoke in one house that is having wall of cement with breaking-up glass on top to be keeping away the terrible people like Commandant and Luftenant.

Person in this house is trying to keep safe behind iron gate, but we are pushing it pushing it until it is opening with big scream like it is not wanting to be opening at all at all. There is soft dirt under my feets and tall green tree with orange and mango. Every building here is painting green even if it is fading, but they are rising from the grasses with white window like bone inside them. Far away, I am hearing screaming and gunfire and my head is growing smaller and my body is growing bigger.

I am just wanting to kill. I am seeing animal and I am wanting to kill it. I am raising my machete and then I am seeing. He is looking like dog to me, but we are hugging in all of the screaming and the gunfire and I am feeling his head and he is feeling my head and then we are going together through all of the changing color to the main house of this compound.

In the main house, there is no food, nothing to lick, nothing to chop, nothing. Breaking glass is everywhere like someone is coming here before. All of the chair is breaking, but there is still picture on the wall, and there are plastic flower lying on table. So many door from this room. They are leading down hallway. The smell of shit and piss is all around us. In the room, I am looking up and seeing—sky.

There is nothing to be keeping out the rain or God from watching what it is we are doing. The sun is coming loose like someone is cutting it and it is bleeding red and yellow and purple and blue above us.

In the corner, there is desk being eaten by termite and in the other corner is bed smelling like chicken and goat. I am wanting to kill. We are all wanting to kill. Under the bed there is woman and her daughter just hiding. She is looking at us and worrying worrying so much it is looking like somebody is cutting her face with knife. She is smelling like goat and we are wanting to kill her so we are dragging her 48 — Uzodinma Iweala — out, all of us soldier, but she is holding her daughter.

They are holding each other and shaking like they are having fever. They are so thin more than us and the skin is hanging down like elephant skin so I am knowing she is fat before this war is coming and making rich and fat like poor and thin.

Are you my mother, I am saying. Are you my sister? But they are only screaming like Devil is coming for them. I am not Devil. Devil is not blessing me and I am not going to hell.

But still I am thinking maybe Devil born me and that is why I am doing all of this. But I am standing outside myself and I am watching it all happening. I am standing outside of myself. I am grabbing the woman and her daughter. They are not my mother and my sister. I am telling them, it is enough. This is the end. And now the woman is praying to God, please take my daughter safely to heaven. Forgive her sin. You are saying blessed is the children and who is living in You.

They are never seeing death. Am I wronging You? I am trying to live for You. Please Lord I am begging to You. I am laughing laughing because God is forgetting everybody in this country. Strika is pulling down his short and showing that he is man to this woman while I am holding her one leg and another soldier is holding the other.

But it is not Devil that is borning me. I am having father and mother and I am coming from them. They are fighting for many day, but nobody is winning until finally they are growing tired and saying, let us stop. Let us stop.

So they are stopping and feasting together, enemy with enemy, and rejoicing well well until they are going to sleep. But in the night enemy is attacking warrior and wounding him until he is running away into the bush. It is at this time that he is falling down by this river and almost dying, but the goddess of the river is coming to help him and make him better. She was the most beautiful thing to be seeing in the whole world so when the warrior is waking up to see her he is saying Kai!

Then, because he is loosing from his own village he is saying, well I will just marry this beautiful woman so that we can be having some children which is exactly what he is doing at the time. When the woman is having her baby, she is having twin boy, very strong because of their father being warrior and their mother being goddess. Also, because of their mother being goddess, they could be changing from one animal to the other. So sometimes they are changing into monkey to be climbing into the tree and getting the best fruit and sometimes they are changing to bird to be seeing the whole world.

And they are loving each other so much until one day they are changing into different animal. One is becoming ox to be going to the river to drink because he is thirsty and the other is becoming leopard so that he can be hunting in the bush.

