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Reviews Written by
J. H. Murray "Jimfromeltham" (Melbourne, Australia)

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Indochine
Indochine
by Luke Nguyen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £21.25

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much more than a cook book, 20 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Indochine (Hardcover)
Indochine has some great recipes that are a real bonus in this book.
But like the two preceding books I own that were written or co-written by Luke (Secrets of the Red Lantern, and The Songs of Sapa), Indochine offers further fascinating glimpse into the extraordinary life Luke and his family have led since fleeing Vietnam following the war. These books describe, quite personally, the challenges faced and the hard work, dedication and generosity shown by this generation of displaced Vietnamese - both the parents and their children.
Indochine, while searching out the influences that the former French colonial empire has had upon Vietnamese food and history, is still a delightful continuation of the story of Luke's exploration of the food of his home country and culture, its history and influences.
Indochine, and Luke's other books, are simply a great read.

And don't miss Luke's TV series - like the books it is fascinating and is almost as good as being in Vietnam. And, like in his books, Luke's enthusiasm takes you along for the ride.


The Songs of Sapa
The Songs of Sapa
by Luke Nguyen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great culinary tour of Vietnam, 27 Nov. 2009
This review is from: The Songs of Sapa (Hardcover)
Luke Nguyen uses his extensive understanding of the food of Vietnam to tell his story of his travels. And he succeeds in creating a wonderful book.
Like the related book 'History of the Red Lantern' and his TV show 'Luke Nguyen's Vietnam' it reminds me so much of our recent (2008) holiday in Vietnam. The food is fabulous. The people are fabulous.
Through these books and TV show we get to glimpse at the lives of those who were able to flee Vietnam after the war and their dependents.
Both books are a great reads (my mother-in-law wants to read them as novels).
Recommended!


Secrets of the Red Lantern: Stories and Vietnamese Recipes from the Heart
Secrets of the Red Lantern: Stories and Vietnamese Recipes from the Heart
by Pauline Nguyen
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous! A fasinating story and great food!, 21 Oct. 2009
This is a fabulous book.
I visited Vietnam with my wife and two other couples in September, 2008. We just loved the people, the food and the history we encountered. It was everything and more that we expected. While there, and while three of us (the wives) were being pampered at our resort in Hoi An, the other three of us (the husbands) went on a cooking course where we met some people from Sydney who told us about this fabulous Vietnamese restaurant in Sydney's Surrey Hills - "The Red Lantern".
When we returned home we discovered the family who had built up and were running the Red Lantern had produced this fabulous looking book.
In Australia we have a shared, if somewhat unfortunate, recent history with the people of Vietnam due to the Vietnam/American war. Our view of this shared history tends to be one sided and focused on the Australian soldiers who fought there and were so poorly treated when they returned home. With this fabulously presented book we see so much more than a collection of recipes. It provides an insight into the lives of the other casualties of this war once the Americans and Australians withdrew. It provides a glimpse into the ordeal endured by those Vietnamese who decided to abandon their home country and all they knew to seek a life elsewhere - somewhere with a completely different history and culture. The stories provide a very human insight into growing up Vietnamese in suburban Australia and, through the author's observations, you detect a growing appreciation of the hardship and fear that her parents must have faced and the bravery they must have shown to leave Vietnam with such an uncertain and dangerous future. Then, once in Australia, how hard they worked to adapt and to provide for their family.
This is a truly marvelous book.
As and aside, we have started watching "Luke Nguyen's Vietnam" (Luke is co-author of this book) television program on SBS which is a fascinating look at the fabulous food of Vietnam - I just want to go back!


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