• $11.99

Publisher Description

New York Times Notable Book
New York Times Bestseller

What Is the What
is the epic novel based on the life of Valentino Achak Deng who, along with thousands of other children —the so-called Lost Boys—was forced to leave his village in Sudan at the age of seven and trek hundreds of miles by foot, pursued by militias, government bombers, and wild animals, crossing the deserts of three countries to find freedom. When he finally is resettled in the United States, he finds a life full of promise, but also heartache and myriad new challenges. Moving, suspenseful, and unexpectedly funny, What Is the What is an astonishing novel that illuminates the lives of millions through one extraordinary man.

Fiction & Literature
October 9
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

Humphrey Ridiculous ,


Any time I want to complain about my day I think about the lost boys and this awesome story. Must read

erinmishelle ,

Thank you...

...for this book.
The last paragraph is perfection.

stackhouse.ecks ,

Enlightening but not compelling.

While this story was mildly entertaining, it was (at times) a chore to read. The novel lacked a real villain and the plot was “soft” and not really clear. Because the story is “fictionalized”, it is hard for the reader to know which parts are realistic or exaggeration/conjecture/speculation. Regardless, the story definitely provides the reader with thought-provoking nuggets. It also makes you want to know more about the actual conflict(s). I liked the book well enough to suggest it to another fellow reader. I also bought the book for a Sudanese fellow that works at a convenient store that I frequent. By the way… he had never heard of the question “What is the What?"

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