Leopard was hunting hunting, but he is not finding anything to be killing so he is coming back to find 50 — Uzodinma Iweala — his mother and his father. When he is coming to the river, he is seeing this ox just standing there drinking and he is saying, oho I will be killing this thing and bringing food back for my family to be eating. He is coming to Ox very quietly until he is so close he is biting Ox on the neck, but at the same time Ox is fighting him and chooking him in the heart with his two big horn.

Since they are wounding, they are changing back into human being and seeing that they are brother and not enemy so they are crying crying until they are dying right there and their blood is just running into the river and turning it to brown. Their mother and their father are coming back and finding them dead just like that and the mother is screaming AYIIIEEE and crying and saying that she is needing to get away from this place where her children are dead because it is abomination.

So, they are moving up the hill to where the square of the village is now and having more children, but every year, goddess and warrior are coming back to this river with all of the rest of their children to be visiting the place where their son is dying.

This woman is enemy. She is killing my family and burning my house and stealing my food and making my family to scatter. And this girl is enemy. She is killing my father and making me to run from my home. She is holding holding her so the two of them are like one animal. I am with Strika and we are pulling the girl, pulling until her leg is cracking, but she is not letting go.

She is screaming and I am seeing her breath is coming out from her mouth, — Beasts of No Nation — 51 just coming out and coming out. Then Strika is taking his knife high above his head and chopping and everybody is coming apart.

The girl is having no more hand. She is not screaming or shouting or making any noise. She is just having no more hand.

Commandant is saying that she is enemy, she is stealing our food, and killing my family because she is enemy. I am chopping and chopping and chopping until I am looking up and it is dark. Another night. Time is not passing. Day is chang- ing to night. Night is changing to day. How can I know what is happening? It is like one day everything is somehow okay even if we are fighting war, but the next day we are killing killing and looting from everybody.

How can I know what is happening to me? How can I know? Everything is inside out like my shirt I am wearing.

Sometimes I am seeing thing in front of me when we are walking or drilling or killing, and sometimes I am seeing thing that I am knowing is coming from before the war, but I am seeing it like they are coming right now. If person is dancing or singing in the camp just to be doing something to not be thinking about war, then I am closing my eye and seeing how when I am in my village we are loving so much to dance. We are dancing too because it is how we are learning to become men.

Young person is having to spend one whole year learning all the dance that is turning you to man, and if you are not learning, then nobody is thinking that you are man.

Every year this is happening, my mother is grumbling, it is not good to be celebrating any spirit but God because He is jealous and will be punishing you.

But she was still tying her white cloth around her body and wrapping her head in white cloth to be joining the other woman cooking the whole night in the compound of the village chief. And when she is grumbling like this, my father is saying, God is knowing that we are only worshiping Him truly, but there are other spirit that we must also be saying hello to.

In the morning, the whole village was standing in the square and wearing their white cloth. I was always looking at all the woman and how they are shutting their eye from tiredness and how the men who are standing are jumping and shaking like they are wanting to be dancing again.

Then I am looking to the drummer who are sitting and cracking their finger and putting their ear on the goatskin of their drum just listening to what the drum is wanting to say. I am hungry too, but the word are not coming out of my mouth. There is no food left for anybody in the camp.

Strika is putting his head on my leg and licking his cracking lip. The blood on them is dry and shiny, making his lip to look like he is swallowing red paint. I am touching his forehead with my hand and then I am touching my own to be seeing if he is hotter than me, but we are the same hotness.

He is not having fever and I am not having fever. We are just tired. Strika is punching the air above his head. We are not wanting to fight.

We are tired of fighting. I am saying to him, one day there will be no more war and we can be living together in a house and eating all of the food we are wanting to eat. He is not acting like he is hearing anything I am saying because he knows it is lie.

We will always be fighting war, but sometimes it is nice to be thinking that there is something else for our future. Get ready! Time to go. And then we are loading the truck on the road near to our hut and building. Even the truck is not wanting to go.

