Customer Reviews for

The Unheard: A Memoir of Deafness and Africa

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 6 of 5 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1
  • Posted February 11, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    First, let me say, this is a good book. Josh is a fine writer an

    First, let me say, this is a good book. Josh is a fine writer and a good, even excellent, storyteller. I read it quickly and eagerly, finishing it up on a flight back from Nambia. If there were any other dissenting reviews, I probably would have rated it more stars, but I did want to post a review that let potential readers know of some of the book's shortcomings.

    So what's the issues. Mainly, Josh comes off as a bit immature in this (in fairness to him, he was young when he writes it). I really appreciated his willingness to expose his flaws and admit to blunders or bull-headness, but the truth his, his lack of tact almost led to a couple people (himself being one of them) being killed. It's great that he was/is willing to stand up for his beliefs and comes off as a solid very good guy, but ineffective. He doesn't offer any reflections on that failure, only seemingly able to blame Africans for their caving to the village strong men.

    Nor does he offer any analysis or reflection on why he didn't ultimately get killed (I'm not ruining any plot elements here as the book opens with his life being threatened, and given he ultimately wrote the book, you kind of figure he wasn't killed from the get go): "Why the crowd didn't press forward and finish us off when they had the chance has never been clear to me, but I suppose for that moment they were just as afraid as we were." Seems to me he could have done more reflection that that. It's hard not to image that his race played a role; if he'd been a black African, odds are he would have been killed. That could have been a jumping off point. The story stands on its own and is powerful, but Josh tends to avoid reflection, particularly if they don't directly involve him.

    Again with this criticism, I'm not dissing the book's overall value--especially if you are traveling to the region--but focusing on what keeps it from soaring. I can't help compare it to some of my favorite travel memoirs (from different parts of the world) that do satisfy on several levels, such as Arctic Adventure: My Life in the Frozen North which is written by an early 20th century explorer/trader who lived among Eskimos for 15 years (and took an Eskimo wife) and really gets to understand the people and their fascinating way of life and Stranger in the Forest: On Foot Across Borneo which was written by a master traveler, who really knows how to get involved in the cultural life of the people he visited.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting Memoir

    A very interesting look at the Peace Corps, Africa, and deafness from a deaf volunteer. It was funny, scary, touching, and horrific all in one story. If you want to check out the follow-up the author has a website listed at the end of the book that discusses how he found his best friend again. It took a little while to get into but after about the first half of the book I couldn't put it down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 6 of 5 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1