From Publishers Weekly
Ngor spent four years as a "war slave" under the Khmer Rouge, experiencing severe torture, losing most of his family and posing as a former cab driver when in fact he had been a doctor. His account of what amounted to a living nightmare vividly conveys the extent of organized savagery that held sway in Cambodia from 1975 until the invasion by the North Vietnamese. Some of the details are so ugly that in three places the author suggests that "readers with sensitive feelings" skip the balance of a chapter. This is more than a recounting of his ordeal, however; Ngor goes a long way toward explaining why a land known for its shy and gentle people became the site of mass killings that reached genocidal proportions. He also provides an excellent account of the origins of the Khmer Rouge and the career of Pol Pot. The latter part of the book has to do with the almost incredible circumstances that led to an Academy Award for his role in the film The Killing Fields. A terrible and thrilling story.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Best known for his Oscar-winning role in The Killing Fields , Haing tells his life story, concentrating on his experiences in the hell that was Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. He lost most of his family; unable to admit his medical training (doctors and their families were marked for death), he watched helplessly as his wife died in childbirth; and he was repeatedly imprisoned and tortured. This frank and often horrifying narrative of survival is enriched by the author's attempts to understand incredible inhumanity, his perceptive discussion of events that led to the Khmer Rouge victory, and his description of the continuing suffering of Cambodians under North Vietnamese occupation and as refugees in Thailand. For adult readers. Kenneth W. Berger, Duke Univ. Lib., Durham, N.C.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.