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125
4.8 out of 5 stars
First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 27 December 2003
As soon as I finished reading this I wanted to start it all over again. Loung Ung is not only an amazing writer but an inspirational person, and to read her story is to know her. The hate that grips her after all that happens to her makes you so angry as the child you meet at the start of the story is forced to disappear. To read this book is to have your heart torn out that this was allowed to happen. You read it and wonder where was the rest of the world when all of this was going. If you ever thought that the problems of the world weren't yours then this book will change your mind, it will make you want to get up and do something. You cannot read this book and not be affected by her story. This is one of the most important books I will ever read in my lifetime.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 2 June 2003
This book is a gut wrenching, heartbreaking tale of a young girl during the horrendous regime of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. I always wanted to read this book since I saw it at school but never got round to it. In November of 2002 I took my son to Cambodia and whilst there we visited some of the places talked about in the book and you can start to feel what it must have been like at the time. Never, ever should this sort of event be allowed to happen again, believe me, you will be close to tears at some points when you read this book, I have now read it three times and the atrocities committed under the banner of the Khmer Rouge are still unfathomable.
A MUST READ book.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 28 April 2005
I travelled through SE Asia with 2 friends who both read this book while we were there. I kept looking at them holding the book with the harrowing title on the front cover and thinking 'why on earth would you read that? We've seen the museums, they were tough enough, why read something with such a traumatic title?' ... Then I read it.
Only about 100 pages and amazingly enthralling. The author is amazing, the editing is excellent as this story could easily have been spread out into 1000 pages. I don't want to enthuse too much about this book as one of the reasons I was so moved by it was that I had no expectations.
I wouldn't go as far as to say it changed my life. However, I think I have thought about the story at least once a month for the last 18 months since I read it. Not many books have affected me in that way.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2002
After visiting cambodia I was interested in reading more about the lives of those who'd lived through the Pol Pot regime. This book tells a very vivid tale of what life was like through the eyes of a child.
I had to read it in one sitting because it was too compelling to put down. This is a book I think everyone should read, so that we never allow anything like this to happen again. But be prepared to cry!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 1 July 2004
If you have a heart or you don't have a heart , this book will reduce you to tears . Never in my life has any piece of work or any story reached so deep in to my soul . I only have to think of this book , this story , and I start to choke up , my eyes water . Think of the worst thing that has happened in your life , and I can assure you that after reading this book it will not seem so bad !
Loung Ung writes about what she experienced , what her family ,friends , companions , experienced during those dreadful years in Cambodian history in the mid 1970's .How she dealt with the pain and suffering , both physically and mentally , to herself and those around her is told in mind numbing truth , her expression of guilt at ignoring the terrible injuries of those around her at times was proberbly the thing that toached me the most . As a 5 or 6 year old child what else could you do but walk away from someone hideously injured . But in all honesty would you admit to that afterwards , I know I could not but this woman tells everything as it was .
I do not think that for the rest of my I will ever be able to admire someone as much as I admire Loung Ung . Being of a similar age to her I can think back to what I was doing during that time and it makes it all seem so much more real. I wish her well in all the good work she is doing now and say to anyone thinking about purchasing this book to do so . You will not regret it and it may just change your outlook on life
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 19 April 2005
My purchase of this book was influenced by a review in a magazine. The review sprarked a flicker of interest in the history of Cambodia - a topic I am sorry to say I knew little about. First They Killed My Father changed all that.
This book is an informative, yet moving account of one young girl's experiences growing up under the Khmer Rouge - a life very few us can imagine (thankfully). The narrative lets the reader grow up with Loung and allows one to experience the confusion she must have felt about what was happening around here. Quickly you realise how fast Loung had to mature and develop a survival instinct to get through the days of her childhood.
This does not, however, create a depressing book. Indeed, I found First to be an uplifting read - reeducating me on the importance of the family and how far we go to protect one another in that unique relationship bond. I felt Loung's frustration at being 'kept in the dark' about the realities of the war and yet, we all understand what her Pa was protecting her from.
Above all, a fascinating read and one I would heartily recommend.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 23 December 2001
I read this book in Cambodia and I don't know if that had anything to do with it, but I couldn't put it down or stop crying. Fantastic, important and very well written. Ung manages to take you back to that terrible time and it is very powerful because of that.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 15 April 2002
After a recent visit to Cambodia I wanted to learn more about the history and hardship the country had been through. This moving story told through the eyes of a five year old makes you realise how lucky we are and what atrocities children from developing countries go through!
I would recommend this book to anyone and fantastic read that I just couldn't put down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 June 2007
I dont know why I decided to read this book, but was captivated by the fiest chapter, even though I knew i would probably be in tears at some stage of my reading.

The book is very well written , and seeing life and death through the eyes of a 5 yr old growing up in Cambodia whilst it is under the brutal rule of the Khmer Rouge.

The work camps, the death of close friends and family, plus the unseen threat from the soldiers, let alone friends or family being encouraged to turn in anyone they feel will give them some kind of favour with the regime makes it an incredibly brutal life.

i would love to meet the author because i cannot conceivably imagine the hardship that someone has had to suffer, and she was not alone enduring this savagery.

What makes you feel so incensed with this is that you think people would learn, but these living conditions keep recurring as the world moves in albeit in different countries, under different regimes,

I urge you to read this fantastic book
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 5 February 2002
This is a really moving book which I could not put down! I have never read a book this good! It really moves you just amazes you! How a young child can deal with that much loss is astounding.....highly recommended!! Fantastic!
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