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Brian Fawcett
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Cambodia, a Book for People Who Find Television Too Slow

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  57 ratings  ·  9 reviews
"Cambodia: A Book For People Who Find Television Too Slow" is a ferociously brilliant book that challenges its readers to see the world with new eyes, in a new light. Through an arresting division of its pages-- thriteen wildly imaginative short stories at the top, and a passionate essay on colonialism and Southeast Asia at the bottom, running like a Mekong River footnote...more
Hardcover, 207 pages
Published November 28th 1988 by Grove Press (first published 1986)
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Ben Bush
Each page of this book is divided in two sections: a long odd essay on Cambodia runs along the bottom of the page and short stories on the top two thirds. Pretty successful in that there seemed to be some interesting interplay between the narrative and the essay. The contents are equal parts prescient and dated 80s leftism that felt familiar before I'd read it from growing up with liberal parents. Thought-provoking and unusual, it's a book I'd recommend all the same. I read it because of David S...more
Sanad Arida
This book was written by Brian Fawcett in 1986, which consists of 13 short stories and a book-length essay, demonstrates mass media's utter domination of North American life and mainly searches for a deeper understanding of Marshall McLuhan's concept of the Global Village and the manipulation of memory by the media. In Cambodia, Fawcett argues that the Khmer Rouge's attempt to obliterate memory and imagination, by executing any literate person or anyone that could read or speak a foreign languag...more
I give the sentiment behind this book 5 full stars, but sentiment alone does not a great book make. It's a bit awkward to read in the internet age we're now in since he talks so much (and negatively) about the "Global Village" and the book was written in 1986. But he is prescient on many things, and his diagnosis of the incredible BS we're fed is right on point. Here's a representative sentence: "The contrary nature of reality in the 20th century: that an almost identical barbarity grows out of...more
this is this wierd book i found at a used bookstore one. I wouldn't reccomend it for most because it doesn't hang together all that well as a whole. But i have to admit, i'm very glad i read it because a couple details have really stuck with me and i find myself rereading bits of it periodically. There's an essay about the apostle paul as PR man which i find fascinating. Also, the structure of the book with it's concurrent texts has started an obsession with me; one which led me to delaney and s...more
This is a thorny, challenging, brilliant book. A series of essays illustrating and reflecting on the effects of mass media is underpinned by a running commentary (footnoting intentionally not sync'ed to the beginnings and ends of each essay) on how the Khmer Rouge destroyed the memories and imagination of the Cambodian people and culture.
i really liked the format and i liked a lot of the writing. the parts about cambodia were pretty interesting. however, as the book wore on, it seemed increasingly pretentious and irritating -- sort of like 'zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance'. it was also extremely dated, with lots of cultural references to the late '80s.
This book is an inventive, wonderful hybrid of thirteen short stories with an essay on colonialism and Southeast Asian running across the bottom. Mainly you need to read "Universal Chicken," an amazing, funny story about the destruction of uniqueness.
I read this book about ten years ago and really loved it. In the last year or two, I've made it a goal to read more nonfiction and I decided to start by rereading this book. Really smart, cutting social commentary that's almost over my head.
Feb 21, 2008 Chris rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who liked Diary of a Bad Year.
That text wants to be free.
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