Book Review: 'Service Disrupted'

Book Review: "Service Disrupted"
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I recently finished Service Disrupted by Tyler E. Lloyd. Published this year, it’s a Peace Corps memoir set in Burkina Faso; he served from 2012 to 2014.

I haven’t read a Peace Corps memoir in some time and have very mixed feelings about the genre. Ideally, a book like this should provide unvarnished insights into volunteer life (and the country in question) while also expounding upon the psychological and emotional aspects of Peace Corps service. Lloyd succeeds on both counts.

Lloyd, whose official work focuses on agriculture and small business, comes across as a fun, genuine person. He describes friends and colleagues with care and candor. He’s a considerate outsider. And, while everyone’s experience is different, those twenty-seven months can be a real roller coaster. Lloyd certainly has his own highs and lows – especially on the medical front.

The book is a bit too wordy. It would have benefited from more thorough editing and a linear sequencing of events.

Service Disrupted addresses issues – including the value of public service, the importance of responsible development work and the significance of friendship – that go to the heart of many volunteers’ service. Crucially, he examines his Peace Corps tenure in a broader context.

“The Peace Corps challenged me, nearly defeating my resolve more than once, but I do not regret my service and would do it all again,” he writes. “I say this in all honesty, being acutely aware of our seeming predisposition to look more fondly at past events.”

I hope he keeps writing.

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