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This is a story that needs to be told, but I just don t feel it was told that well in terms of story, character or writing Not one for me. If you re like me, then you ve never heard of Lampedusa It s a tiny island with a huge problem Every year, thousands of refugees fleeing Africa wash up on its shores The Optician of Lampedusa is written by BBC reporter Emma Jane Kirby She tells the true story of Lampedusa s only optician and the day that changed his life forever In October of 2013, the optician and seven of his friends were on a boating trip in the Mediterranean when they heard a strange noise They steered their boat toward the noise and discovered hundreds of people drowning in the waves I thought I d heard seagulls screeching Seagulls fighting over a lucky catch Birds Just birds The Optician of LampedusaThe strange noise was people screaming A boat full of refugees had sunk The optician and his friends managed to pull 47 people out of the ocean Before this event, the optician had never given much thought to the refugee crisis, but after he pulled the people from the water, he became desperate to know what happens to the refugees after they leave Lampedusa.This tiny book fewer than 200 pages is an important read, but it s not an easy one Aside from the graphic scenes of drowning, it s difficult to read because the optician is so relatable He sees refugees every day, but he doesn t know much about them They don t impact his life This book is a reminder that most of us tend to ignore the world s problems until they show up on our doorstep We don t truly care about something until it impacts us But, by the time we start paying attention to problems, it may be too late to solve them.This book helps the reader see the scale of the refugee crisis Crisis is not an overstatement There were 500 refugees on the boat that sank The Coast Guard and private citizens did whatever they could to rescue the refugees, but than 360 of them drowned That was just one boat Boats full of refugees go past Lampedusa every day on their way to Europe Thirteen thousand asylum seekers had arrived in Italy so far this year Gabriele had told them that when he d come to fetch them in the car to take them to the aircraft hangar Until now it had just been a random, meaningless figure, an empty statistic Yet here they were before them, flesh and blood, bone and gristle, with the salt of their tears mingling with their own The Optician of LampedusaI feel bad for criticizing anything about this book, but I wasn t a fan of the writing At first, I wondered if it was a translation it isn t because the writing is stilted There are also a few awkward scene transitions It felt like it took me a few seconds too long to figure out where the characters are and who is in the scene.If you re interested in the world s refugee problem, then this book is a must read It won t take you very long to get through, and it ll give you a lot to think about He could not ignore the fact that the waving hands had always been visible to him They had waved in the water, yes, but they had also waved from the reception centre, from the church steps and from the roadside where he had jogged past them, blindly They had waved from the newspaper columns and from the television screens where he had filtered them out and switched them off They had always been in his line of vision and he had chosen not to see them The Optician of Lampedusa Just Wow What a powerful account.This book stunned me into silence.For one so small, it swells tears with words, its paragraphs pull punches each chapter is a slap in the face to the reality we ve become accustomed numbed to.It made my jaw slack my insides twist we re all guilty of looking the other way like the Optician initially does with the call for charity donations , but we have to hope, or we have to change, so that we re the one, in whatever way we can, being those helping hands.This also serves a poignant reminder of the truth humanity in all this, what the Mr Abate s of this world can t fathom in their cruel little minds cold hearts, that for a migrant, there isn t choice, that that risk is actually better than what they re currently subjected to.That s what hurts But it should do And the images in this book do that far better than any news report, but they also beautifully convey the human spirit within the saviours, the saved the lostWe can t always do as much as we d like, but just by buying this book that s something, especially at places where they donate to charity read inform yourselves, change your perspective for the better SHARE THIS STORY. A deeply upsetting read, that is 100% relevant Anyone who thinks they understand the human element of the current refugee crisis should read this as soon as they can This is not an issue of any bulls t reclamation of a nation, or any other fascist c p that seems to be being spouted currently, this is a human issue with real human suffering at it s core I urge anyone and everyone to read this book now I also urge people in the UK to go and buy a copy from their local Waterstones, or from the Waterstones website throughout November every copy sold by Waterstones will result in a donation of 5 being given to Oxfam so that they can continue to provide aid and assistance to the people caught up in this most horrific of problems. How naive he d been, thought the optician, how naive Because there would always be greater sorrow, deeper and unfathomable than any of us could ever imagine p 83 Bad things happen all the time Suffering is a feature of life for many people When this suffering happens on our doorstep, an initial flurry of interest is followed by a long steady wane as what was the extraordinary becomes routine So it is with the boatloads of people making their way towards Europe For a brief moment, Europe seemed to care The passage of time saw even these tragic stories become absorbed into the fabric of normal life.Emma Jane Kirby s book, The Optician of Lampedusa hits the pause button on our collective forgetting This is an Italian optician s story, a short tale of his coming into contact with the raw human tragedy occurring with regularity on Europe s southern shores The optician is sailing with friends when he comes across hundreds of drowning Eritreans among others The book chronicles the moments before, during and after their rescue.Kirby s strength is to stick to detailed observations, relaying what was going through the Italian optician s mind, what he was seeing and hearing It re connects the reader with the unvarnished reality of those being smuggled into Europe It s a unique account in its directness, and was a sober reminder of something that I had started to forget.If I have one criticism of the book, it is the perspective I would far rather have read a book by one of the survivors, or at least to hear the story in their words I understand that European publishers feel like they need a white face to relay the stories of the other , I just wish it wasn t the case Nevertheless, this was a sensitively portrayed account and one I will be recommending to friends and family. He could not ignore the fact that the waving hands had always been visible to him They had waved in the water, yes, but they had also waved from the reception centre, from the church steps and from the roadside where he had jogged past them, blindly They had waved from the newspaper columns and from the television screens where he had filtered them out and switched them off They had always been in his line of vision and he had chosen not to see them On the way home, he crossed over the road to pause at the migrant boat graveyard where a flotilla of wooden cadavers lay marooned on the gravel, their hulls splintered with unsightly wounds The worn out vessels were lying heavily on their sides as if in a gesture of surrender He winced as he looked at them For how many years now had desperate people washed up here, drained of every last drop of their strength He clenched his jaw And how many smashed wrecks would it take before Europe stopped debating and instead agreed to do something Nov kniha v kni nici a pri katalogiz cii som veru ne akala, e si ju aj rovno pre tam cez obedn prest vku Nie, nem m na tak to tane v bec as, ale kv li dajom som v nej len za ala listova a potom som sa pristihla pritom, e ju tam, a k m nepri iel sm tok a po o i Nie je to iaden liter rny skvost, vlastne je to celkom nudn ivot jedn ho oftalmol ga, a k m sa nestane aj so svojimi priate mi svedkami toho, ako sa im pred o ami topia udia a oni sa ich z falo sna ia zachr ni , ale nakoniec pre ije len p r Jedna jedin ena iadne die a Z vy e p tsto os b menej ako p desiat T udia sa im k u, u nevl dzu pl va , topia sa im pred o ami, stra n to je Je to primn v pove , aj s n sledn m postraumatick m okom pre t chto oby ajn ch ud , o sa stali proti svojej v li z chran rmi A vlastne a takto zo i vo i trag dii migrantov si uvedomili, pred m zatv rali o i, ako nevn mali, o sa deje okolo nich, v ich meste, na ich pobre , ako ich v etk ch brali len ako sla v t boroch *DOWNLOAD PDF ⇫ The Optician of Lampedusa ⇝ From An Award Winning BBC Journalist, This Moving Book Turns The Testimony Of An Accidental Hero Into A Timeless Story About The Awakening Of Human Courage And ConscienceI Can Hardly Begin To Describe To You What I Saw As Our Boat Approached The Source Of That Terrible Noise I Hardly Want To You Won T Understand Because You Weren T There You Can T Understand You See, I Thought I D Heard Seagulls Screeching Seagulls Fighting Over A Lucky Catch Birds Just Birds Emma Jane Kirby Has Reported Extensively On The Reality Of Mass Migration Today In The Optician Of Lampedusa She Brings To Life The Moving Testimony Of An Ordinary Man Whose Late Summer Boat Trip Off A Sicilian Island Unexpectedly Turns Into A Tragic Rescue Mission I m so grateful to Waterstones for including this marvelous little book in their 6 best books of 2016 list, otherwise who knows when I d