The Best Asian Literature, Historical Fiction and Audiobooks - ASIA BOOKS -
New Releases - Audio Books Vietnam and Cambodia
Run Through the Jungle: Real Adventures in Vietnam with the 173rd Airborne Brigade - Larry J. Musson and David Drummond, 2017
A personal account of combat with an airborne company set against the backdrop of the rice paddies and jungles of South Vietnam. Detailed descriptions of the harsh life of the soldiers as they search for the enemy under extreme conditions.
Cambodia Noir - Nick Seeley and Kate Rudd, 2017
Set in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. A mysterious American woman, June, disappears into the underworld of Cambodia. June’s sister asks Will, once a war photographer, to find her. Are the clues that June wrote in her diary any help to discover what happened? Or is it June herself and her family that poses the greatest threat?
From the author of the Pulitzer prize winning The Sympathizer his new book is a collection of stories set around immigrant refugees who try to find their cultural identity, living between two worlds, their adopted homeland and their native country Vietnam.
A memoir of a young boy’s experience in the Vietnam war: how it was to live and fight and survive in the jungle and how everything affected life back in the US. The author Richard Udden tells the story himself on this audio book. The (reading) book was published in 2015.
The Killing Zone - Frederick Downs, March 2017
Frederick Downs, 23 years, married and having two children arrived in Vietnam in 1967 as an officer in the US army. He is based in Pleiku, in the Central Highlands and later his platoon is moved more to the North. Downs narrates in details about the fighting in the jungle, the killings, mines and attacks by snipers. He escapes death but at the end he steps on a mine and loses his left arm. Downs also describes what happened to the soldiers when they came home.
Audio Books Vietnam and Cambodia
Learn about the Vietnam war by listening to the experiences of Vietnamese soldier Bao Ninh and American Veterans, Frederick Downs and Nelson DeMille. The beautiful novel Saigon by Anthony Grey starts in 1925 and gives a good insight in Vietnamese history of the last century. Writers Kim Thuy and Le Ly Hayslip tell the stories of Vietnamese refugees and the memories of their traumatic past. The Sympathizer is a 2016 bestseller.
Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War - Karl Marlantes and Bronson Pinchot, 2010
All time bestseller.
Set in Vietnam in 1969, the book describes the experiences of the author, who commanded a Marine rifle platoon and the hardships endured by the Marines..
‘Matterhorn’ is the code name for a support base located between Laos and the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). After the Marines were ordered to abandon the base, it fell into the hands of the North Vietnamese. Later the Bravo company tried to retake the base.
The Sympathizer: A Novel - Viet Thanh Nguyen and Francois Chau, 2015
It is April 1975, just before Saigon will fall into the hands of the North Vietnamese communist army. A South Vietnamese general of the army with the help of his captain draws up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of Vietnam. But the trusted captain, the ‘Sympathizer’ is a spy for the North Vietnamese. How can an intelligent and idealistic person go so far as to betray the ones he loves most?
The Sorrow of War - Bao Ninh and James Langton 2015
This is the story of the North Vietnamese soldier, Kien. He tells us about his life before the war and the harsh experiences of combat in the jungle and highlands of Central Vietnam, whilst also recalling his feeling for love and his relationship with Phuong. After the end of the Vietnam war Kien struggles to leave the past behind and rebuild his life in Hanoi.
Saigon: An Epic Novel of Vietnam - Anthony Grey and Gordon Griffin, 2016
In 1925 Joseph Sherman visits Saigon, the capital of French colonial Cochin-China, on a hunting expedition with his father, an US senator.
In the next 50 years Sherman returns to Vietnam as a traveller, a soldier and a journalist. The book narrates the story of Sherman’s fascination for Vietnam, his love for Lan and the lives of three families spanning the period from 1925 until the last helicopter left Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.
Vietnam: A History - Stanley Karnow, 2007
The must read for anyone who wants to gain a good insight into Vietnam's history, Vietnam's relations with the US and the cause of the Vietnam war.
Stanley Karnow was an American historian and journalist (he died in 2013, at the age of 87). He was best known for his knowledge and writings on the history and relations between the U.S. and Southeast Asia.
In 1990 he received the Pulitzer Prize for history for his book about America’s involvement in The Philippines ‘In Our Image: America's Empire in the Philippines’.
‘Vietnam: A History’ is Karnow’s best know work about the Vietnam War and was adapted into a television series. The book his based on extensive research, interviews and his long journalistic experience in Southeast Asia. The story starts of with the French colonisation of Vietnam in the 18th century and ends with the period from 1965 to 1975: the Vietnam War.
