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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 24 June 2014
This is a must-read if you have any interest at all in Burma/Myanmar and its recent changes.

The book is superbly written in an engaging style which brings detailed information and factual background in a highly readable way. It brings insights into what is a highly enigmatic country, through the lives of a variety of people. I particularly liked the way each chapter tells the story of one person and moves the chronology forward. Having lived in Myanmar at the same time I was frequently struck by a sense of nostalgia, familiarity and surprise at the details of those times. And I learned a great deal which I had not known earlier.

Most of all, it is factual and respectful while delving deep into the detail of life in Myanmar/Burma through these years.

I have read it once already, and know I will read it again!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2014
An extraordinary, vivid and detailed portrait of a fascinating country. Skilfully weaving together the stories of a diverse group of Burmese, Ros Russell brings Burma and its people to life.
The book steers clear of dry chunks of background text and expositions from experts to offer something much more valuable -- a real sense of what it's been like to live in Burma over the past few decades. A monk, a punk, a democracy activist and the Burmese answer to the Spice Girls all help convey the richness and drama of Burma's recent history and the charm of its people.
Full disclosure: I know the author, a former colleague at Reuters. I'm reviewing the book here because I genuinely think it deserves as wide an audience as possible. Essential if you're at all interested in Burma, well worth reading even if you're just mildly curious.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 27 June 2014
Jo, London

What a glorious read. As someone who never finds the time to pick up a book I have been engrossed by this lovely gentle, enthralling, educational, emotional read. It is at times tense and exciting and at times reflective and historical. I feel like it tells an important bit of history in an exceptionally human way.
I couldn't recommend it highly enough to someone with intimate knowledge of the area or a complete novice.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 1 August 2014
Burma's Spring has an epic sweep but a gentle touch, you really get a feeling of life in Burma, both from the author's peculiar position but also the lives of the motley crue of people she comes across, from the great and the good to the very everyday people experiencing the massive change happening in the country. A really interesting, informative, and kind of uplifting read. Maybe worth a sequel soon as the huge complexity of post-spring fallout would be equally interesting...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 30 June 2014
This book is an amazing collection of several stories, each one dealing with very different yet always interesting characters. It gives a fascinating insight of Burma's development during the years - not only on a political and historical level, but also in a very personal, emotional way. Absolutely worth reading!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 January 2015
I am also a journalist covering foreign affairs. This book reminded me why I wanted to be a journalist on the first hand. And trust me, this is probably the biggest compliment I can come up with in such frustrating times for an early career journalist -- when I have just been having an identity crisis thinking whether I should stay a journalist.

The book is a perfect microcosm of modern Burma; and it takes you to the intimate world of people who introduce you to their slice of Burma. From the encounters with a Burmese punk singer to fortune teller, I thought it gave a very fair account of the multifaceted reality of what is it like to be a Burmese today.

From a journalistic perspective, it was exceptionally researched, written and included robust analysis. But to analyse political events and to maintain the "human factor" is a tricky job. In this sense, Russell's writing sings. Her language is also more beautiful than most Booker prize winning novels I've read lately.

I devoured it like a thriller and read most chapters twice. Some stories of some humans from the book will stay with me for a very long time.

Thank you, Rosalind Russell. You are who I want to be. I would give an arm or a leg to go out for a coffee with you and pick your brains.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 19 June 2014
Gives a vivid introduction to the people of Burma and their troubles . Very insightful and easily readable. Look for more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 November 2014
I loved this book. Not normally a fan of non fiction, I was surprised by how hard it was to put it down. Ros Russell adds a personal touch and voice to her stories of real people living through a turbulent and exciting chapter in Burma's history. Some of those stories shocked, some inspired me, some impressed me with their strength, will and determination. All the people that I "met" though this book will stay with be for a long time. You don't have to know anything about Burma to enjoy this book but reading it will make you want to go and visit. This is a story told with honesty and soul and Ros Russell guides us with skillful writing and an original voice on a profound and eye opening journey.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 August 2014
I thought this was a fantastic read - rich in colour and the details of ordinary Burmese lives at what is really, an extraordinary time. Who could forget Mu Mu, the young woman from Karen, who sacrifices so much, including dreams of going to America, to scrimp and save for her family? Or the Me N Ma girls, Burma's first girl band, who choose to sing about politics and not just broken hearts. There are also interviews and moving portraits of Aung San Suu Kyi and former political prisoner Win Tin, an incredible man. Ros Russell's affection for Burma and its people comes through in every chapter. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the country - it certainly made me want to visit Burma!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 July 2014
Burma's Spring is a beautifully written book, you experience Burma's changing political landscape through the eyes of it's people from the palm reader to the Lady herself. Enchanting, engaging and informative. I loved it.
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