Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Book Review: Day of the Elephants

Product DetailsDay of the Elephants
Ron Swager & Ed Chinn
Smith Publicity -- Reel Marketing Systems, LLCPub Date   Jul 10 2013
ISBN 9780615827773

Amazon Synopsis:

Try to imagine that you are an eight-year-old boy living a village life of peace, safety, and familial love. But, suddenly, you are caught in the explosion of death. In an instant, everything familiar is destroyed. You leave your childhood forever. For the next twenty years, you see the darkest possibilities of humanity. And then, you touch the majestic beauty and grace that triumph over the darkness. This is a story you won't forget.

My Thoughts:

The Day of the Elephants has nothing to do with the large animal with four legs and a trunk. The elephant is a metaphor for terrorists, whether they be those who bring about terror and death to a nation, or a more “civilized” form of terrorist – physical, financial, relational, vocational or other issue which attempts to devastate an individual. From the outset of the book Swager and Chinn make it clear that the story of Roland Deah is a parallel for each of us as we face our own issues that knock us down. As Roland never gave up, so we must never give up. Swager and Chinn use Scripture throughout the book to help illustrate their thoughts.

Swager and Chinn do a reasonable job of narrating Roland’s story, one of brutality and horror without going into too much detail. They tell of child soldiers as young as 3 years old and the horrific acts used to recruit them. They tell Roland’s story as he travels through Liberia, across the Cavalla River into the Ivory Coast to a makeshift refugee camp at Guiglo.

In the middle of Roland’s story, Swager takes a detour and tells of his heart attack. He compares this “elephant” to Roland’s “elephant”. He then carries on to the conclusion of Roland’s story telling how Roland came to live in in the United States.

I found this story to be very educational about what goes on in other countries. I can’t say that I “enjoyed” this book, as the topic is not “enjoyable”. It is a story that needs to be read because we need to know what happens elsewhere in our world so that we can do something about it.

I found that Swager’s telling of his heart attack as a parallel “elephant” was just not on the same level as Roland Deah’s experience. It was trivial by comparison. However, I understand why he included it. This book was intended to tell Roland’s story and to remind each of us that we can overcome whatever we have to face.

I gave this book 3 stars

Disclaimer: I received a free review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts are my own.

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