Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dancing in Cambodia, at Large in Burma” as Want to Read:
Dancing in Cambodia, at Large in Burma
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dancing in Cambodia, at Large in Burma

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  420 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Hardcover, 1st, 114 pages
Published 1998 by Ravi Dayal
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dancing in Cambodia, at Large in Burma, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dancing in Cambodia, at Large in Burma

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nithesh Satish
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Amitav Ghosh narrates the stories of strife, war, hope and disaster with a childlike honesty and an inquisitive observer's tone. His essays describe militancy in Cambodia, military rule and insurgency in Burma, the aftermath of the tsunami in Andaman & Nicobar and a short article on WTC disaster. These are first person narrations. I admire his courage to travel into these areas of conflict to get a grasp of the situation on the ground.

Authors/journalists who have traveled far and wide bring
Sumallya Mukhopadhyay
Dancing in Cambodia At Large in Burma, Amitav Ghosh
I chanced upon one of Amitav Ghosh's non-fictional writings titled, The Ghosts of Mrs. Gandhi, in the last book that I finished reading. Quite unfamiliar with Ghosh's non-fictional flair, I was immediately drawn to the text because of its literary value as well as its quotidian relevance in communally divided India. So I picked up Dancing in Cambodia to taste a little more of Ghosh's personal narration, and yes, I'm not disappointed with the ing
Siddharth Sharma
Jun 21, 2013 rated it liked it
One of Amitav Ghosh’s few works in the non-fiction genre, this is a collection of five essays composed in a narrative journalism style. The first one is a brief outline of Cambodia’s political history since the beginning of the 20th century, chronicling events that resulted in the Khmer Rouge’s communist revolutionary Pol Pot’s capture of power, describing the hardships during his ‘genocidal’ regime and how slowly by the end of the century things have taken a positive turn. Another essay is an i ...more
Aug 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: burma
What is exciting to me is reading stories of when an author has actually met up with old Burmese residents who were there when the country radically changed and have lived long enough to share their first hand memories. Although the piece (one of three in the slim book) was written 16 years ago, it's at the forefront now with Burma finally opening up after being shuttered by the "authorities" for over half a century. Burma, once grand, is now one of the world's most impoverished. The truth is he ...more
Riju Ganguly
Mar 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the most exquisite pieces of Indian non-fiction writing that you may get to read. These are travelogues, but are much more than that. These are stories about the fight waged by the citizens of some countries, to survive as human beings, with pride & memory as their only tools against homicidal regimes or colossal stupidity. Read this story, and be touched by the lives & moments of those puny human beings who had fought everything & everybody with their culture and their storie ...more
Shishir Chaudhary
Mar 07, 2014 rated it liked it
This could well have been a 4-starrer, had it not been for the egotistic piece on Burma where Ghosh goes on with a yawn inducing experience on insurgency. Having said that, the other essays on Cambodia and Angkor Wat were stupendous to say the least. I must agree that this book has enabled me with a lot of new information on South-East Asian politics, especially the creepy times of Pol Pot regime in Cambodia and the events following the assassination of General Aung San in Burma.

Good Read.
Jul 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting travelogue. The way the author has described his travels to Cambodia, and how the image of 'Angkor Wat' on every thing from airlines to matchboxes, becomes 'an assault on visitor's senses' is quite interesting. Passages describing the history and culture of the place, the political turmoils during Khmer Rouge, mass killings etc. are very absorbing.
May 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Amitav Ghosh paints pictures with his words. Brilliant non-fiction essays merging history with the current, making a point not to leave any nooks and crannies behind. In love with his way of writing.
Kavya Srinivasan
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Insightful, well-researched and warm. Fell in love with Ghosh even more!
Sep 28, 2016 rated it liked it
It was an interesting book. Good short stories about disasters that befell upon the society. As all his other stories, Ghosh has done a great job in connecting with the readers.
Ajitabh Pandey
The book, as the title suggests is a collection of essays.

