Tuesday, January 24, 2017

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday: What is the What by Dave Eggers

First Chapter Tuesday is hosted every Tuesday by Diane over at Bibiophile by the Sea. Join the fun by making your own post and linking up over at Diane's blog, or simple check it out to find more new books to read!

What is the What by Dave Eggers

What Is the What


"What is the What is the soulful account of my life: from the time I was separate from my family in Marial Bai to the thirteen years I spent in Ethiopian and Kenyan refugee camps, to my encounter with vibrant Western cultures beginning in Atlanta, to the generosity and the challenges that I encountered elsewhere. As you read this book, you will learn about  me and my beloved people of Sudan. I was just a young boy when the twenty-two-year civil war began that pitted Sudan's government against the Sudan's People Liberation Movement/Army. As a helpless human, I survived by trekking across many punishing landscapes while being bombed by Sudanese air forces, while dodging land mines, while being preyed upon by wild beasts and human killers."

Chapter 1

"I have no reason not to answer the door so I answer the door. I have no tiny round window to inspect visitors so I open the door and before me is a tall, sturdily built African-American woman, a few years older than me, wearing a red nylon sweatsuit. She speaks to me loudly. "You have a phone, sir?"

She looks familiar. I am almost certain that I saw her in the parking lot an hour ago, when I returned from the convenience store. I saw her standing by the stairs, and I smiled at her. I tell her that I do have a phone.

"My car broke down on the street," she says. Behind her, it is nearly night. I have been studying most of the afternoon. "Can you let me use your phone to call the police?" she asks."

(Note: I decided to add a preview of the preface as well in order to give a bit of background to what this book is all about.)
I'm actually just wrapping this one up -- I'll probably finish today -- but I've been dying to share it with people! This is such a gripping story that is written in a really interesting way. I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy the style, but it's been working really well. I definitely recommend it! 

What do you think? Would you keep reading? (And feel free to join in and make your own post!) 
If you're enticed by this chapter, be sure to check out the full synopsis on Goodreads!

*Excerpt taken from the novel itself; I do not claim to own any part of the excerpt.


  1. I get nervous whenever someone knocks...and wants to borrow a phone. Terrible things are about to happen, aren't they?

    I do want to keep reading. Here's mine: “LILLIAN BOXFISH TAKES A WALK”

  2. I don't trust her at all. Does he? I don't like where this is going. I'd have to keep reading. The blurb, too, tells me this is a great story. Glad you've enjoyed it so much. My intro/teaser is pretty gruesome: http://wp.me/p4DMf0-1t1

  3. I've heard good things about this book and may actually have a copy around somewhere. I'll have to look. As to the story - I will admit that I'm not inclined to let anyone in my house to use the phone. I'm way too distrustful. I'd probably say that I'd be happy to call for them.

  4. I haven't heard of this one before, but the excerpt is intriguing! Thanks for sharing :)

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

  5. Oh yes, I'd definitely keep reading. It sounds fascinating!

  6. Jordan, I have enjoyed this authors books in the past so probably would like to try this one as well -- enjoy

  7. This sounds like a good mystery, but no, I wouldn't let anyone I didn't know in. There are other ways to be of help.