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The Disappeared Paperback – Deckle Edge, December 29, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
When the borders of Cambodia reopen for a short time, Serey must return to locate his family and the lovers are parted. Distraught, Anne waits for word, but hears nothing. After six years, convinced she has seen him on a television newsreel of Cambodia, Anne steps out of her life in Montreal and takes a flight to Phnom Penh, where she uses her facility with the Khmer language to begin her search. Both tragic and beautiful, this book is filled with the language of love and loss, the meeting of true soul mates and the damage of genocide on an entire population of innocents. Following her destiny, Anne never falters, as sure in her love for Serey as the first night she hears him play in the Montreal nightclub. Echlin embraces Cambodia with an open heart, witness to the beauty, ritual, tradition and tragedy of a place caught in the juggernaut of history. Reunited, the lovers refuse to be parted, even in death.Read more ›
There are a few things that I found off-putting about the novel. First of all, the author writes in a series of first person recollections. I found the flow of thoughts to read in a disjointed manner. I think this writing mechanism was supposed to represent the fragmentation of memories (and it did), but it also seemed melodramatic. Second of all, some phrases and conversations occured partially in untranslated French, and because of this I felt like I might be missing details in the story. But really, what bothered me the most was the portrayal of Anne and Serey's "love." I found myself wondering if what they had together could truly be defined as love. There was never a sense of the characters drawing strength or courage from each other. Anne makes sacrifices for Serey, but does he ever truly reciprocate? It seemed like their "love" made them secretive, anguished, reckless and even a bit self destructive. That is certainly not the kind of love that I aspire to.
Regardless, "The Disappeared" is a lovely story of survival, loss, sorrow and friendship. It paints a stark and honest picture of Cambodia and the struggles of its people. The secondary characters are intriguing and in many cases, more interesting than the primary characters. I thought "The Disappeared" was a good book, and a worthwhile read. But I don't recommend you place it at the top of your book list.
I needed memory and hope and since I could find them nowhere else, I looked for them in the declension of verbs. Words swallowed me like a deep river.
I hear a voice cry out anguish. If this is a man? Human music turned into a note of music, the rhythm of a sentence. Men have invented a word for this. They call it sublime.
The Khmer Rouge used words to kill the people.
I think I began to read this way, studying the words in an open book, waiting for absence to be filled.
I was spellbound by "The Disappeared." Read it like a crazy person. Have ordered Echlin's other work. Breathtaking.
The author describes her love story very well in the book. She also relates very well about her personal life to the fact and social difficulties happening in Cambodia. I mostly agree with what the author mentions in the book.
I personally believe that if spirit does exist, the story of his wife's loving struggle in Cambodia would be heard and appreciated by the dead soul - her husband.
I would recommend this book to others, especially the lovers or couples between Cambodian people and other foreign nationalities.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A ridiculous read. Do not waste your time on this book.
I quit before completing the first chapter. Do not buy.
I received this book from a friend as a gift so I tried to finish it, but I simply couldn't. It seemed like there was no storyline and I kept rooting for the author and wishing it... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Calidream Publishing
Elegant language, each sentence a treat! This is what reading is about--a tour of others' journeys in time and space.Published on August 30, 2013 by Susan Robertson
I wanted to like this book but I agree that it was a laborious and often irritating read. The writing was overly melodramatic and pretentious and, as a result, it was difficult to... Read morePublished on June 27, 2013 by Says who?
The only reason I finished this book was because it was elected for my book club. The best thing about it was inspiring me to explore the history of Cambodia. Read morePublished on April 11, 2013 by Denise Tunks
A genuinely moving love story, incredible writing, it is pure poetry in prose. Important story told in a never a dull moment way, incredibly real imagery of Cambodia. Read morePublished on April 10, 2013 by Jelena Vojvodic
This book is beautifully written. However, it is very sad. I think that it is the type of book you will either love or hate.Published on February 24, 2013 by Mary Ellen Granville
This is a beautiful love story with magical moments that is also an insight into the horror of the Kampuchea purge. Read morePublished on September 8, 2012 by Avid Reader