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An Amazon Best Book of February 2018: The Monk of Mokha is an unblinking, open account of a San Francisco-based Yemeni American’s success story. Following in the path of What is the What and Zeitoun, Eggers delivers us the real-life tale of Mokhtar Alkhanshali, a Muslim in his early twenties who appears to be on his way to a relatively undistinguished life. But when he discovers the historic Yemeni connection to coffee production, he embarks on a quest that will change his path and provide direction.
The adventure itself is riveting, but when you add in the history of coffee, the story becomes even more elevated. Mokhtar is an inspirational character, and Dave Eggers has written an entertaining, inspirational, and informative book. -- Chris Schluep for the Amazon Book Review
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The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, set in Romania, is a sad yet funny film that tells the story of an old man whom no one really knows or cares about. When he falls ill and needs medical treatment, he faces a team of busy doctors who are concerned because they have to be, not because they really care. We see how suffocatingly slow time must seem for Lazarescu (Ion Fiscuteanu), who isn't expecting the best treatment--just any treatment would be nice. With the exception of a conscientious paramedic, there doesn't seem to be much concern whether he lives or dies.
While noble and entertaining, series like ER & Chicago Hope offer less realism than The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, in which lack of funds and staff don't allow time for a suitable bedside manner. No one is vilified, not even some of the hospital staff that are disgusted by the side effects of their patients' illnesses. The story is told in a humane and mesmerizing manner that yanks at the heartstrings while still eliciting a laugh or two. --Jae-Ha Kim, Amazon review