The Monk of Mokha
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A gripping, triumphant adventure” (Los Angeles Times) from the bestselling author of The Circle—the incredible true story of a young Yemeni American man, raised in San Francisco, who dreams of resurrecting the ancient art of Yemeni coffee but finds himself trapped in Sana’a by civil war.
Mokhtar Alkhanshali is twenty-four and working as a doorman when he discovers the astonishing history of coffee and Yemen’s central place in it. He leaves San Francisco and travels deep into his ancestral homeland to tour terraced farms high in the country’s rugged mountains and meet beleaguered but determined farmers. But when war engulfs the country and Saudi bombs rain down, Mokhtar has to find a way out of Yemen without sacrificing his dreams or abandoning his people.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Thanks to The Monk of Mokha, we’ll never look at a cup of coffee the same way again. Channeling the empathy and skill he used to tell the story of a young Sudanese refugee in What Is the What, Dave Eggers here shares the inspiring true story of Mokhtar Alkhanshali, a first-generation American who travels from San Francisco to Yemen to revive his ancestral homeland’s legendary but ailing coffee trade. Eggers wisely takes a back seat to his spirited subject, sharing the rich, unexpected details of Alkhanshali’s life—and his thrilling, highly caffeinated pursuit of an American dream.
Actor Graham proves he's a natural storyteller in this excellent reading of Eggers's account of the life of an ill-educated 25-year-old Yemeni-American raised in poverty in San Francisco. After discovering that coffee originated in Yemen, Mokha Alkhanshali creates for himself a mission: to restore Yemeni coffee to its original quality and fame. In doing so, he develops an encyclopedic understanding of the complicated processes of growing, harvesting, and transporting coffee beans, and learns how to judge their quality. Mokha's entrepreneurial quest takes him to Yemen to make final importing arrangements just as the country falls into civil war and international crisis. Graham's ever-changing intonation, well-handled accents, and nuanced characterizations keep listeners riveted through harrowing acts of bravery, heartrending setbacks, and hair-raising events. A Knopf hardcover.
History, international events and a personal saga cliff hanger
Mr. Eggers has once again delivered an engaging tale that is a edge of your seat page turner. I loved the history of the coffee industry and the extraordinary saga about Mokhtar Alkhanshali and his quest to restore the quality and status of Yemeni coffee in the company of the best in the world.
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