A Cambodian Odyssey

Haing Ngor, Author, Roger Warner, Author MacMillan Publishing Company $19.95 (478p) ISBN 978-0-02-589330-6
Ngor spent four years as a ""war slave'' under the Khmer Rouge, experiencing severe torture, losing most of his family and posing as a former cab driver when in fact he had been a doctor. His account of what amounted to a living nightmare vividly conveys the extent of organized savagery that held sway in Cambodia from 1975 until the invasion by the North Vietnamese. Some of the details are so ugly that in three places the author suggests that ``readers with sensitive feelings'' skip the balance of a chapter. This is more than a recounting of his ordeal, however; Ngor goes a long way toward explaining why a land known for its shy and gentle people became the site of mass killings that reached genocidal proportions. He also provides an excellent account of the origins of the Khmer Rouge and the career of Pol Pot. The latter part of the book has to do with the almost incredible circumstances that led to an Academy Award for his role in the film The Killing Fields. A terrible and thrilling story. (February)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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