Customer Reviews


28 Reviews
5 star:
 (18)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book, well written
I could not replace this book on my shelf without recommending it to others. I haven't felt so sorry to finish the last page of a book in a long time.
Pascal Khoo Thwe is a determined, unpretentious but resilient man. He was born into a tribal family in a remote part of Burma. His university education in Mandalay is cut short when he is forced to leave his studies...
Published on 5 Jun 2003

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Very descriptive writing.
Book was very good at describing the life in rural Burma but was not so interesting thereafter. Obviously an autobiography.
Published 13 months ago by Kathb


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book, well written, 5 Jun 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: From The Land of Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey (Paperback)
I could not replace this book on my shelf without recommending it to others. I haven't felt so sorry to finish the last page of a book in a long time.
Pascal Khoo Thwe is a determined, unpretentious but resilient man. He was born into a tribal family in a remote part of Burma. His university education in Mandalay is cut short when he is forced to leave his studies and his family, having spoken out against the corrupt military dictatorship. He manages to survive life in the jungle as a guerrilla fighter.
His life changes dramatically when he meets Dr. John Casey, a Cambridge don. Casey is intrigued by Pascal Khoo Thwe's enduring interest in English literature and arranges for him to study at Cambridge university.
I had expected to hear more about his time at Cambridge (it takes up about 10% of the book) but I now feel that the author got the balance right.
It is a humbling, shocking, eye-opening, but ultimately uplifting book which will stay with me for a long time.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Life Less Ordinary, 11 Oct 2002
By 
jacr100 "jacr100" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
In March 1988 Dr John Casey, a Cambridge lecturer visiting Burma en route to Kyoto, was informed of a waiter at a Chinese restaurant in Mandalay who had expressed a fondness for James Joyce. Intrigued, Casey sought out this anomalous character, who proceeded to take the errant academic on a tour of Mandalay University campus, where he was studying English Literature. Within six months that waiter would be forced out of university after its closure, becoming a political agitator and then a refugee in the Burmese jungle, fleeing for his life from the forces of the infamous military regime. While entrenched in the rebel camps he sent an inquisitive letter to John Casey, who set about evacuating him from Burma and later securing him a place at Cambridge University. From The Land of Green Ghosts is his autobiography.
The three sections of the book deal respectively with the three main epochs of Pascal Khoo Thwe’s life up to his graduation from Cambridge in 1995. Beginning with his Edenic upbringing among a Paduang tribe, a sort of ‘Paradise Lost’ since the departure of the British and the rise of military incursions into the tribal heartlands, he later tells of his initial vocation to be a priest, and then his enrolment at Mandalay University, where in the dirty, hot and unclean metropolis he feels ‘tiny and insignificant for the first time in my life’. Very soon the political situation in Mandalay approaches breaking point, as the government twice demonetises the national currency, leaving many destitute. When the students begin to organise protests, the military respond savagely, and many civilians are either gunned down or disappear. When Pascal returns to his homeland he has become politically energised by the injustices he has witnessed, and tries to drum up anti-government sentiment, before he is soon forced to flee to the relative safety of the rebel camps near the Thai border. The last part of the book recounts his miraculous escape, and initial cultural alienation in England as he struggles to undertake a degree in his third language, all the time aware that his friends remain in the Burmese jungle, valiantly fighting against hopeless odds for some notion of freedom.
If this sounds like the plot of a fictional novel, it also reads like one; there were times when I was forced to remind myself that all the events recalled in such detail by the author are based on actual experience. Thwe is a very humble narrator, but also paints vivid pictures in the mind: he does not just recount what you would see, but also recreates smells, noises, the atmosphere of the seasons. His description of life among the Paduang reads something like an anthropological monograph written by one of the subjects, giving us an insider’s view into the meaning behind the numerous rituals, customs and beliefs – especially concerning ghosts, who form an important part of the Paduang cultural psyche (the ‘green’ ghosts of the title are believed to rise from those murdered or killed in an accident: they are the fiercest and consequently the most feared). At times deeply tragic, but always uplifting, Thwe has justified his flight from the wings of the resistance, since he has kept his promise and not forgotten those who stayed to continue the fight; and hopefully, with the publication of this book, he has made an international audience more aware of the human rights abuses associated with the Burmese ‘socialist’ regime, and more dedicated to their deposition.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply moving tale - from Burma to Cambridge, 9 Oct 2002
By A Customer
