Stephen Dartnell's Reviews > Off the Rails in Phnom Penh: Into the Dark Heart of Guns, Girls, and Ganja

Off the Rails in Phnom Penh by Amit Gilboa
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Off the Rails in Phnom Penh by Amit Gilboa

Off the Rails in Phnom Penh was written by the journalist Amit Gilboa in 1998 and published by Asia Books in Bangkok. It describes the adventures of foreign residents living in the excitement and chaos of Phnom Penh during from 1996 to 1998 and is an accurate record of Phnom Penh at the time. For an individual coming from a modern Western society, it was and in many ways still is, a place where the immoral becomes acceptable and the insane becomes normal.

I first first visited Phnom Penh a short time after the book was written and can vouch for how accurate many aspects of the book is! Our bar on the riverfront had an armed guard and gunfire was a nightly occurrence! My only criticism of the book is that Gilboa's writing could have been 'tighter'and more to the point.

Phnom Penh is much more developed now and like many other cities in South East Asia, it is growing quickly. Unfortunately, some the old French Colonial city is being swept away under the concrete of modern buildings. More tourist and businessmen arrive every year.
However it remains an exciting city and never ceases to amaze and amuse me.

Please read my full review of this book and Synopsis of Inspector Singh Investigates: A Deadly Cambodian Crime Spree by Shamini Flint at:

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
October 13, 2003 – Finished Reading
June 14, 2013 – Shelved

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