Chapter 1 A long way gone.
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Beah begins the memoir by describing how unreal rumors of the war seem to his ten-year-old world. His view of war, he states, had been colored by “those that I had read about in books or seen in movies such as Rambo: First Blood” (p. 5). Two years later, in January of 1993, the war hits home for him when Ishmael, his friend Talloi and brother Junior visit the village of Mattru Jong to see some old friends and practice their rap group performance for an upcoming talent show. The local friends arrive home early with the news that school has been cancelled since Mogbwemo, Beah’s home sixteen miles away, has been attacked by rebels. One Mattru Jong friend, Gibrilla, states that the teachers believe Mattru Jong itself will be the rebels’ next target.