have come across itHe could not ignore the fact that the waving hands had always been visible to him They had waved in the water, yes, but they had also waved from the reception centre, from the church steps and from the roadside where he had jogged past them, blindly They had waved from the newspaper columns and from the television screens where he had filtered them out and switched them off They had always been in his line of vision and he had chosen not to see themThe Optician of Lampedusa is one of the most moving, eye opening books I have ever read It made me feel so guilty and cold, it constantly made me cry my eyes out But that s the point This novella outlines everything that is wrong with Europe s lack of humanitarianism and its refugee policy, through the account of the true story of a group of friends who chose to spend a night at sea in late October 2013, and who wake up to a nightmarish sound they first believed to be the screeching of seagullsI thought I d heard seagulls screeching Seagulls fighting over a lucky catch Birds Just birds The horrible sound turns out to be the cries for help of the few people who had survived the sinking of one of those flimsy ships attempting to cross the Mediterranean from Lybia, with a load of 500 migrants onboard The optician and his friends manage to save 47 of them with a boat that was built for carrying a maximum of 10, before they are stopped by the coast guard and have to go back to shoreThey were all drowning I thought how do I save them all I can still feel the fingers of the first hand I seized How they clamped down with such a grip that I saw the sinuous veins of the wrist pounding The force of that hold My hand in a stranger s hand, in a bond stronger and intimate than an umbilical cord And my whole body shaking with the force of the hold as I pulled upwards and dragged the naked torso from the waves The narrative follows the Optician who is given no name, and thus, he could be any one of us for a year, during which we get to witness the psichological and emotional impact the events have had on the group of friends, and we also get to know or less, what became of the 47 people they saved, and how the lives of the rescuers and the rescued become linked in a bond of mutual love.The Optician s real name is Carmine Menna, and his story serves to shake a desensitized public myself included really , who has become accostumed to hearing about boats sinking and hundreds of migrants dying on an everyday basis, in order to make us aware again that they are than numbers, they are people just like you and me, and they deserve to be saved and they deserve to be helped, because their only fault is going in search of a better life Don t we all relate to thatThirteen thousand asylum seekers had arrived in Italy so far this year Gabriele had told them that when he d come to fetch them in the car to take them to the aircraft hangar Until now it had just been a random, meaningless figure, an empty statistic Yet here they were before them, flesh and blood, bone and gristle, with the salt of their tears mingling with their own Boys with names that sounded like music, men whose hearts thumped with life and promise Names not numers Names He forced himself to look at the forlorn survivors They would have visualized only positive things for their new life in the place they thought was Paradise Everything was to be fresh and exciting in Europe and they would have expected only laughter and jobs, safe homes and freedom He squeezed his eyes shut to try to stop the tears He felt useless Yes, he had saved them, but for what kind of future No one had told them that in Europe, in Paradise, people also suffered and were wretched Some very clunky and awkward sentences hold this book back I also thought the opening act before the tragedy dragged on for 20 pages longer than it had to The purpose of the opening was to establish The Optician as a true everyman, but it could have done that purpose without boring me to death For a book barely over 100 pages, its not a compliment to say parts of it dragged.That being said, the depiction of the tragedy and the emotional roller coaster The Optician goes through during and after the rescue operation was harrowing Knowing that this was a true story brings it to the next level The message of the story is summed up The Migrants had waved in the water, yes, but they had also waved from the reception centre, from the church steps and from the roadside where he had jogged past them, blindly They had waved from the newspaper columns and from the television screens where he had filtered them out and switched them off They had always been in his line of vision and he had chosen not to see them The Optician s boat was apparently the second boat on the scene The first party to discover the drowning migrants had decided to ignore them I m not sure if it was ever discovered who the people in this boat were I was hoping the book would go into details about that or address it in some way.