I really loved this book - it was written in a very poetic way and was incredibly moving - the story told by the writer who grew up in a very ancient traditional tribal society, and had to leave the country, family and everything that he loved, suddenly, when he found out that the Burmese army were about to kill him - his crime was that he had managed to find his own voice and organise democratic protest in his village. He tells this story without any self-pity - and with great compassion. It moved me to tears. He goes on to describe the terrible conditions in the guerilla camps that he is forced to flee to and the extraordinary chance brief meeting with a cambridge don, while the writer is working as a waiter in mandalay - that goes on to completely change the direction of his life -, and leads to him studying English in Cambridge. Fascinating story about Burma, about civil war and about having compassion for other human beings.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A resilient character, 9 Oct 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: From The Land of Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey (Paperback)
As mentioned in other reviews, I found this book had quite a slow start. My expectations had focussed around this book being about the student rebellion that happened in late '80's Burma.
In fact the book spends a long time in the author's childhood. At first I wasn't sure this was the correct start but as you enter the book further you realise that it underpins a lot of what comes next.
From the period when the author entered the University in Mandalay I was hooked on this book. The stories about being a 'rebel' and having to escape from the Military Dictatorship show the degree of resilience that the author holds. His time in Cambridge is covered with no pretension, just highlighting the difficulty of the culture change, and the problems associated with his initial low degree of knowledge as regards the English language.
Having read a number of books on Burma I found this didn't cover as much about the 'democratic rebellion' as others. However it told me a lot more about the culture of the Burmese and the individual tribes that inhabit Burma. Something I found of great interest.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Read, 3 Jan 2006
By 
C. M. E. Beckingham "Chris B" (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: From The Land of Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey (Paperback)
My only disappointment with this book was that I got to the end! An amazing (unique?)story of courage, resiliance, tragedy and ultimately personal triumph. A recommended read for anyone over the age of sixteen. One of those books you will remember for a very long time (and may even change your life........)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellently written autobiography, 23 Mar 2005
By 
Emmett (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: From The Land of Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey (Paperback)
This is a beautifully written book which combines very touching personal stories with hilarious anecdotes and moments of true horror. An amazing story very well told, and also an extremely interesting insight into a culture that accepts supernatural intervention as a commonplace occurence.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars totally amazing, 30 Sep 2003
This review is from: From The Land of Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey (Paperback)
if you are thinking of buying this then please ignore the negative comments below. this book is absolutely brilliant and to read it is a completely humbling experience. it is neither cliched nor egotistical; pascal simply tells *his* story, describing his emotional journey and the difficult choices he had to make along the way.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book, 16 May 2008
By 
TemmaD (London England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: From The Land of Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey (Paperback)
I started to read this book a few days before the monsoon struck Burma. I finished it a week later. I rarely write reviews but was so moved by this reminder of the power of literature to link strangers across time and space. Burma has been a headline to me for so many years - aware of the horror, but without a sense of the human cost of living under one of the world's worst dictatorships or why it has been tolerated for so long. In beautifully written prose,this tells a remarkable story both unique and universal, a love letter to a lost world and to its ghosts, alive forever now in a book. I'm going to recommend it to everyone I know and I thank the author for his courage in surviving to be a voice for others.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful story, 21 Oct 2007
By 
P. Duval "philip_duval" (Manchester UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: From The Land of Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey (Paperback)
Absolutely brilliant book, like entering another world. Can't understand the accusations of egotism against the author. He paints a fascinating magical picture of a land and culture so different from our own I couldn't put it down.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Burma lives, 21 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We recently went to Burma, February this year, and took this book with us. It is the remarkable and true story of a young man growing up in Burma. I think it is one of the best autobiographys I have ever read. It is written without any conceit and purely told ,from the heart .In the current political climate in Burma it is especially relevant.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

From The Land of Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey
From The Land of Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey by Pascal Khoo Thwe (Paperback - 3 Mar 2003)
£7.19
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews