Apple's Reviews > First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers

First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung
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it was amazing
bookshelves: nonfiction, biographics
Recommended for: everyone

There are some things left unlearned from history books. You can read about the Cambodian genocide from many other sources that will explain the facts and statistics in the traditional sterile style that historic texts usually take. You can actually witness the places and things that history has left behind. And then, you can dive into personal accounts of history; how humanity struggles to survive during some of its darkest hours.
While I am usually a sucker for auto/biographical works for the above reason, I have never been held so captive by a book in all my life. I've read many other survivor accounts from other historical periods, but this one disturbed me to no end; such a young child, such horrible atrocities being committed, witnessed, remembered. I could never imagine walking in her shoes at her age. Her story will haunt me forever.
I found that as the hours passed after I began the book, I could not go to sleep without finishing the story, without making sure this child would make it out alright. Of course we know she does survive, how else would the book be written, but I read on as if her life depended on reading the very last word. I finished it just as the sun started to rise and spent those first beautiful rays in complete thanksgiving: how lucky are we, who have lived so well, to be able to learn from those who have not had that chance.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
October 3, 2007 – Finished Reading
June 27, 2008 – Shelved
July 3, 2008 – Shelved as: nonfiction
July 3, 2008 – Shelved as: biographics

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)

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Prudence Chan You described so well exactly how i felt. I can't imagine being all by myself at 7 years, living each day for survival. And until now I can't fathom the fact that we humans are capable of such evil just because of indifference and power.

Laura so true. beautifully written and felt review.

Charmaine Elliott I so agree with you! This book moved me in as profound a way as Wild Swans. One shudders at the horror one beholds in this world

Lindsay Levesque I was thinking as well, how lucky I am to have been born so privileged, to never have felt the hardships of war and violence.

Lindsay Levesque I was thinking as well, how lucky I am to have been born so privileged, to never have felt the hardships of war and violence.

Heather Mckay Apple, your review mirrors my sentiments about the book. I constantly wondered how I would fare in the same situation, then had the sad realization that I would probably not do as well as this child did. This book stays with you on many levels.

message 7: by Annie (new) - added it

Annie Thank you for your review. I will read this now because of you.

message 8: by Bibhu (new)

Bibhu Rout I just purchased because of your review. Thanks

Sarah Kathleen It’s as if you took the words out of my mouth. This effected me to my core. I was in Cambodia while reading the first half of the book, they’re resilience and strength as a community is incredible. But looking into people’s eyes and having this book in the back of my head broke my heart. Too few people understand what happened here, not so long ago.

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