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Off the Rails in Phnom Penh: Into the Dark Heart of Guns, Girls and Ganja (Englisch) Taschenbuch – Juli 1998

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  • Taschenbuch: 206 Seiten
  • Verlag: Graham Brash (Pte.) Ltd ,Singapore; Auflage: 5 Reprint (Juli 1998)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 9748303349
  • ISBN-13: 978-9748303345
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 1,9 x 14 x 20,3 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 106.186 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Phnom Penh is an anarchic festival of cheap prostitutes, cheap drugs, and frequent violence. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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29 von 29 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von "doro25" am 5. Februar 2002
Format: Taschenbuch
I came across this book when I was travelling through Cambodia in September/ October 2001. Having got a small insight into the pace of life of expats in Phnom Penh and the city in general, I wasn't too surprised about what I read. I think the book gives a realistic, if sometimes extreme picture of facts. Shocking how westerners seem to loose their respect for fellow humans when they're in the position of having more power only because of their white skin or the money they own. civilization and what is considerd as general rules of behaviour seem to stop being taken as a basis for everyday life.. (child-)prostitution is no longer considered as the cruel abuse of children or teenage girls it is, but as an ordinary leisure time activity, drugs such as ganja (marihuana) and herion become as common as your regular cup of coffee in the mornings...
Amit Gilboa didn't write a nice novel but a sometimes hideous report on his observations in a place outside the peaceful and regulated world we know.
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21 von 24 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
I Laughed out Loud 28. Januar 2002
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
If you've traveled through SE Asia and find amusement in those expats who have been on the road a bit too long, marveling at their ability to lead lives without a moral compass or care in the world, this book is for you.
Gilboa weaves funny and well-written accounts of expats in Phnom Penh whom many would regard as having "lost it" --accustomed to recreational heroin use, $2 prostitutes and daily bribery. Many of them cannot readjust back to their old lives in the west, a feeling many a traveler can relate to after having been to such developing places as Cambodia.
The book reinforces the saying that truth is stranger (and I would add amusing) than fiction. Gilboa also describes accurately the comic absurdity and pathetic state that Cambodia is today -- politically and day-to-day life.
Overall a hilarious, lighthearted look at the "wild west" mentality of modern Phnom Penh, with an informing overview of Cambodia's modern political history.
One last note: If you've (a) never been to a developing country such as Cambodia and (b) are scared by drug use and prostitution, you may find this book more disturbing than amusing.
39 von 48 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
mm, book on Cambodia besides Angkor Wat or the Khmer Rouge? 26. Februar 2002
Von J. San - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Wanna hear what a Khmer girl thinks about this book? (First, just to clarify�I�m not a prostitute and having white skin is not my greatest goal in life). For other readers, I hope they don�t make the fatal assumption that this book gives them insight about Khmer people. Classifying people beyond your understanding is a good excuse to avoid getting to know them. Who�s �primitive� and superstitious is all relative, right? The author doesn�t really make an attempt to get to know any Khmer people, besides listening to �My Khmer girlfriend�she so crazy� stories. As for his �research� at the brothels, it doesn�t count! After watching the wretchedly horrible Tomb Raider movie, the stuff that foreigners get away with in Cambodia doesn�t surprise me. (If I sat in front of a monk with my legs cross a la Angelina Jolie, my mother would go into convulsions). The ex-pats characters in the book are really lousy people by anyone�s definition. So the question is, what is it about brown people that make perfectly sane white peoples� hearts turn dark all of the sudden? The answer is simply they�re lousy people in the first place. Like gossip columns, stories about girls, guns and ganja make for a good read. Take it for what�s it worth. For me, it�s not a whole lot. It was more depressing that informational. Wished I picked up a book on the Khmer Rouge instead.
19 von 22 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Captures Phnom Penh 9. April 2000
Von William Sonla - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
As a Thai raised in Bangkok and educated in NYC, I thought I had seen it all. But working in Phnom Penh threw even me for a loop. What's great about Off the Rails is that it captures the anarchy that Phnom Penh is full of. And Gilboa captures the essence of the sexed out, drugged out foreigners that we see all the time in Thailand and who now have "discovered" Cambodia. Off the Rails doesn't dwell on the mundane aspects of Phnom Penh, but goes straight to the heart of the story. I read the book in one sitting. It's funny some of the "professional journalists" (who haven't published any books on Cambodia) on this site complain about the writing. But the straightforward style works really well for this story. I suppose it wasn't written like (yawn) the New York Times would have. But maybe that's the whole point. I do wish that Gilboa could have included more about the Cambodians. Anyway, I hope he writes another book, but this one about the terrible things that go on in places like Thailand's own Pattaya.
12 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Great coverage on Cambodia's dark side but context needed 1. Februar 2000
Von AsiaInsider@USA.Net - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
A book that delves into what other writers prefer not to discuss which is the dark side of Cambodia from an ex-pat's perspective. Having been to Cambodia numerous times, what he writes about is very much true. The contradictions of horror and beauty, gentleness and brutality, love and exploitation do exist in that battered country. Yes the book does focus on the lurid and sensational but it does capture the surreal quality of Cambodia that makes it magical in both a light and dark sense.
Cambodia and the people within it fail to be easily classified as being good or evil. There's a dark side that lurks in us all but Amit to his credit can see the positive within the people he writes about.
This is not the book to learn about why these things are but its a fairly fun read about what is being hailed as the 90's Casablanca-Phnom Penh. As unique as his book is, there is still much about Phnom Penh that he does not capture or discuss but at least he makes an attempt to describe the on-the-edge lifestyle of what draws westerners into the country. What he does lack is a perspective on what local Cambodians and Vietnamese think but that would be a different book entirely.
Cambodia is my favorite country and aside from the picture photography books of Angkor Wat and the people of Phnom Penh, few books seems to even come close to the impressionsitic nuances of what makes the Country and its people so magical (and that includes the westerners, khmers, and the vietnamese).
What he writes about is not hyperbole or fiction but in his narrow focus is definitely biased in a good sense. I didn't want a dry clinical account but a depiction of the people and events that have created a community that both he and I find fascinating.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Insights are underneath the storyline 31. Januar 2001
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Read it for fun. Think about it, and you'll find much more. Like a lot of first person accounts, the best part of this book is the river of insight that runs beneath the storyline. Bought the book in the airport at Phnom Penh, then spent time in Siem Riep and Phnom Penh, and found that the book served two purposes - it entertained, with the story of the dissipated expats; it also provided insights into Cambodian (and Vietnamese) culture that served me during the rest of my trip in Southeast Asia. What insights? The contrast between Cambodian resignation and the for-its-own-sake hustling of the Vietnamese; the "stuck" in one historical time period of both countries (Cambodia is still "ruled" by the Pol Pot regime through memories; the US still rules Vietnam through historical obsession.) And many more. Just as "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" is about drugs at one level, and American culture at another, so too is Off the Rails an exploration - however apparently oblique - of the cultures of Southeast Asia. And for those who believe the book to be Cambodian bashing - I found it to be more of an indictment of stupid expat tricks. And the government does sell it at the airport...
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