The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers

71%

7 Critic Reviews

Eggers is using his formidable literary powers and cachet to amplify the stories of victimized people in a moment of crisis — and he's doing so in the form of a gripping, triumphant adventure story.
-LA Times

Synopsis

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“A gripping, triumphant adventure” (Los Angeles Times) from bestselling author Dave Eggers, 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.
 

About Dave Eggers

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DAVE EGGERS is the editor of McSweeney's and a cofounder of 826 National, a network of nonprofit writing and tutoring centers for youth, located in seven cities across the United States. He is the author of four books, including What Is the What and How We Are Hungry.
 
Published January 30, 2018 by Knopf. 353 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Monk of Mokha
All: 7 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Excellent
on Oct 10 2017

Eggers gives his hero a lot of thematic baggage to carry, but it is hard to resist the derring-do of the Horatio Alger of Yemenite coffee.

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Star Tribune

Above average
Reviewed by Michael Magras on Jan 26 2018

Eggers’ detached style can seem an odd and distancing approach for a story about someone so driven. But this is still a fascinating account of an enterprising man pursuing his newfound passion...

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NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Ghaith Abdul-Ahad on Mar 30 2018

Eggers describes Yemen, with some justification, as the world’s most misunderstood country. Yet he seems mostly uninterested in closing that gap, serving up clichés that only exacerbate the problem. His portrait of Yemen is a cheap cup of instant coffee. Then again, this is less a book about Yemen than the old-fashioned American dream.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Parul Sehgal on Jan 23 2018

You can dispatch the book in one sitting. I did, on a snowy Sunday afternoon. It left me warmed, but also wired, and a little twitchy. What is it about Eggers? What accounts for this aftertaste that is equal parts admiration and suspicion?

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LA Times

Good
Reviewed by Paul Constant on Jan 24 2018

Eggers is using his formidable literary powers and cachet to amplify the stories of victimized people in a moment of crisis — and he's doing so in the form of a gripping, triumphant adventure story.

Read Full Review of The Monk of Mokha | See more reviews from LA Times

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Tim Adams on Jan 22 2018

Look at this extraordinary American, Eggers’s attention says. And more to the point, look at him at this particular moment; give him some proper time; no story is more urgent.

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Financial Times

Above average
Reviewed by Jerome Boyd Maunsell on Jan 25 2018

One could argue, however, that the very awkwardnesses create an odd effect of authenticity and veracity. Eggers also shows restraint in the tight framing of the book.

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Reader Rating for The Monk of Mokha
80%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 11 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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