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4.7 out of 5 stars24
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 7 October 2011
Nic Dunlop's quest to find Comrade Duch has given us one of the best books detailing life in the Khmer Rouge time. Dunlop paints a masterful picture of the past and the people who both perpetrated the horrors and suffered from them. His clear style and eye for detail steer us through modern-day Cambodia back to the terrors of the past using the Khmer Rouge as guides. Having spent many years in Cambodia myself in the immediate years after the Vietnamese pull-out, and having read most books on the subject, I can recommend Dunlop's book as one of the very best. An excellent read for any serious student of Cambodia and a chilling insight into one of the greatest horrors of the modern age that will also captivate those coming fresh to the subject. A future classic.
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on 28 June 2012
The author starts the book off by stating an apparently simple mission. Find comrade Duch, and confront him with his crimes. Now, had Nic Dunlop done only that, this would have been a slim enough volume. The author assumes that you know nothing much about Duch (my case, more or less), and proceeds to give you not only a pretty detailed biography, always prompted and in the context of his search for the man, but also a very interesting history for the conflict.

The style is journalistic and very simple and down to earth. I also found that even though the author has a strong opinion about all of the facts, he's not overly pushy with it. At some points he lapses into abstract musings about a certain fact or place, but these don't last too long.

The book is overall very readable, and treats this harrowing subject in a dignifyed way. The author doesn't fall into a rabid rant about a subject he's obviously devoted a large chunk of his life to. Also he describes the atrocities in just the right way, avoiding any sensacionalism. Definately worth buying.
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on 8 December 2012
A thoroughly researched book.
Nic Dunlop has painted painful pictures with his words.
A brave author who sought to find the truth,and with it,Comrade Duch.
Nic has opened my eyes to the countries who,through aid & shelter,assisted in prolonging the genocide.
Also the Aid Agencies who allowed themselves to be used which often prevented the true refugees from recieving food & medical aid.
Thank you Nic for sharing this with the world
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on 30 September 2011
I REALLY BELIEVE A BOOK LIKE THIS SHOULD BE IN INCLUDED IN THE NATIONAL CIRRICULUM, having been a complete ignoramous on this historic and tragic and even more so profound story of subjects hard to comprehend until read, I am now planning to find out as much about what happened and although understand why, still question WHY? and just 35 or so years ago??? baffling!
Anyway a mustb read!
May trigger a want for similar reads!
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on 13 September 2010
This was the first book I read around the history of the Khmer Rouge and the atrocities of this era. A very easy, engaging read as you follow the journey of Nic Dunlop in his search for Duch. This book truly sparked my interest in Cambodian history and the nightmare that was the Khmer Rouge ... it certainly hasn't stopped at this book. Well worth the read.
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on 29 August 2011
This book is a must read to anyone interested in or about to visit SE Asia. Ive read some awful books before this - trust me, this is the book to read!

Thought provoking, balanced and good use of personal accounts and factual sources. You are left feeling exhausted and astonished and a little confused! Most books on this subject can simplify what went on in Cambodia but this does not paint a picture of good V evil but presents the complex psychological and historical points that need to be made.This book leaves you feeling that your eyes have been opened!

We need more of these books being written and read by people!
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on 10 April 2010
Having read a book all about Cambodia under Pol Pot, I was interested in learning more about Comrade Duch, the man who ran the notorious Tuol Sleng prison where countless Cambodian's were tortured and executed. Nic Dunlop sets out to find Duch with just a photograph of him. Duch disappeared after Pol Pot was overthrown and has never been made to answer for his terrible crimes. I won't tell you whether or not Dunlop is successful in his quest. This is a fascinating book looking at the life of one of the most infamous men in Cambodian history.
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on 11 April 2014
Bought this for my kindle sat in my hotel room in Phnom Penh the same day I went to Tuol Sleng and Cheung Ek as I had read some of the notices about Comrade Duch and wanted to find out more and try and gain some insight into why someone would commit such heinous crimes. The book was well written and informative and to realise that the author was responsible for bringing cvomrade duch to justice was fascinating. I struggled to put it down the first time I read it, until I fell asleep with my tablet on my lap.
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on 21 September 2014
I had never heard much about Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge (born slightly too late) but saw The Killing Fields at the cinema when I was young. The book was extremely moving, well written and had a great impact on me. Finished it over a week ago but can't stop thinking about it. These people of Cambodia should never be forgotten.
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on 13 January 2015
Interesting account from Nic Dunlop of his search for the Chief Torturer of the Khmer Rouge, Comrade Duch, at one time a close friend of its leader, the insane Pol Pot whose sole aim in life appeared to be to drag Cambodia back a few centuries in time, to eradicate anyone and everyone who had the smittering of an education or who was a 'Professional Person', be they a teacher, lawyer, lecturer or indeed ANYONE deemed to have had or to be having what was seen and judged to be a 'priveleged life'.Comrade Duch himself came close to disappearing himself as the peiod of war was coming to an unlikely end.I have seen photographs - not in THIS book - of the thousands of human skulls displayed as both evidence and a reminder of this obscene period in Cambodias history during which some 2 million people died or were murdered. A must read.
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