They are not sounding good at all at all. The engine is coughing and spitting like sick old man. The back of the truck is having long wooden seat that is chooking you with splinter if you are even luckying enough to getting seat. And, if you are not luckying, then when the truck is moving, your head is moving from side to side with 38 — Uzodinma Iweala — the bump in the road and you are feeling like you have been in battle before the killing even starts.

Commandant is having smaller truck for himself which I am liking better because it is giving more comfort. Sometimes, if we are making him to happy, he is taking Strika and me to be riding in, but this is only sometimes. Most of the time, we are having to ride in the big truck with the other soldier.

Commandant is dividing people like this, you. Come with me. You, go with Luftenant. You come with me. You go with Luftenant. I am standing next to Strika when he is putting person here and there because I am wanting to be in the same group as Strika.

And also I am wanting to be in the same group as Commandant because he is real soldier and making people to behave more like soldier than Luftenant. Commandant is choosing. One of the people he is taking is Strika and one of the person he is not taking is me. I am wanting to be with Strika and Commandant, but of course the thing you are wanting most is always the thing that is not happening.

I am not wanting to be with Luftenant and I am not wanting to ride in his truck. I am not liking Luftenant because he is coward. I am knowing he is coward because his skin is looking very light and yellow like one of his parent is white man.

I am not knowing if it is his mother or father that is white because, most of the time, I am wondering if he is even having mother or father. One time I am hearing him say that before the war he is selling shoe, but that is only because he is not having chance to go to school; and I am hearing him say also that his mother and his father are dying in car crash when he is young and that is how he is ending up selling — Beasts of No Nation — 39 shoe in the market.

I am not believing him and I am thinking that no other soldier is believing him. I think he is being born to sell shoe and that he is only Luftenant of rebel because he is bribing somebody to be giving him this rank. I am knowing it because one day after Commandant is abusing him for not fighting, I am hearing him grumbling that he is becoming Luftenant because he is thinking that officer is not having to fight. Whenever he is near Commandant, he is acting like one scared dog and not even speaking.

And in battle, he is never coming to the front and always staying at the back where he is trying to tell people what to be doing. Always, he is hiding behind the truck or anything that is giving him protection from the bomb and the bullet. I am even seeing him use dead body for protection, but I am also seeing other people doing the same thing so I am not too angry about that.

Still, I am not wanting to be with Luftenant because I am fearing that I will be dying too quickly and then I will never be seeing my family again. I am angrying that Commandant is not taking me and Strika together and I am fighting very hard to get into the back of truck first so at least I am not having to stand and be too too tired wherever we are going to raid.

I am finding my seat in the corner where I am having wood wall on one side. This way no one can be pushing me this way or that way. No one will be making me to get up. The road is going on and on. I am looking through the wooden board to where the tree is moving by like it is running and I am seeing the road, which is moving like black river carrying 40 — Uzodinma Iweala — us to far away.

I am feeling the cold air on my body that is pushing away all the heat from all of the body on this truck so I am not sweating as much. And my head, it is moving from side to side so much that I am having to use my hand to be holding it in one place.

Hunger is attacking me because I am not eating anything since so long. Sleep is attacking me because the truck is just rocking back and forward and back and forward with all of the bump in the road. Sleep is attacking me and I am beginning to think of my village. It is so long since I am even seeing it in my dream. All the truck is stopping. We are here at one junction and everybody is getting down, but I am the last to get down because I am the first to be sitting in the truck.

As soon as I am jumping down into the outside, I am starting to sweating and it is sticking to my skin like million shiny insect. I am brushing the sweat away, but it is only making my hand wet and to be smelling like wet mud.

Commandant is walking up and down and folding his hand one on the other and just looking around. He is putting his hand in his hairs and also holding his beard and this is making me to fear somehow. I am wondering if he is knowing where we are going or how we are going to be getting there. I am looking behind me down this hill at the land that is stretching for kilometer and kilometer. Everything is green because this is the South of the country and we are having many — Beasts of No Nation — 41 tree.

These tree are very fat because they are having so much water to drink. From the top of this hill, I am seeing through the tall grasses by the roadside to where the land is meeting the sky. I am not knowing where the hill is stopping or the bottom of the cloud is beginning because it is so far away that all of this is happening. I am seeing many many tree, too many tree that it is making me to wonder if God is planting all of the tree He can think of in this part of the country.

Maybe He is running out before He is getting to the North where Government is and this is why they are angrying at us and wanting to kill us, because God is forgetting them. From this hill it is looking like you can just be jumping into the top of the tree for them to catch you, but I am knowing that that cannot happen.

One day one soldier from our group is jumping off tall rock because he is saying he is finding heaven in all of the tree. I am thinking that he was madding in the head. I am not knowing if he is finding heaven, but I am not wanting to try it for myself to be finding out. Nobody is telling me the name of these tree, so I am making it up.

I am only knowing the Iroko tree, so I am calling those one when I am seeing them. But some of the tree are shorter than the Iroko tree and I am calling these one the children of the forest. There are tree with leaf that are having five point, so I am calling them the star-leaf tree because it is like their leaf is becoming the star in the sky when they are falling.

I know because when this leaf is falling to the mud, it is becoming yellow like the color of star. And there is some smaller tree with vine that is strangling them. I am calling these tree the slave tree because they are slave to the vine that is using them to climb up to the 42 — Uzodinma Iweala — sun.

If I am tree, then I will be liking to be like the Iroko because they are so tall and strong that nothing is bothering them, but I am thinking that I am more like slave tree because I can never be doing what I want.

I am not wanting to fight today because I am not liking the gun shooting and the knife chopping and the people running. I am not liking to hear people scream or to be looking at blood. I am not liking any of these thing.

So I am asking to myself, why am I fighting? Why can I not just be saying no? Then I am remembering how one boy is refusing to fight and Commandant is just telling us to jump on his chest, so we are jumping on his chest until it is only blood that is coming out of his mouth.

Commandant is saying, form rank. You who are going with me and you who are going with Luftenant. We are forming them but they are not even straight. My leg is shaking shaking.

Even Commandant is fearing because he is turning his head from side to side and looking down the road one way and then up the road the other way. He is looking up to the sky and I am knowing that he is thinking about how government is sometimes flying plane or helicopter to be dropping bomb and fire on everybody. This village is between these two road, he is shouting, so people with me will be attacking from one end when people with Luftenant is attacking from the other. That — Beasts of No Nation — 43 way there is not even any place for these dog to be running.

We will be killing them like they are killing us and we will be stealing from them what they are stealing from us.

He is taking his people, one of them is Strika, but he is leaving me to be going with Luftenant and Rambo. I am liking Rambo and wanting to be wearing red bandanna like that on my head like he is wearing to be keeping the sweat from pouring into his eye when he is busy killing killing.

Nobody is knowing why he is getting the name Rambo, but I am knowing of the movie and how that man is very tough and mean and I am thinking to myself, yes, yes this Rambo is very tough and also mean, but he is also very smart. I am liking the way his eye is so sharp that they are seeing everything each time we are in battle. He is dodging bullet and bomb and all of the thing that are killing people.

Sometime I am wondering if he is having his own juju to be making him live without fearing death, but I am not wanting to ask him or he will be laughing at me. I am knowing that if I am staying with him, then at least I am surviving, so it is not making me to feel too so mad that I am having to go with Luftenant this time. There is not enough gun for each person to be having one and so I am not having gun.

Anyway, Commandant is saying that I am too small to be carrying gun because small person is not holding gun well well and just bouncing up and down when they are shooting. Instead he is giving me knife. But everybody is getting gun juice. Everybody is always wanting gun juice because it is drug and making life easy easy. Gun juice is making 44 — Uzodinma Iweala — you to be stronger and braver. It is making your head to hurt and it is tasting like bullet and sugarcane.

I am not liking how it is the color of oil and the color of black paint or water in the gutter, but I am struggling to get my own so I can be putting it in my mouth. It is tasting like licking rock and it is tasting like eating pencil, but it is also tasting like licking sweet. My throat is burning like the fire of gun, but it is also sweeting like sugar cane. I am wanting more gun juice. My belly is growling like hungry dog because the gun juice is making it to be that way.

I am feeling hungry and I am not feeling hungry. I am wanting to vomit and I am not wanting to vomit, but I am thinking, let me not be vomiting because I am not even eating very much food so if I am vomiting there is nothing staying inside my stomach to be giving me energy. Commandant is shouting, but I am hearing him like he is speaking through one big bag of cotton.

He is saying, let us pray, let us pray and then he is asking the Lord to be guiding us in everything we are about to be doing. I am thinking that we should not even be asking God for anything because it is like He is forgetting us. I am trying to forget Him anyway even if my mother would not be happying with me. She is always saying to fear God and to always be going to church on Sunday, but now I am not even knowing what day is Sunday.

I am saying bye to Strika and watching him walking away with Commandant. I am just waiting for the gun juice to start to working so I am not having to think as much anymore.

We are walking down into the valley and down into the bush so I am feeling like animal going back to his home. My forehead — Beasts of No Nation — 45 is heating up and my hand is hot and I am finding it hard to be breathing like the air is water, like in the place the cloud is borning before they are bringing rain. I am hearing water and I am thirsty and wanting to drink, but the stream we are coming to is having too much mud. Anyway, it is not mattering. I am putting my head in the water and when I am bringing it out the sky is many different color and I am seeing spirit in the cloud.

Everybody is looking like one kind of animal, no more human. Nobody is having nose or lip or mouth or any of the thing that is making you to remember somebody. Everything is just looking like one kind of animal and smelling like chicken or goat, or cow. Across the stream, I am feeling in my body something like electricity and I am starting to think: Yes it is good to fight.

I am liking how the gun is shooting and the knife is chopping. I am liking to see people running from me and people screaming for me when I am killing them and taking their blood. I am liking to kill. Across the stream, I am feeling like man with big muscle and small head and I am thinking that nothing can be stopping me and nothing can be slowing me down—not even the hill we are climbing.

I am like leopard hunting in the bush and I am feeling like I am going home. All of the leaf is red and dripping and all of the plant is too thick. The bush is chooking me with its branch and it is trying to trip me with its root, but I am running running through all of the color of this world, through all the tree, through all the flower. If I am falling on my knee it is not mattering because I am getting 46 — Uzodinma Iweala — up and running, running, running.

Nobody is knowing we are coming here, coming just like cloud when you are not even expecting it. On the path, I am feeling wet mud between my toe and the grasses like knife on my ankle.

I am saying prayer to God but all my word is going to Devil. Help me to be doing the thing You want me to do, I am saying, but I am only hearing laughter all around me in the tree and in the farm we are passing, many farm that is having no more yam or cassava because there is nobody staying to be growing them.

And on the path, we are coming to the edge of this village where there are the poor person house made of mud and tin and wood. There is nobody living inside so we are tearing them down and setting the thatch roof on fire and then we are moving on to more house.

Each person is taking house and saying, this is my house and everything that is in it is belonging to me. I am running to the smell of smoke in one house that is having wall of cement with breaking-up glass on top to be keeping away the terrible people like Commandant and Luftenant. Person in this house is trying to keep safe behind iron gate, but we are pushing it pushing it until it is opening with big scream like it is not wanting to be opening at all at all.

There is soft dirt under my feets and tall green tree with orange and mango. Every building here is painting green even if it is fading, but they are rising from the grasses with white window like bone inside them. Far away, I am hearing screaming and gunfire and my head is growing smaller and my body is growing bigger.

I am just wanting to kill. I am seeing animal and I am wanting to kill it. I am raising my machete and then I am seeing. He is looking like dog to me, but we are hugging in all of the screaming and the gunfire and I am feeling his head and he is feeling my head and then we are going together through all of the changing color to the main house of this compound. In the main house, there is no food, nothing to lick, nothing to chop, nothing.

Breaking glass is everywhere like someone is coming here before. All of the chair is breaking, but there is still picture on the wall, and there are plastic flower lying on table. So many door from this room.

They are leading down hallway. The smell of shit and piss is all around us. In the room, I am looking up and seeing—sky. There is nothing to be keeping out the rain or God from watching what it is we are doing. The sun is coming loose like someone is cutting it and it is bleeding red and yellow and purple and blue above us. In the corner, there is desk being eaten by termite and in the other corner is bed smelling like chicken and goat.

I am wanting to kill. We are all wanting to kill. Under the bed there is woman and her daughter just hiding. She is looking at us and worrying worrying so much it is looking like somebody is cutting her face with knife.

She is smelling like goat and we are wanting to kill her so we are dragging her 48 — Uzodinma Iweala — out, all of us soldier, but she is holding her daughter. They are holding each other and shaking like they are having fever. They are so thin more than us and the skin is hanging down like elephant skin so I am knowing she is fat before this war is coming and making rich and fat like poor and thin. Are you my mother, I am saying. Are you my sister?

But they are only screaming like Devil is coming for them. I am not Devil. Devil is not blessing me and I am not going to hell. But still I am thinking maybe Devil born me and that is why I am doing all of this.

But I am standing outside myself and I am watching it all happening. I am standing outside of myself. I am grabbing the woman and her daughter. They are not my mother and my sister. I am telling them, it is enough. This is the end. And now the woman is praying to God, please take my daughter safely to heaven.

Forgive her sin. You are saying blessed is the children and who is living in You. They are never seeing death. Am I wronging You? I am trying to live for You. Please Lord I am begging to You. I am laughing laughing because God is forgetting everybody in this country. Strika is pulling down his short and showing that he is man to this woman while I am holding her one leg and another soldier is holding the other.

But it is not Devil that is borning me. I am having father and mother and I am coming from them. They are fighting for many day, but nobody is winning until finally they are growing tired and saying, let us stop. Let us stop. So they are stopping and feasting together, enemy with enemy, and rejoicing well well until they are going to sleep. But in the night enemy is attacking warrior and wounding him until he is running away into the bush. It is at this time that he is falling down by this river and almost dying, but the goddess of the river is coming to help him and make him better.

She was the most beautiful thing to be seeing in the whole world so when the warrior is waking up to see her he is saying Kai! Then, because he is loosing from his own village he is saying, well I will just marry this beautiful woman so that we can be having some children which is exactly what he is doing at the time. When the woman is having her baby, she is having twin boy, very strong because of their father being warrior and their mother being goddess.

Also, because of their mother being goddess, they could be changing from one animal to the other. So sometimes they are changing into monkey to be climbing into the tree and getting the best fruit and sometimes they are changing to bird to be seeing the whole world. And they are loving each other so much until one day they are changing into different animal. One is becoming ox to be going to the river to drink because he is thirsty and the other is becoming leopard so that he can be hunting in the bush.

Leopard was hunting hunting, but he is not finding anything to be killing so he is coming back to find 50 — Uzodinma Iweala — his mother and his father. When he is coming to the river, he is seeing this ox just standing there drinking and he is saying, oho I will be killing this thing and bringing food back for my family to be eating. He is coming to Ox very quietly until he is so close he is biting Ox on the neck, but at the same time Ox is fighting him and chooking him in the heart with his two big horn.

Since they are wounding, they are changing back into human being and seeing that they are brother and not enemy so they are crying crying until they are dying right there and their blood is just running into the river and turning it to brown.

Their mother and their father are coming back and finding them dead just like that and the mother is screaming AYIIIEEE and crying and saying that she is needing to get away from this place where her children are dead because it is abomination.

So, they are moving up the hill to where the square of the village is now and having more children, but every year, goddess and warrior are coming back to this river with all of the rest of their children to be visiting the place where their son is dying.

This woman is enemy. She is killing my family and burning my house and stealing my food and making my family to scatter. And this girl is enemy. She is killing my father and making me to run from my home.

She is holding holding her so the two of them are like one animal. I am with Strika and we are pulling the girl, pulling until her leg is cracking, but she is not letting go. She is screaming and I am seeing her breath is coming out from her mouth, — Beasts of No Nation — 51 just coming out and coming out. Then Strika is taking his knife high above his head and chopping and everybody is coming apart.

The girl is having no more hand. She is not screaming or shouting or making any noise. She is just having no more hand. Commandant is saying that she is enemy, she is stealing our food, and killing my family because she is enemy.

I am chopping and chopping and chopping until I am looking up and it is dark. Another night. Time is not passing. Day is chang- ing to night. Night is changing to day. How can I know what is happening?

It is like one day everything is somehow okay even if we are fighting war, but the next day we are killing killing and looting from everybody. How can I know what is happening to me? How can I know?

Everything is inside out like my shirt I am wearing. Sometimes I am seeing thing in front of me when we are walking or drilling or killing, and sometimes I am seeing thing that I am knowing is coming from before the war, but I am seeing it like they are coming right now. If person is dancing or singing in the camp just to be doing something to not be thinking about war, then I am closing my eye and seeing how when I am in my village we are loving so much to dance.

We are dancing too because it is how we are learning to become men. Young person is having to spend one whole year learning all the dance that is turning you to man, and if you are not learning, then nobody is thinking that you are man. Every year this is happening, my mother is grumbling, it is not good to be celebrating any spirit but God because He is jealous and will be punishing you.

But she was still tying her white cloth around her body and wrapping her head in white cloth to be joining the other woman cooking the whole night in the compound of the village chief. And when she is grumbling like this, my father is saying, God is knowing that we are only worshiping Him truly, but there are other spirit that we must also be saying hello to. In the morning, the whole village was standing in the square and wearing their white cloth. I was always looking at all the woman and how they are shutting their eye from tiredness and how the men who are standing are jumping and shaking like they are wanting to be dancing again.

Then I am looking to the drummer who are sitting and cracking their finger and putting their ear on the goatskin of their drum just listening to what the drum is wanting to say. And the air was tighting like top of the drum and everybody in the whole place was just agitating. All the dancer is dancing the Dance of the Warrior and they are coming out wearing bell on their ankle and carrying machete that they are making from wood.

All of the mask on the face is painting with color bright like sunrise, color that is dancing almost as much as they are dancing when the drum is beating and the bell is ringing. They are wearing grass hat that is just talking like the wind in the grasses when they are jumping this way and that way pretending to be fighting until dust is flying everywhere and making people to have catarrh too much.

Then all the dancer is disappearing just like that and everybody was sweating and shouting and smiling before we are feasting on yam with red palm oil, and fish, and meat, and egg with pepper that are making the mouth to be feeling fire so you are having to drink so much water.

At this time, the women are talking to themself and the men are talking to themself and the children are playing. But me, I am wanting to dance too much so I am trying to be repeating the dance I am seeing.

And all the dancer is coming back to be dancing the Dance of the Goddess in mask of white chalk and blue paint on their body and blue cloth around their waist. No drum is beating this time, but — Beasts of No Nation — 55 the women of the village are singing loudly loudly the song of the river goddess while the men are watching and moving from one foot to the other foot.

And in the afternoon, we are eating some more pounded yam and soups with goat meat and oxtail, or rice with chicken and plantain, or roasted maize and salad with leaf fresh from the farm, but nobody is really jubilating because the song is so sweet that it is making you to want to cry, and if you are talking then you are disturbing how sweet it is.

When evening was finally coming and the sun is setting so the only light is coming from the torch burning in the village square, we are dancing the Dance of the Ox and Leopard. All the dancer was shining with oil and sweat and their feets stomping the ground and their dress is shaking grasses all over the ground.

In the orange light, they are looking like spirit themself just dancing in ox-head mask with sharp horn coloring red and white, and also leopard mask with sharp teeths coloring red and white.

I am liking this dance the best, how the ox and leopard are just running at each other and falling back, running and falling back, and snapping their arm and their leg, throwing their head from this side to that side until the end of the dance when so much sweat is running down their arm it is looking like the color of blood in the orange light.

With all of the song from the day sounding in the air above us, the whole village was collecting all our torch, picking up the fire from the square and walking down the road past all of the compound, down to where the path is cutting through palm grove and down to the river. Everybody is rushing rushing 56 — Uzodinma Iweala — because mosquito was biting us and also to be seeing who the head boy cutting the ox will be.

By the river, tied to one palm tree by its horn and its leg an ox was always waiting and stomping and making long low noise that are making you to sadding very much in your heart. The whole village was watching as all the dancer is dancing in the shallow river until the whole water is shining with small small wave. Then the top boy is going to the village chief and kneeling before him while the other leopard and ox dancer are dancing around and around him.

The chief is giving him real machete and saying something into his ear until the boy is going and chopping one blow into the neck of the ox. Blood is flying all over his body and he is wiping it from his mask with his hand. Then he is putting his hand where he is cutting and collecting the blood to be rubbing on his body.

When he is finishing, all the other is doing the same until everyone is covering in so much blood. Everybody is knowing that to be killing masquerade you are removing its mask. All of the dancer is removing their mask. All of the spirit are dying and now all the boy is becoming men. I am opening my eye and seeing that I am still in the war, and I am thinking, if war is not coming, then I would be man by now. If I am closing my eye, I am seeing the rainy season and how, in my village, they are saying it is always bringing change — Beasts of No Nation — 57 too fast.

You can be starting in one place with one plan and then finding that the whole world is washing away beneath your feets. You can be walking on road and finding that you are swimming in river. You can be starting day all dry and warm and then be finishing with your clothe like another skin on your body.

Nothing is ever for sure and everything is always changing. It is not like one day I am going to sleep and the next day I am waking up and there is war, but it still is not like we are having time to prepare for this war because everything was still happening so fast that we were not even knowing what really happened. One day, they are closing school because there is no more Government. Part of me is feeling sad because I am liking to be in school and learning. Part of me is also happy because sometimes sitting in the hot classroom and just sweating while everybody else is making noise and all of the younger people are crying is making me to angry.

I went to be standing outside waiting for him because his mother is not liking us to disturb her so early in the morning and I am waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting for so long until the sun is full in the sky and the chicken are starting to fighting each other and quarreling over the insect and rubbish in the gutter.

I was waiting but no one was coming out. Top Pick. For immediate download. Check your local Dymocks store for stock. Enter your postcode: Please enter a valid postcode. Please note that prices may vary between www. Sorry, an error occurred while checking availability. Please try again later.

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Please note: Uzodinma Iweala Edition Type: DGO Publisher: General Fiction Publication Date: Goodreads reviews for ebook Beasts of No Nation. Reviews from Goodreads. Delivery options: Shipping to an Australian address When will my book be dispatched from your warehouse?

Beasts of No Nation

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Problems with your delivery In the event that the courier company fails to deliver your order due to invalid address information, they will return the order back to Dymocks Online.I am not ever wanting to be killing anybody.

As he vividly recalls these sunnier times, his daily reality continues to spin further downward into inexplicable brutality, primal fear, and loss of selfhood. I am not liking any of these thing.

And also I am wanting to be in the same group as Commandant because he is real soldier and making people to behave more like soldier than Luftenant. He is looking like dog to me, but we are hugging in all of the screaming and the gunfire and I am feeling his head and he is feeling my head and then we are going together through all of the changing color to the main house of this compound.