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The Rent Collector Hardcover – August 27, 2012


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$18.97 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


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The Rent Collector + Letters for Emily
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Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Shadow Mountain; First edition (August 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609071220
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609071226
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (559 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The Rent Collector is not only a wonderfully uplifting story, but a captivating portrayal of our values in action--compassion, integrity and respect. --Richard Lorenc, Distinguished Faculty, The University of St. Francis, Joliet, Illinois

A beautifully told story about the perseverance of the human spirit and the importance of standing up for what is right. --Booklist --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Camron Wright holds a masters degree in writing and public relations. He says he began writing to get out of attending MBA school, and it proved the better decision. His first book, Letters for Emily, was a Readers Choice award winner, as well as a selection of the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild. In addition to North America, Letters for Emily was published in several foreign countries. Camron lives with his wife, Alicyn, in Utah. They are the parents of four children.

Customer Reviews

This is a very moving story, well written and with a great ending.
JBS
The story is packed with layered life lessons, and readers come away with a wonderful sense of hope and a realization of the power of literature.
shelfishness
You ask, "How can a story about a family in a dump be interesting?" Just read the book and you'll have a hard time putting it down.
Vickie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 29, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It took me a while after purchasing this book to actually read it because I mostly like to read positive and fun books, with a few downers thrown in between. I never write reviews, but I must comment on this one. It really made me see my own life differently. I was able to take a step back and appreciate all that I have without the cloud of guilt or darkness of some people's reality hanging overhead. It takes talent to write in a way that helps us see that even small and seemingly insignificant acts of kindness and generosity can mean a world of difference to someone else. I loved that I was still thinking about this book weeks after I finished it, and felt compelled to mention it to everyone I spoke with! There is a tiny bit of content that makes me hesitate in having my young teens read it, but I feel they have much to gain from it and will be sure to have them read it soon (the fact that I hesitate makes it all the more inviting to them, and they are begging me to borrow it). There is definitely something valuable, worth while, life changing, and even beautiful, in the time spent with Sang Ly in this book that takes us to a dump in Cambodia.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By carolynbenjamin on November 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It was one of the most well written and beautiful books I have read in the last few years. I am always looking for great, not good, books to read, and I was not disappointed in this book. The author is amazingly brilliant with the written word and the ability to share this story. LOVED IT!!!!!!!! We are using it as part of our book club.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By C. Wong VINE VOICE on October 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is the second book that I have read about people living in a dump; the other one was set in India, this one is a big contrast to the other one, this is a book of hope rather than hopelessness.

The Rent Collector by Camron Wright gives a look into the life of trash pickers living in a huge dump of Cambodia.

Their daily life is roasting hot, dirty from the discarded articles, muddy from the rains, dangerous because of the smoldering piles, files and vermin. What they retrieve from the dump is not a living but sometimes enough to sell to buy rice and if they are lucky. They are forbidden to build houses so they look for materials from the dump to build three walls and use a canvas cover to block the rain. Their clothing, cooking pots and all other possessions came from the dump.

Sang Li is poor but is not aware of what people take for granted outside of the dump. This is her world. Her baby boy, Nissay is constantly sick with diarrhea and can't keep any food down so he doesn't grow. This is a constant worry of his parents. Sang Li's husband is Kim Lim, a hard working picker and loving father and husband.

You would think that the pickers wouldn't have to pay rent because of where they live and the fact that they build their own day shelters. But Sopeap Sin, aka the Cow collects the rent every month. She seems to be just a very angry old drunk woman who hates everything except her high grade wine. But because of what Kim Lim find in the trash one day, all of their lives change including the rent collector.

This story is much than what it is a life of daily survival in the dump; it is the story of hope, understanding, redemption and secrets dating back the Pol Pots' devastating regime.
Read more ›
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Merene Buck on October 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Rent Collector is a novel based on true happenings. I enjoyed the capitivating way the book is written as well as the contents of the story. It comments on social injustice caused by the war in Cambodia and the aftermath of the communist takeover. In spite of the efforts of communism to eradicate the educated/rich class, the author takes the true story of one person and expresses how right can overcome might, how the ability to read is mightier than poverty. It shows how overlooking one's own problems by getting to know others is a better way to survive in hard times and it is strong evidence for the positive influence of education to better ones' self and to extend this success to help others. High Five.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Beth on December 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
It was with a bit of hesitation that I picked up The Rent Collector. The summary doesn't exactly inspire life-affirming feelings, but that's exactly what The Rent Collector did for me. It affirmed life and literature and, more than that, the goodness of humanity.

The story centers around Sang Ly and her family, who live at a dump and eke out a living as best they can. Nisay, their baby boy, is often sick and needs medicine that they can never dream of affording. Sang Ly realizes one day that the rent collector can read, and this revelation starts her on a course of discovery & hope for a better future for her family.

I have only a foggy idea of the struggles that Cambodia faced during the Khmer Rouge rule. Just when I thought that this story was only about a family at a dump, I realized it was about much more--a past filled with war and sacrifice and a future with redemption and a chance to do the right thing. There were a few times that I was moved to tears.

The writing itself was simple, but doesn't need a lot of flashy embellishments. The story is simply beautiful.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Monica Hawse on August 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Rent Collector by Cameron Wright is one of the best books I've read in a long time. It has all of the elements of a good read: great, well-developed characters (that you soon grow attached to), a fascinating story line, an education about a totally different and difficult way of life, love, mystery, and the power of hope. It was also a compelling story about how learning to read makes such a dramatic difference in a person's life. Cameron Wright is a wonderful storyteller - I loved his writing style. A wonderful surprise at the end of the book was the photos! Although the book is a novel it is partly derived from Cameron's son's documentary of life in Stung Meanchey. There are photos of Ki Lim, Sang Ly, and baby Nisay, along with scenes of living at the dump. Somehow these photos made the novel even more meaningful. I strongly recommend reading The Rent Collector, you'll be glad you did!
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