Annabel Smith's Reviews > Dogs at the Perimeter

Dogs at the Perimeter by Madeleine Thien
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really liked it
bookshelves: pwf2013, canadian

I should start by admitting that I rarely read books with this kind of harrowing subject matter because I find them too distressing. But there is a gentle beauty to Madeleine's writing that enables you to keep reading, despite the atrocities being described.

Like Elliot Perlman's The Street Sweeper, and Kim Scott's That Deadman Dance, this feels like one of those stories that absolutely needs to be told. I had no idea of the scope of the genocide committed at the hands of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge, nor of the tortures endured by those who survived.

While reading of Janie and her family's exile from Phnom Penh, the cruelty, deprivation and terror they experienced, the atrocities her brother, still a child, was forced to commit in order to survive, I felt a physical pain in my chest. The sense of loss for the victims was immense.

Madeleien Thien writes with great compassion and understanding about the impact such events have on a person's identity, weaving a compelling and heartbreaking story, written in exquisite prose.
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Reading Progress

December 31, 2012 – Shelved
December 31, 2012 – Shelved as: pwf2013
February 18, 2013 – Started Reading
March 3, 2013 – Shelved as: canadian
March 3, 2013 – Finished Reading

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