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First They Killed My Father Audiobook

First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers

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Publisher's Summary

One of seven children of a high-ranking government official, Loung Ung lived a privileged life in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh until the age of five. Then, in April 1975, Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge army stormed into the city, forcing Ung's family to flee and, eventually, to disperse. Loung was trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans, her siblings were sent to labor camps, and those who survived the horrors would not be reunited until the Khmer Rouge was destroyed. Harrowing yet hopeful, Loung's powerful story is an unforgettable account of a family shaken and shattered, yet miraculously sustained by courage and love in the face of unspeakable brutality.

©2000 Loung Ung (P)2011 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Ung's memoir should serve as a reminder that some history is best not left just to historians but to those left standing when the terror ends." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (19 )
5 star
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4 star
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4.6 (17 )
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Story
4.3 (18 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Karen 03/06/2016
    Karen 03/06/2016 Member Since 2017

    Christian Lady who loves to travel.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "She used her horrific life experience to help many"

    This book gave me a greater understanding of the suffering individuals endured during Pol Pot's reign of terror.

    The narration by Tavia, intensified the experiences and emotions that Luong, her family and others endured. Loung did not sugarcoat her experiences and thoughts. She described with openness and honesty what she experienced, how she reacted to those experiences and the thoughts that filled her mind.

    It is good to see that Loung has not only survived this horrific experience, she has also been able to help many people.

    Parents should listen and decide if their child is emotionally mature enough to listen or read this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Viviane Ara�jo 21/01/2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of the best books I have had read!"

    Speechless after such a intense life for a little girl who proved to be strong as her Pa always thought she would be.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Gillian
    Austin, TX, United States
    27/01/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brutal, Heartbreaking"

    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...

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Daryl
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    31/07/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An eye-opening look into an unknown world"
    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.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Michael
    Gawler, Australia
    9/10/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "excellent and very moving true story"
    What did you love best about First They Killed My Father?

    the whole story -a recall of a terrible time


    What other book might you compare First They Killed My Father to and why?

    nothing compares


    Which scene was your favorite?

    the most tragic was when they took her father away, very very moving!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    most definetly!


    Any additional comments?

    it made me appreciate the wonderful live I have and how easily this could be taken away1

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    Point Clare, Australia
    3/01/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing, heartbreaking - A must read!"

    The atrocities surrounding events in this book sound like they should be deep in our past; however they were merely 30 years ago. This is an amazing and heartbreaking story told from the inside through the eyes of an intelligent young girl. I have recommended this book to many family and friends. It really does show all sides of human nature and opens your eyes to what people are capable of. A must read!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    11/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Horrible audible"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    The book is great for anyone who likes to read about war children experience from a child perspective.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The audible version was intolerable to listen to. It took away from the authenticity of the story because of the western readers voice, not only that but her pronunciation of Cambodian words are cringing.


    Any additional comments?

    Please find readers that can at least pronounce the words correctly and have the right intonation for that culture. The interpretation of the reading and pronunciation takes away from the story and makes me cringe to hear the horrible pronunciation.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • rachel
    18/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "simply beautiful"

    very touching book. gave a very good overview of the Khmer Rouge period in Cambodia. I would absolutely recommend the read or the listen of this order book....

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Christa
    7/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great and harrowing story of survival"

    I would definitely recommend this book to a friend. The only thing that I wish there had been was more historical and factual information about the reign of pol pot. As far as a first person memoir in an event like this, this book was well told and easy to listen to. I will have my kids listen to this when they are old enough. Because of details of rape, I would say 13+

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ashley
    17/02/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Moving story of survival"

    Could not stop listening to this chilling true story of strength and survival. Great novel!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Felise
    15/05/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Eye opening"

    well written book, story flows naturally, great performance by the narrator, great detail to help understand suffering borne by victims of khmer rouge

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Austin Hinz
    Madison
    6/05/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Important History"

    First They Killed My Father is a personal account of the horrific genocide carried out by the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. A truly eye-opening story that brings to focus this important moment of history.

    I personally loved Ung's writing style. She describes so vividly everything from her emotions to the landscape around her. Also, I think she successfully portrays her reaction to these terrible events, given this story starts when she is only 5 years old. I simply can't imagine going though everything she did, plus at such a young age.

    I hands down recommend this read. It's gripping as it is heartbreaking, not to mention it's dripping with historical importance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • GRAHAMBELL1981
    Sheffield
    18/05/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mind bogling. "

    Hard to listen to in places. A diary of a most shameful period in human history. Important that it is known and learned from.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • sasha pattinson
    30/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "omg"

    didn't enjoy the narrator but that is such a first world problem. hideous events described in all their brutal colours.
    this happened in my lifetime. Syria is happening now. and what are we doing?...standing by and watching.
    Mankind is horrid and we should be socially responsible enough to consider ourselves World Citizens and not allow these things to happen....but we never learn. Genocide repeats and repeats.
    I just feel so sorry for Cambodia as a nation and for all its people who lived and survived such horrific times.
    don't read this if u r fragile. do read this to understand a nation and it's people. leaves little to the imagination.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • BB
    2/03/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Extremely emotional but amazingly compelling."

    The story is incredible touching, it made me cry which normally never happens. The narrator was clear to listen to, the information of the story helps to give a clear picture.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • ccunlif1
    23/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing. A truly haunting book."

    My wife put me into this book, she read it before a visit to Cambodia. 2 months after her return we have planned a trip there together and stated it was useful insight into the time. She would tell me it was such a difficult book to read as she had to keep stopping as she would begin to cry. I echo those words.
    Genocide on such a scale a relative short time ago and the fact that I had no real idea it had occurred scares me.
    This is a well documented book that tells a story of lives and those around them. Sadly there are many more that will never be told.
    To the author and all those who suffered. A fitting tribute. My thanks for opening my eyes

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • shona
    Sheffield, United Kingdom
    23/12/12
    Overall
    "Excellent"

    A very touching and descriptive tale of a child's experience of the war in cambodia. Well told and beautifully written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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