Dancing in Combodia - The Khmer classical dance originated from the Royal courts. It is performed for invocation of deities and spirits as well as to pay homage to royalty and guests. It is interesting to see how the author has found links between the 1906 royal visit of the King and royal dancers to France and the Khmer Rouge revolution. The essay presents the dance to mean more to the middle class of the country than being historical in
Murali Neelakantan
May 17, 2014 rated it liked it
An excellent recommendation for someone who has never read Amitav Ghosh. It clearly sets out his style of writing for one to sample quickly. That the reader becomes so much a part of the story is a tribute to his easy but effective style of narration. This looks like a prototype for The Glass Palace with Amitav Ghosh exploring themes and concepts and trying to marry facts with personal experiences with his very own style of narration which comes across as easy to read but with swathes of politic ...more
Sep 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ghosh's rendition of the Khmer Rouge through the lens of Cambodian dance was interesting, and shed light on a different devastating effect of the Pol Pot regime than the norm. Reading this as an accompaniment during my trip to the region, I was fascinated by Ghosh's often profoundly personal descriptions of his interactions with both the place setting, as well as key figures like Aung San Suu Kyi. A well written and engaging set of essays.
Partha Nandi
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Five stories, Five tales told but with the eyes of a traveler who in his way absorbs everything he can through his eyes and senses. From a novelist, Ghosh turned himself into a traveller who have an immense appetite for incidences ocuring around. Dancing in cambodia was like a period drama which neatly described the making and breaking of a nation. The second, Stories in stone vividly described the significance of ANGKOR WAT, the largest religious structure, in every aspect of life. At large in ...more
Kusal Perera
Mar 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The compliment and the signature on the first inside page of the book had a “P.S.” line that said, “For all the trouble caused”. Trouble it was to reschedule my flight to Colombo via Chennai, that Sahana did, just the day before the flight and that gave me 05 hours transit in Chennai. After reaching Chennai, I thought I would read the book, and sat in the lounge, thinking I would go to the checking in counter, when I feel I have read enough. When I finished reading the book to its back cover, I ...more
Pranav Mathur
Mar 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first non-fiction book of Amitav Ghosh which I read. Usually, I don't read non-fiction much as it gets too boring for me, but Amitav really nails it in this genre. His essays on Cambodia and Myanmar are eye-opening and give you an insightful view of the south-east Asian culture. The legacy of Khmer Rouge and political turmoil of Burma, were like a mystery to me before I read this book. The essays on Andaman and 9/11 give an insider view of the tragedies and capture human grief.
Drsachinjadhav Jadhav
May 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Infusing sentiment in to historical events, both remote and recent, Amitav Ghosh gives a rare, sensitive and grounded account of well-known and shamefully obscure cataclysmic events which have affected mankind.
It would be mundane to describe each essay as either gut-wrenching or heartfelt but that would dilute the effort which has gone in to describing the human condition.
Karthikeyan Iyer
Quite a laborious read! Perhaps it grows on you only on the second read. Dancing in Cambodia, at Large in Burma by Amitav Ghosh
Daniel Simmons
The title story finds the author journeying to Cambodia to find out what remains of the once-proud legacy of royal palace dancing in the wake of the Khmer Rouge genocides. An inspiring (and true!) account of the triumph of the arts despite overwhelming odds.
Apr 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Read the book while in Cambodia. Ghosh provides an interesting account of the historical and post-1975 period in Cambodia. His reports of the post-Pol Pot period with strife-torn towns and villages is well laid out and striking. Good read in total.
Sep 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
I read this years ago, but the writing- lyrical and bittersweet stays with you. I think the book really defines the countries by the historical events that shaped them. It offers a glimpse into a past, painful and matter of fact for survivors.
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This collection of essays is my first nonfiction by Ghosh. He brings the same qualities that make him one of my favorite novelists to the writing in this collection: curiosity, rich language, a sense of humor, and emotional sensitivity.
Aug 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Indian travel writer with a knack for weaving history into his current experiences. I'll read anything he writes.
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amitav Ghosh writes non-fiction just as beautifully as he does fiction
Apr 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
chronology of camodia so far
Oct 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gave me an lovely intro into the history of Cambodia and Burma when I was not seeking it. Ghosh's powerful prose and his valuable experiences really make it a book worth reading.
Nov 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Storytelling is such a great way of understanding the history, geography, society and economics of a place.
Nov 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-subcontinent
. . . And so far it's excellent.
Manas Maity
Dec 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Again a piece of intensive and intimate writing of human feelings. Amitav Ghosh superimposes different times and places and unfolds the innermost feelings and thoughts of people.
Jan 23, 2011 is currently reading it
Still reading and finding it quite intriguing
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Trouser People: A Story of Burma in the Shadow of the Empire
  • Golden Earth: Travels in Burma
  • Under the Dragon: Travels in a Betrayed Land
  • The Lady and the Peacock: The Life of Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma
  • The River of Lost Footsteps: Histories of Burma
  • Burma/Myanmar: What Everyone Needs to Know
  • India: A Wounded Civilization
  • Little Daughter: A Memoir of Survival in Burma and the West
  • Chasing the Monsoon
  • Nehru and Bose (Parallel Lives)
  • From the Land of Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey
  • For Us Surrender is Out of the Question
  • Smoke and Mirrors : An Experience of China
  • Everything Is Broken: A Tale of Catastrophe in Burma
  • Arabesques
  • Conversations with Mani Ratnam
  • Virgin Time: In Search of the Contemplative Life
  • Bamboo Palace: Discovering the Lost Dynasty of Laos
Amitav Ghosh is one of India's best-known writers. His books include The Circle of Reason, The Shadow Lines, In An Antique Land, Dancing in Cambodia, The Calcutta Chromosome, The Glass Palace, Incendiary Circumstances, The Hungry Tide. His most recent novel, Sea of Poppies, is the first volume of the Ibis Trilogy.

Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta in 1956. He studied in Dehra Dun, New Delhi, Alexan
More about Amitav Ghosh...

Share This Book