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Lightning on the Sun: A Novel
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Lightning on the Sun: A Novel

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  158 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
From the highly acclaimed author of Pure Slaughter Value comes this latter-day literary noir about an ex-pat in Cambodia eager to get home but taking all the wrong turns.

Asher went to Cambodia to get away from Julie, his Harvard grad ex-girlfriend currently tending bar in a topless joint in New York. But when his UNESCO work cleaning bat dung from Khmer statues is finished
Paperback, 304 pages
Published July 17th 2001 by Anchor (first published 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mar 11, 2010 Trish rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mysteries, fiction, asia
I loved this book and was sad to learn that Bingham died of a heroin overdose in 2000. He seemed completely in his element describing the life of a Westerner in Southeast Asia, and I thought the narrative stream utterly entrancing. I wish he'd been able to stay with us longer. He was preternaturally talented. I wonder, when I read this again, if I will feel the same way and I did when I first read it.
Aug 08, 2007 Laurie rated it it was amazing
I can't remember the first time I read this book, but 2004 seems about right. When I read this book, I immediately harbored fantasies about going to Cambodia with a tan man who wore linen pants and loafers and we'd lie on a mattress in a sticky hotel room and try not to get shot by crazy people. I'm glad I got over that fantasy. I don't think I could take Cambodia's heat.
Jul 07, 2008 Tatiana rated it really liked it
he always chased adventure and the high, which killed him in the end as he died of a drug overdose in NYC. fantastic writer, it's a shame he didn't live long enough to contribute more.
Aug 28, 2013 Blair rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
After thirteen years, this novel still resonates with me. It's so shitty that Bingham died of a drug overdose just before this, his first novel, was released. (His short story collection, Pure Slaughter Value, is also great.) It's telling that he tips his hat to Graham Greene in the opening pages - his style is similarly cinematic. But where Greene immersed himself in the shady underworld of international relations, Bingham paints pictures of the upper-middle-class lost in their own banality - a ...more
Oct 17, 2007 Magda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
'The same tide that had swept her out to sea had pulled her back in again.'

'This sordid conversation, this wonderful girl, the jet lag and the bourbon, they all coalesced into a dreamy concoction he hoped would not curdle.'

'It had effortlessly swum up through the swampy depths of a strange lake of love, broken the surface and was breathing again.'

'It was toxic and transcontinental, a soupy, sick mist that had crossed the world to envelop his beat.'

'The sky was black and the sky was blue. The two
Daniel Mackey
Mar 19, 2013 Daniel Mackey rated it it was amazing
First and only novel by a writer who died of a heroin overdose 6 months before this book was published. Set in Cambodia it depicts an American journalist infactuation with danger and the exotic. It is not just autobiographical but it is also a tragic tale about America's naive involvement and the bitter consequences of the South East Asian wars. A great book!
Zachary Krug
Jan 12, 2011 Zachary Krug rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book more; and I really tried to, but in the end its a really ordinary down and out expat drug story; nothing wrong with that, but, save a few passages, the writing just wasn't there
Jan 12, 2008 Mr.david rated it really liked it
A great story of expatriate dissolution in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. After I read it, it was only a matter of time till I made my way to that city. And it was everything I'd expected. (Much better than touristy, ersatz Siem Reap.)
Brady Curtis
Dec 07, 2012 Brady Curtis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: brady-s-fiction
Beautifully Written, HOWEVER, unless you KNOW the Dragon, It would be difficult at best & boring as hell (excluding blazing similes & kick-ass metaphors ) at worst.
Oh its a great read though
Robert Bingham did indeed die of a heroin Overdose withn weeks after writing this book.
Apr 29, 2010 Chuck rated it did not like it
A young man in Cambodia, a displaced U.N. employee, gets involved in the drug trade. Did not like the author's style. He tries to be whimsical, comes off as flippant, arrogant & shallow.
May 27, 2010 Jade added it
Frederick Bingham
Jan 01, 2012 Frederick Bingham rated it liked it
A thriller about a rock climber and a washed up FBI agent.
Oct 20, 2007 Gregory rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: smugglers
I don't really remember this book. I just remember how briskly it moved. I really liked it.
Apr 03, 2013 Rana rated it it was ok
Writing that tried too hard and was very stiff. But the descriptions of Cambodia and its politics were great.
MR rated it liked it
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Jenn rated it it was amazing
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