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La Voie Royale (French) Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 1976
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
Top customer reviews
I have had a great fascination with the temples of Angkor Wat and its surrounds in Cambodia for as long as I can remember. Visiting Khajuraho and Mahabalipuram in India made me feel even more deprived of the opportunity to visit Angkor - Cambodia is such a dangerous place to travel to. Consequently I have satisfied myself as best as I can with books. And so many of these refer to 'The Royal Way', a novel by Andre Malruax that it is claimed recreates the atmosphere of Angkor better than anything else. Consequently I felt even more aggrieved to find the book is just about unobtainable. Recently, however, I did get a copy which I have just finished reading.
'The Royal Way' is a strong novel with good characters and ideas. It is not a happy story however. Hardship is barely rewarded for the characters. This novel is NOT about Angkor despite the bibliographies to books on Angkor that cite it. The two principle characters spend a short time on the causeway at Angkor, but even that is in the darkness of night. The novel does evoke great images of the jungle and the tribal people living there, as well as one temple from which the characters strip three huge carved stones.
I could speculate that Malraux deliberately didn't write about a brilliant glowing Angkor for the very reason that he didn't want people stripping sculptures from it as his characters (and himself as a young man) did from 'lost' temples overgrown in the jungle. This is a good novel of struggle against nature and with ethics, but you should not read it for the feel of Angkor or any of the other major temple complexes in Cambodia.