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Survival in the Killing Fields

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More About This Textbook


Nothing has shaped my life as much as surviving the Pol Pot regime. I am a survivor of the Cambodian holocaust. That's who I am," says Haing Ngor. And in his memoir, Survival in the Killing Fields, he tells the gripping and frequently terrifying story of his term in the hell created by the communist Khmer Rouge. Like Dith Pran, the Cambodian doctor and interpreter whom Ngor played in an Oscar-winning performance in The Killing Fields, Ngor lived through the atrocities that the 1984 film portrayed. Like Pran, too, Ngor was a doctor by profession, and he experienced firsthand his country's wretched descent, under the Khmer Rouge, into senseless brutality, slavery, squalor, starvation, and disease—all of which are recounted in sometimes unimaginable horror in Ngor's poignant memoir. Since the original publication of this searing personal chronicle, Haing Ngor's life has ended with his murder, which has never been satisfactorily solved. In an epilogue written especially for this new edition, Ngor's coauthor, Roger Warner, offers a glimpse into this complex, enigmatic man's last years—years that he lived "like his country: scarred, and incapable of fully healing."
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Released in 1987 as A Cambodian Odyssey, Ngor's work addresses the horrific existence under Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge and the atrocities committed against the people of Cambodia. A disturbing but important book. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786713158
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 12/25/2003
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 390,225
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.72 (h) x 1.24 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 4, 2010

    Amazing story to a tragic life -

    In my opinion a great book leaves an impression on you after completing it. I read Haing Nor's book while on Christmas/New Years Holiday in Brazil with my wife. I could NOT put the book down! What this poor man did not go through at the hands of the Communist Khmer Rouge was scary. Tortured,many family members killed,brutal work and mental torture was disgusting. Through it all from 1975-1979 Haing Nor incredibly survived his time and went onto the USA to eventually become an actor= amazing. If you ever want to see an account of this time period see the movie the Killing Fields in which he portrays Dith Pran a newspaper reporter in that country at that time. Again, the story of this mans life was amazing from where he came,what he went through and the tragic ending he faced in the USA/California. It is for adults ONLY and for history buffs as well.


    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2006

    Spellbounding and Emmotional

    I brought this book a while ago and just decided to pick it up and read it one day. Dr. Ngor's memoir is informative, emmotional, and shocking. He gives the reader a glimpse into his life growing up in Cambodia, his life as a doctor in Phom Penh, and his struggle to survive in the killing fields with his wife and family. It is also shocking because he survived torture by Khmer Rouge officials twice and made it back to his work sites to tell his story. And I was amazed by his ability to later play the part of another Cambodian refugee in the movie the Killing Fields. He was such a wonderful actor and it is sad that his life was ended so early after survivng such horrors. I will always remember this story for the rest of my life and pass it on to others.

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