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Paradise of the Blind Paperback – 17 Jan 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Company; Reprint edition (17 Jan. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060505591
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060505592
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 258,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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She looked at me and said: "Poor little one. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Nov. 1998
Format: Paperback
Duong Thu Huong characters are realistic, strongly portrayed. Her images are vivid, sometimes described with too much detail and color. I like her juxtaposing of beautiful images next to repulsive ones. Sometimes they are very graphic, such as when she described the articles found in a sewer. The only problems I have with the book are the minute details which the narrator remembers. But then, these can also be the doings of her mind. Another weak part of the novel is how and why her father disappears (dies?). The motivation for his leaving is not made clear, though it was attempted. All and all, the author is a master of description, effortlessly evoking sights, smells, emotions, characters. The main character is in no way provincial, though some characters are. Vietnamese literature often simplifies the provincial character into an earthy, unsophisticated stereotype. Hä`ng is a modern women and she has gone to Russia; this setting which unites the novel lifts the book out of the ancestral and unchanging Vietnamese countryside, giving it an international scope.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Feb. 1999
Format: Paperback
Paradise of the Blind is a poignanant, deeply moving book and a beautiful portrayal of three women in 1950 era Vietnamese society. The book revolves around Hang, a 20 year old "exported worker" who recalls much of the action in a series of flashbacks. Through her memory Hang struggles to purge herself of a binding past- a family nearly destroyed by communist corruption. Only once she distances herself from her family's history, especially from the lingering emotions of hatred and loyalty towards family, can Hang move on with her life, succeed and become personally liberated.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 July 1999
Format: Paperback
If anyone wants to truly understand Vietnam's history and what life under communism is like, they should read this book. Duong Thu Huong reveals a reality I had not known about until I read Paradise of the Blind. This book captures the idealistic hope and devastating betrayal and disillusionment of those who gave their lives and hopes to communism, only to discover it is a lie. I will never be able to look at Vietnam and the war the same way again. The fact that this book is banned in Vietnam only reveals its power. I look forward to reading more of this author's books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Mar. 1998
Format: Paperback
Paradise of the Blind made me feel! The author displays that certain intangible method for evoking that which defines what Vietnam must have represented for millions. Having visited these places, I could see, hear, and smell them. I loved this book, and while it made me sad, it was also quite uplifting because it expresses an individual's authentic liberation.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 May 1999
Format: Paperback
When the Vietnamese Communist Party slightly gave people freedom of speech in 1987, Duong Thu Huong cleverly borrowed many stories to analyze what had happened to ordinary people of the northern part of Vietnam under the communist regime. She challenges the communists to look at people's miserable lives that they have made and lured people into. Paradise of The Blind depicts some realities of negative aspects of communism. The story circles around the life of a young lady, Hang, in her relationship with her both mother's and father's relatives. All of them, her mother, her aunt, her uncle, her cousins and herself are all intertwined in a twist of the country without a way out. The story gives readers a mixed feeling of pity, sympathy, hatred and love for these Vietnamese people. However, Duong Thu Huong does not tell the whole truth. She does not point out some crucial details of the horrors the Land Reform Movement had created and of how poor people had been through. For example, these communists and even common people would sacrifice their parents and their siblings for their own fame and future during the Land Reform Movement. Moreover, many communists would not give their immediate families' members a way out. Paradise of The Blind was among the first books written under Vietnamese Communist Regime ever translated into English. I think you will enjoy it. If you are among those suffering and struggling by the ideal or "paradise" of the communists, you will share the same feelings of those people. If you don't know what live under the Communist Regime is like, you may have a great insight about it.
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