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First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers (P.S.) Paperback – Bargain Price, April 4, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Ung's book provides a human framework for coming to terms with the madness of the Khmer Rouge. Instead of remaining decontextualized victims -- remarkable only for their suffering and identical to the victims of countless other tragedies -- Ung's family and the people she meets gain the dignity of personal qualities and individuality. Through the eyes of the child that she was at the time, Ung forces us to see her family and acquaintances not just as statistics or haunted faces glimpsed on television, but as people with lives that began before the tragic period of the book and that, at least in a few cases, continued after the events described in the book were over.
FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER is part confession, part therapy and part urgent mission to share a story with the world. It is often painful to read but it is profoundly rewarding. Ung's story is heartbreaking but her own persistence, fortitude, and ultimate triumph inspire. Furthermore, in an age where tragedy and genocide have seemingly become commonplace, Ung's ability to heal after such a harrowing childhood is encouraging evidence that others, recovering from tragedies elsewhere, can do the same.
As somebody stated in an earlier review, I wondered (at first) how a 5 year old child could remember all of this. As I got further into the story, it occurred to me that no one could ever forget this sort of thing. In addition, Ung gives one of her older brothers credit for filling in some gaps. This book is VERY believable.
Ung writes about horrific events in a matter-of-fact style. She occaisionaly changes the point of view of the narration, which can be a bit confusing. But, overall, it's easy to follow the story. It's even easier to become drawn in to the story.
I put another book aside to read this. I'm glad I did.
Anyone with respect for human dignity will surely be affected by this insider chonicle of the unspeakable atrocities committed against average, ordinary, and innocent Cambodian families and individuals. And yet, despite the enormity of the physical and psychological terrors, in the end, the triumph of a child and her siblings bravery, perseverance, and spirit leads to a story of ultimate survival and confirmation of light over darkness.
This is an important book, not only in detailing the author's incredible individual ordeal, but also reminding us of the terrible consequences of a fanatical totalitarian fringe gaining power in any society.
And finally this is a tough story, but also one to celebrate and learn from. It should be recommended reading in Universities around the world in the hope that the architects of tomorrow's societies be well aware of the dangers of fanatical extremism.
I was particularly focused on certain points of her story: how wedges of class envy and racial differences were driven between people to help fuel the killing, how the children endured forced political indoctrination, the detailed, vivid description of starvation from a child's point of view, and the spirit to survive often being fueled by hate. Loung used her hate for Pol Pot and what had been done to her family as a source of strength to survive, but the hate she developed never extinguished her love for her family.
As Americans, do we really think we are immune from having a killing field happen here in America? We need to read this story and learn from it. Human history is filled with holocausts and will continue to be filled with holocausts because that is as much part of human nature as it is human nature to forget the lessons offered to us by these survivors. Loung Ung presented the crucible of human frailties for us to examine and for her to find a way to heal herself of some of the pain of her losses. I am indebted to her for her courage and care to share this with me.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In the first week of January 2016, I served the Cambodian community as a volunteer for a medical mission. Many questions were answered by reading this story from Luong's life. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Randy
This book was amazing, it shed such a vivid light on the horrid past of Cambodia and its people. Eager to read lucky girl.Published 11 days ago by Amazon Customer
The book First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung is a story of the trials and tribulations of a child who is a witness to the rise of the Khmer Rouge during a time of fatal... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kaylena Donalson