After almost 25 years of war and destruction, UN-sponsored elections brought democracy and thirty thousand foreigners to Cambodia. English photographers, Thai racketeers, Filipina bar girls, American missionaries, Irish journalists, Australian travellers and military men descended on the country best known for the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge. The politics could be deadly, but the booze was plentiful, the marijuana cheap, and Cambodians friendly and yearning for peace. But when the UN left, the Khmer Rouge remained. Slowly the fears that circumscribe Cambodian lives crept into the foreigners' days. When friends were mysteriously kidnapped, the party ended in ways no one had ever expected.
The first travel book devoted solely to Cambodia in forty years, Gecko Tails is an hilarious yet moving account of the supposedly glamorous world of the foreign correspondent. In the tradition of Hunter S. Thompson and P.J. O'Rourke, Carol Livingston captures the comedy of chasing the news for a living and shows a keen eye for situations weird and quirky. She tells with sensitivity many colourful stories of those Cambodians who never make the headlines but merely suffer through them, and with political insight unravels the complicated and tragic recent past of this enigmatic land.
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Jostein Gaarder is the author of SOPHIE'S WORLD, a huge bestseller in over 40 countries. He was born in Oslo in 1952 and lives there now with his wife and two sons.From Library Journal:
In 1991, the Paris Peace Agreements ended military conflict and mandated democratic elections in Cambodia. The author, an aspiring journalist, arrived when the country was provisionally governed by the United Nations Temporary Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC), which monitored the 1993 elections. Her intention is to chronicle the impact of foreigners (the UN mission, aid workers, journalists, photographers, etc.) before and after the election. Livingston's social locus is the Gecko, a bar named after a small lizard. Her recorded conversations with feckless UNTAC workers and self-serving freelancers pursuing feature and photo opportunities are uninstructive and ineffectual to her purpose. Furthermore, when she makes day or overnight excursions from Phnom Penh to the Cambodian countryside (qualifying as "a journey through Cambodia"), she extrapolates little significant political or cultural insight. Not recommended.?Lonnie Weatherby, McGill Univ. Lib., Montreal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Weidenfeld & Nicolson Ltd, 1996. Library Binding. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M029781530X