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This is an autobiographical view of a young girl who has witnessed so much and experienced so much at such a young age. Luong Ung, like many young children her age was displaced from her comfortable life to that of something I could never describe the way she did in her book. Considering this was in the 1970’s, the story I am sure resonates today in the harsh and unpredictable landscape we live in today.
The book is far superior to the movie, which is amazing - but the story is more detailed from such a young naive and innocent mind and frantic and dramatic and most of all true! Although written by an older Luong, she has captured her younger selfs thoughts amazingly.
Tavia Gilbert read the story with a gift of expression that could only be captured by someone with her talents.
I truly enjoyed this story from start to finish. With tears in my eyes at many points and also a few laughs, as of course it is a child telling a story. But the times listening to this during my long flights instead of watching movies, flight attendants kept making sure I was ok as they were watching a grown man with tears In his eyes.
Simply beautiful. Engaging. Thought provoking. True.
The trials held against some of the last surviving perpetrators of the Cambodian genocide this past October really had me interested in looking into some of books out there on the subject. After listening to the deplorable "Soul of a Tiger," "First They Killer My Father" was so hard hitting as to be almost unbearable. It's extraordinary the way Loung Ung's character develops from a naive, whiny child (whiny because she hasn't a clue as to how dangerous the situation is) to a desperate individual who would do anything to survive, even if it means stealing food, killing sparrows, whatever. This is starvation and desperation at its most devastating.
This is not a light listen, but it's a good one. Just be prepared for some heartbreak, some hopelessness. But some love there too.
That said, you'll never think of earthworms the same way again...
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to First They Killed My Father again? Why?
Yes. it was a difficult read, so I had to pick it up and put it down, but it was captivating and tragic.
Have you listened to any of Tavia Gilbert’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
I don't believe I have... but I will have to check out more of her material; she did an amazing job on this one.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful