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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers
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on 4 August 2015
I bought this while travelling in Cambodia and would suggest anyone contemplating on visiting the magical country should try to read it. I'm sure there are many other books on the time of the Khmer Rouge which are far more graphic or explain the politics etc on greater detail, however this memoir from the point of view of a child was poignant and effecting. The Khmer/Cambodian people are amazing and I was humbled by their horrific experience and their ability to move forwards. They've not forgotten, but it doesn't define them either.
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on 13 October 2011
This is a personal history of the author during the most atrocious years of the Khmer Rouge rule in Cambodia (1975-1979). I found the greatest value in the book to be her first hand experience of countless episodes of cruelty and sheer madness. She tell those stories calmly and without deep political analysis, as if she did not really understand what was going on. Which, of course, to a large extent did not, as she was just a child! But this, far from being a weakness, is a strength of the book.

Many books have been written on the politics of the Khmer Rouge regime, and many more will be written as more and more evidence becomes available. However this book will never be out of date, because true first hand experience as candidly seen through the eyes of a child will always be relevant, interesting, and shocking!

I agree with some other reviewers that a weak point in the book is the parts where she admits she does not know what happened and uses her imagination to fill the gap. maybe she could have left those parts out altogether. However this in no way detracts from the overall instructional value of the book.
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on 13 July 2016
I chose to read this book because of my background and it did not disappoint, stories are just as my mother told and provided a vivid description of how a vulnerable little girl was slowly but surely moulded into something beyond her understanding. I hope that this book can open the eyes of many to the brutality that ruined this beautiful country, it may no longer bleed but the scars are still present
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on 1 March 2017
I read this book while travelling Cambodia and I couldn't put it down. It's still shocking to this day what happened during the Cambodian genosode in 1975. This is a truely heart wrenching account of one girl and how the war stole her life. Something that happened when some of the people that are reading this review would of been alive. History should never be forgotten. It's teaches us so much. This book needs to be read by all.
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on 20 October 2017
Having recently been to Vietnam & Cambodia, I could picture some of the sights in my mind as they are described. This story is quite incredible & the scale of the genocide is harrowing. However, this wonderful book, tells the heart breaking story of Luong's experiences,through very young eyes and it is one essentially of survival, against all the odds.
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on 21 January 2015
If you want to understand what genocide or even simply war looks and feels like, then the years under Pol Pot's brutal rule as told by a child is hard to ignore. That mankind can do this to one another is depressing and horrific. The story is beautifully told through a simple view of war, loss and hatred as experienced by a child. That she survived is remarkable, and despite the scars and nightmares of her survival, she found the voice and words to tell the story of her family, the war and the escape. Terrific book.
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on 1 November 2017
A very moving film that poignantly demonstrates the futility and horror of (the) war, and challenges the singlemindedness of those who sought to highlight what was happening. Well worth rewatching after originally seeing it at the cinema.
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on 24 May 2016
I was made aware of and read this book whilst travelling through Cambodia. It was heartbreaking to read and eye-opening as I wasn't aware of the extent of what had happened. As I visited the Killing Fields and S21 during the day, I read the book in the evening - maybe it was about too much. I read the book within a week - I was hooked. I googled between chapters to find out more information. What happened in Cambodia and has happened to others around the world is truly devastating.
I am amazed at Luong's account of what happened, take her name away and this represents what many went through. I thank Luong for sharing this story.
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on 1 May 2017
Couldn't put it down. Already read survival in the killing fields. Several visits to Cambodia. I am involved in a children's project there too. This book is different, it's written on the authors experiences as a child. The effects are still there, especially out of the tourist places. Heart breaking. I don't know how the survivors got through it. I feel pained in my heart from reading it.
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on 12 June 2016
An excellent read in to what went on, I am leading a world challenge group to Cambodia and it was recommended so that I would have more of an idea about the events before we go to share with students, it gives a god account to family life and the time.
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