The Optician of Lampedusa review ñ eBook or Kindle ePUB

Emma Jane Kirby ½ 3 characters

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 conscience 'I can hardly begin to describe to you what I saw as our boat approached Just Wow What a powerful accountThis book stunned me into silenceFor 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 toIt 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 handsThis 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 toThat's what hurts But it should doAnd 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 Outside the Paint reality we've become accustomed numbed toIt 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 handsThis also serves a poignant The Problem of the Puer Aeternus (Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts, 87) 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 Hoopers Pasture from Maine to Vermont risk is actually better than what they're currently subjected toThat's what hurts But it should doAnd the images in this book do that far better than any news Censored 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 さくら荘のペットな彼女 9 read inform yourselves change your perspective for the better SHARE THIS STORY

download Ë eBook or Kindle ePUB ½ Emma Jane Kirby

The Optician of Lampedusa

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 r 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 Lampedusa The 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 LampedusaThis 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 themThis 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 sceneIf 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

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Eported 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 missio “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 83Bad 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 rescueKirby’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 reconnects the reader with the unvarnished reality of those being smuggled into Europe It’s a uniue account in its directness and was a sober reminder of something that I had started to forgetIf 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


10 thoughts on “The Optician of Lampedusa

  1. says:

    The most important book I read this year I did cry all the way through it but I am glad I read it


  2. says:

    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


  3. says:

    Just Wow What a powerful accountThis book stunned me into silenceFor 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 toIt 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 handsThis 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 toThat's what hurts But it should doAnd 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


  4. says:

    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 bullst reclamation of a nation or any other fascist cp 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


  5. says:

    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 Lampedusa The 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 LampedusaThis 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 themThis 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 sceneIf 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


  6. says:

    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 themOn 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?


  7. says:

    This book was a pretty bland reading experience and I think that's because I was expecting either a non fiction style recounting of the event and its political backdrop or a first person account from the journalist's perspective in interviewing him Instead the style comes across as The Optician of Lampedusa the Novelization Which I think is fine I understand why it is that way it makes his story into A Story and focuses on human emotions above all else in a situation when we're often only given the cold facts and it's easy for people to avoid empathising The book has a raison d'etre beyond being a good read But it wasn't a good read Which is a shame because I thought I would enjoy it and I was looking forward to reading a book about the refugee crisis


  8. says:

    A true story written by a BBC reporter trying in any way possible to draw attention to something the lucky only care about if it inconveniences them huge numbers of our fellow humans currently dying in desperate dangerous flailing attempts to reach livable situations habitable countriesThis Normal Italian Optician goes for a sail with his wife and 6 others at the end of the summer Sweet Not when the gulls crying aren’t gulls but hundreds of drowning Eritreans less than a km off the coast of his home They manage to save 47 people all but one of them males The remaining almost 300 people died For this man his wife and 6 friends what had been an abstraction perhaps even a bother suddenly became the most intense human moments of their livesHe lived acute human misery in the eyes held it in his hands felt the desperation of life lost and barely saved against his chest the burning tears that never stop And because his heart was open he was changedWhat would the world be like if folks could “get it” without developing PTSD which of course he and his wife and friends did?Prior to this day “He had always been a man who had been confident about where he was going a man sure of himself and his decisions”I have always thought of this as the Invictus conceit of the EuroUS white man My father who I adored had a severe case of this “I am the master of my fateI am the captain of my soul”Yeah maybe a little if you are rich and powerful you can pretend thatBut it is a delusion only allowed those cis white men womb lottery winners who believe that they are in control in direct contradistinction to the fact that the earth is a speck of random matter crashing through space only held in tenuous orbit by the physical pull of a star that will die as assuredly as we will News flash Big Guys whether taken down by the shift of a tectonic plate or the change in a viral nucleoid you will be outta here Zuck Bezos Bloomberg Trump Boris J you could stop the pain See belowThe Optician “he’dhad his own moments of pain but he had had no idea that such profound depths of sorrow existed He could never imagine feeling such an acute sadness again”Later that day? the police diver found the body of a young woman wedged into the prow of the ship clutching a bundle of rags When the rags were pulled from her the cloth had fallen away to reveal a tiny baby boy still attached to his mother by the umbilical cord And the Optician realizing his naiveté thought “there would always be greater sorrow deeper and unfathomable than any of us could ever imagine”Beautifully written And true But that sorrow does not need to be so inevitably wide and huge and deep and endlessly long and spread across continents and peoples who were never to blameThere are those who have the power and the resources to make it so much better or in some cases even make it stop No cages for children on the southern border of the USA? Easy peasy “The myopic world was a softer one”What a ripping line for an opticianSelective MyopiaIsn’t that why so many people in wealthy countries imagining themselves ourselves worthy of comfortable lives choose to ignore the majority of the world who live and die in struggle and discomfort? But really who wants to look farther than they need to? I mean beyond the closest Dunkin Donuts? Perhaps that’s why MediCare MediCaid don’t provide vision coverage I am particularly snarky today If Bernie doesn't win i may snark myself into oblivionA misanthropically myopic character the Optician must serve in his clinic shop is an Italian pissed about the “migrants” effect on business Not our problem What’s it got to do with us? “What have any of these people got to do with us?”It becomes so much harder to tolerate the hateful once you know Once the Optician knows Once he had held these people to his chest After he has cried without end with these people about all of our lost babies “It was just that sometimes he wished that his head could be still again the way it had been before they took the boat trip”Before he knewToday 2 March 2020 Greek soldiers killed two migrants and wounded a third to prevent their entry and a child died when an overstuffed boat overturned trying to reach a Greek island


  9. says:

    “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 83Bad 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 rescueKirby’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 reconnects the reader with the unvarnished reality of those being smuggled into Europe It’s a uniue account in its directness and was a sober reminder of something that I had started to forgetIf 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


  10. says:

    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 it 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 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 pointThis 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 seagulls 'I 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 shore 'They 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 loveThe 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 that? '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 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 sueezed 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'


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