A remarkable account of the amazing life story of the man who inspired the film Hotel Rwanda Readers who were moved and horrified by Hotel Rwanda. The man made famous by Hotel Rwanda offers a compelling and horrifying account of the genocide in An Ordinary Man, says Simon. David Smith on An Ordinary Man: The True Story Behind Hotel Rwanda.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. An Autobiography by Paul Rusesabagina. Tom Zoellner Goodreads Author.
The riveting life story of hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina who, as his country was being torn apart by violence during the Rwandan genocide ofsheltered more than 12, members of the Tutsi clan and Hutu moderates, while homicidal mobs raged outside with machetes.
As his country was being torn apart by violence during the Rwandan genocide ofhotel manager Paul The riveting life story of hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina who, as his country was being torn apart by violence during the Rwandan genocide ofsheltered more than 12, members of the Tutsi clan and Hutu moderates, while homicidal mobs raged outside with machetes.
Rusesabaina his country was being torn apart by violence during the Rwandan genocide ofhotel manager Paul Rusesabagina—the “Oskar Schindler of Africa”—refused to bow to the madness that surrounded him.
Confronting killers with a combination of diplomacy, flattery, and deception, he offered shelter to more than twelve thousand members of the Tutsi clan and Hutu moderates, while homicidal mobs raged outside with machetes. Rusesabagina tells for the first time the full story of his life—growing up as the son of a rural farmer, the child of a mixed marriage, his extraordinary career path which rusesabaginx him to become the first Rwandan manager of the Belgian-owned Hotel Milles Collines—all of which contributed to his heroic actions in the face of such horror.
Paperbackpages. Published March 1st by Penguin Books orvinary published January 1st To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about An Ordinary Manplease sign up.
See 1 question about An Ordinary Man…. Lists with This Book. Mar 11, Lindsey rated it did not like it Shelves: Be careful with this story. Paul Rusesabagina is an incredibly controversial and unpopular character in Rwanda on all sides of the conflict, and not just because he’s spoken out against Paul Kagame.
Many Rwandese including victims of the genocide feel as if he exaggerated his tale in order to paint himself in the best light. For example, the idea that he was able to save lives by bribing the Interahamwe with the contents of a liquor cabinet is ludicrous.
Many people believe that he was able to Be careful with this story. Many people believe that he was able to provide safety by carefully choosing who he took in- nan as the wealthy Tutsi wives of Hutu commanders. While Rusesabagina saved many lives, nobody really knows what happened in the Milles Collines and it is possible he cannot be taken at his word. If you want accurate and corroborated books that tell the story of the genocide or its aftermath, there are much better choices.
View all 4 comments. I was only 12 years old when the genocide in Rwanda took place. I heard about it on the news my dad watched every night, but admittedly I was not exactly politically observant back then, and the news was nothing more than background noise to me, so I knew next to nothing when I saw “Hotel Rwanda”. Maj movie was eye-opening, to say orsinary least, and I was incredibly moved by it.
But I hadn’t known that Paul Rusesabagina had written a book until very recently when I happened ruseesabagina stumble on it here on I was only 12 years old when the genocide in Rwanda took place. But I hadn’t known that Paul Rusesabagina had written a book until very recently when I happened to stumble on it here on Goodreads.
I’m very glad that I discovered it here, and I’m even more glad to have read it. For some strange reason, I tend to gravitate towards emotionally difficult subject matter when it comes to my reading material. I’ve only recently realized this about myself, but I’ve always been drawn to books about devastating subjects – death, loss, abuse, the holocaust etc.
Paul Rusesabagina, No ‘Ordinary Man’
I rusesxbagina really know why I read these, but I know that they affect me immensely, and that I love the raw feeling that I have when I have read something emotionally horrifying, when I just feel incredibly lucky to be who and where I am.
Maybe that makes me a little callous, but if so, then so be it. I think that the gut-wrenching stories help us to understand ourselves and each other and the world better, and there is just something wonderful about books that take us out of ourselves to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes – even when there is a rock in one. So, with that being said, when I saw that Rusesabagina had written his story down, I needed to read it.
I had been moved, and awakened, by the movie, and I was thrilled that there was an autobiography that would allow me to learn more about the man himself, and the country that had caused so much devastation for itself and its people. The book was not nearly as emotionally moving as it could have been. It was written very simply, and directly. No suspense, no drama, just his story in everyday language. A better author could have wrung every tear and every heartache out of these pages, and Rusesabagina did not do that.
This is not a criticism though. The lack of artistry lends it a truth and a weight that would have felt fake and forced had it been more showy. Rusesabagina simply told his and his country’s story as he understood it. I enjoyed reading it immensely. It felt intimate, like Rusesabagina and I were having a conversation. This was not the best written book, and I counted quite a few incongruent details and typos and grammatical errors, but aside from that, this was an incredibly compelling story.
It did not move me in the same way that I’m used to with talented authors who excel at shaping their words carefully to evoke a desired response out of the reader.
This isn’t that kind of story. Rusesabagina simply and honestly introduced us to his Rwanda, the Rwanda he grew up in and loved and would always love, and also the sinister Rwanda lurking just under the surface, which would rise in to killpeople in a little over 3 months.
He gave us the the Cliff’s Notes edition of Rwandan history, which showed how something like this could happen, in this day and age, when we’ve supposedly learned this lesson before. He tells us how the world’s most powerful nations failed to act to prevent the massacre, and how he used his wits and his courage and his words and connections alone to save over 1, people from a certain and gruesome death.
I don’t know how true his story is, but there is a bibliography at the end with other books on the subject, which has given me a place to start, if I decide to read more, specifically “Leave None To Tell The Story: Stories From Rwanda” by Philip Gourevitch.
I just know that Rusesabagina’s is a heroic and brave story that inspires me. He saved people when his entire country had gone mad. If even half of the thoughts and wisdom imparted actually went through Rusesabagina’s head in the moment, then he is nothing less than awe-inspiring and amazingly wise.
He shows how a person can rise above the mob mentality and be a hero just by showing common decency and refusing to falter.
He shows how a situation like this can happen,and predicted it will happen again, but most importantly, he shows that there is good and evil in all of us, and it is our choice which one we will let rule us. Rusesabagina’s version of “ordinary” is one that we should all aspire to be, I think. First, listening to this book on audio was extremely powerful.
An Ordinary Man: An Autobiography by Paul Rusesabagina
So much so that I actually had to stop the CD, stop the car, then turn it back on to listen to because it was so moving and was making it hard for me to concentrate on driving. The author manages to use direct language to tell his amazing story of being the manager of a hotel in Rwanda during the genocide. He managed to turn the hotel into a refugee base and, amazingly, held off the militia and other killers for 76 days, saving the l First, listening to this book on audio rusesabagnia extremely powerful.
He managed to turn the hotel into a refugee base and, amazingly, held off the militia and other killers for 76 days, saving the lives of more than people. The book provides an mam harsh view of the world’s failure, and particularly the failure of the United States and the United Nations, to intervene in the early days of the genocide to prevent the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.
The author also tells the story of both his negotiations with specific individuals and the story of what happened to others that he knew.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Though mqn subject matter is disturbing, it’s an important piece of world history. Jul 04, Margie rated it it was amazing Shelves: It’s hard to review a true story about something terrible. An Autobiographythough, isn’t pul book about the Rwandan massacre; it’s a book about Paul Rusesabagina’s experience of it. His voice, his personality, his clear-sightedness all come through brilliantly in this co-written autobiography.
What struck me most about this book was how apt the title is. Under extraordinary circumstances, this ordinary man did the extraordinary.
He managed to keep more than people safe while It’s hard to review a true story about something terrible. He managed to keep more than people safe while genocide was taking place mere hundreds of yards away. I won’t go into the details of how Rusesabagina managed to do what he did – if you want to know, read the book. I will just note, though, that he’s not a magician. He used his skills, training, and supplies at hand to fend off an army.
What this ordinary man did was amazing, and a blessing to the world. Oct 21, Natalie Richards rated it it was amazing Shelves: I have read about the controversy that surrounds Paul Rusesabagina; how he has allegedly embellished his role in the saving of over 1, lives during the Rwandan Genocide and incites further hate when giving talks about his experiences during that time.
I remember watching the news in horror all those years ago and reading this book brought back those awful memories. If this book is a true account of what happened during those daysthen he is I have read about the controversy that surrounds Paul Rusesabagina; how he has allegedly embellished his role in the saving of over 1, lives during the Rwandan Genocide and incites further hate when giving talks about his experiences during that time.
If this book is a true account of what happened during those daysthen he is indeed a remarkable man. Nov 28, David P rated it it was amazing Shelves: The book’s title is a wry understatement: It is the story of his entire life, from village childhood in the “country of a thousand hills” in central Africa, to reluctant exile after the genocide.
If you have seen the film “Hotel Rwanda,” you already know about him. But where a movie, even a powe The book’s title is a wry understatement: But where a movie, even a powerfully moving one, gives at most momentary glimpses, this small book paints a much more comprehensive picture. By all means, read it.