This book is amazing, not like any other I have read. It deals with an archaeological discovery in Cambodia, where an extraordinary book is found, sort of the equivalent of the diary of Alfred the Great being found in England. The book is promptly stolen and the archaeologist who found it is kidnapped. The race to find them, guns and motorbikes in Modern Cambodia, is pure thriller but there is much more. We are given some translated pages from the book which is a great work of philosophy by a famous ancient king, but also we are told his story, growing up in the royal palace with slaves and elephants, vying for power and attention. These parts are pure historical novel. This book crosses many genres and has a wide appeal. Highly recommended.
Similar this month: None.
Comparison: Amitav Ghosh, Tash Aw, Vikram Chandra.
When archaeologists discover a book written on gold leaves at Angkor Wat, everyone wants a piece of the action. But the King, the Army and the UN are all outflanked when the precious artefact is kidnapped, along with Professor Luc Andrade, who was accompanying it to the capital for restoration.
Luckily for Luc his love and respect for Cambodia have won him many friends, including ex-Khmer Rouge cadre Map and the young moto-boy William. Both equally determined to rescue the man they consider their mentor and recover the golden book, they form an unlikely bond. But William is unaware of just how closely Map's violent past affects him.
The book contains the words and wisdom of King Jayavarman VII, the Buddhist ruler who united a war-torn Cambodia in the twelfth century and together with his enlightened wife created a kingdom that was a haven of peace and learning. His extraordinary story is skilfully interwoven with the tales of Luc, Map and William to create an unforgettable and dazzling evocation of the spirit of Cambodia and her peoples in all their beauty and tragedy.
|Publication date:||2nd January 2007|
|Format:||Paperback (b Format)|
|Primary Genre||Historical fiction|
Geoff Ryman has the true novelist's gift he takes the reader inside other lives and other cultures, and makes them live with the utmost vividness. In this case we experience Cambodia in all its beauty and conflict, both past and present. Another masterpiece by one of the greatest fiction writers of our time. Kim Stanley Robinson
'A fascinating panorama of Cambodian life, past and present. The original subject-matter, broad scope and elegant style make for an exceptionally enlightening read.' Michael Arditti
'â€˜inordinately readable..extraordinary in its detail, colour and brutalityâ€™ - The Independent
Geoff Ryman was born in Canada, to a journalist mother and a father in science. It was through his mother that Geoff, when he was eight, had a short story published in the local paper. But it was his father who inspired Geoff with stories of lasers â€“ it was a fascination which was to last. His father was also an artist, a talent which has been passed down to his son. Geoffâ€™s apprenticeship to writing was long and hard. It was not the writing that was the problem but the imagination. His family moved to Los Angeles in 1963 and ...More About Geoff Ryman