Tim O’ Brien (born 1946) and Vietnam veteran is an American novelist who wrote many novels about the Vietnam war. His best known book is “The Things they Carried”. With his anti-war novel ‘Going After Cacciato’ (1978) O’Brien won the National Book Award for Fiction.
One of the best-known and best-reviewed books of an American war veteran and shortlisted for the 1990 Pulitzer Price for Fiction.
It is a collection of stories based on the experiences of O'Brien's fellow soldiers from the Alpha Company. The title is about what the soldiers carried in the battle far away from their homeland, not just ‘the things’ like their weapons, but especially their emotions, such as the doubts about going to Vietnam, feelings of guilt and fear, companionship and responsibility.
“Every man carried what he needed to survive, and those who did carried their shattering stories away from the jungle and back to a nation that would never understand”.
The audiobook contains a chapter in which O'Brien tells (read by the author himself) about his trip back to Vietnam in 1994 and how her revived his experiences as a soldier 25 years ago.
A classic in the Vietnam war literature and finalist for the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
In the Lake of the Woods - Tim O'Brien and Bryan Cranston
When the information comes to light that John Wade, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, was present at the time of a massacre at a Vietnamese village (My Lai), he retreats with his wife Kathy to a lake side cabin in the northern Minnesota woods. But shortly after their arrival, his wife mysteriously vanishes into the wilderness. The police tries to locate Kathy but soon the suspicion turns on Wade. Then he too disappears…
If I Die in a Combat Zone: Box Me Up and Ship Me Home - Tim O'Brien, 2012
About the author’s time in Vietnam in the Alpha Company and the various comrades he met, like the commanding officer, who dealt with the investigation into the My Lai Massacre. O’Brien describes in detail the mines that are encountered by the infantrymen, and the indiscriminate way that these devices disfigure not only soldiers, but also civilians.
The Book of Salt - Monique Truong 2013
Binh is a personal cook for a family in Paris, until one day Bình accompanies his employers to the train station for their departure to America and Binh has to decide what he will do? Follow his employers to America, stay in France or return to his native Vietnam? Overthinking this dilemma his thoughts return back to his youth and family in Saigon, his travels at sea as a cook and his arrival in Paris. In flashbacks Binh reveals his sadness at having abandoned his mother and his home country, his loneliness and the rejection by his father, because of Binh's love affairs with men.
When Heaven and Earth Changed Places: A Vietnamese Woman's Journey from War to Peace - Le Ly Hayslip and Nancy Kwan 1999
When Le Ly Hayslip was twelve years old, U.S. helicopters landed in Ky La, her tiny village in central Vietnam. As the government and the Viet Cong troops fought in and around Ky La, both sides recruited children as spies and saboteurs. Le Ly was one of those children. She eventually escaped the war and started a new life in America. After many years she returns to her home country and meets the beloved ones that stayed behind and the memories of the war years are stirred up once more.
Guts 'N Gunships: What It Was Really Like to Fly Combat Helicopters in Vietnam - Mark Garrison and Eric Martin, 2015
About the experiences of the author about his time in the Vietnam war. He tells what it was like to be a helicopter pilot in the heat of the battle, his training, details about the missions were operated and the doubts about whether this US mission would succeed. In 1967 Garrison was first stationed in Pleiku, in the Central Highlands, he flew above the dreaded Ho Chi Minh Trail. More about this book.
Rendezvous - Nelson DeMille and Scott Brick 2013
Nelson de Mille wrote many thrillers and military novels. Although a book of fiction, in Rendezvous he uses his own experience as a Lieutenant in the American Army in Vietnam. A platoon of soldiers sets out in the enemy’s territory, but a female sniper from the Vietcong army causes that their mission does not go according to plan.
For most cambodian people the recent history of the pol pots genocide still leaves many scars. ‘In the Shadow of the Banyan’ and Loung Ung’s personal memoir recount the horrors of the Khmer Rouge period and the lost lives of so many family members.
Today Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the World and the book of Camron Wright describes an attempt to escape the life as a garbage collector.
In the Shadow of the Banyan: A Novel - Vaddey Ratner and Greta Lee 2012
The childhood of seven year old Raami ends when the Khmer Rouge army enter the streets of Phnom Penh. Over the next four years the life of Raami and her family is shattered by Pol Pot’s genocide Her father is killed and most of her family perished and she and her mother exiled to the countryside into forced labour. But Raami tries to survive by holding on to the memories of the magical stories that her father once told her.
The Map of Lost Memories: A Novel - Kim Fay and Karyn O’Bryant 2012
It is 1925 and Irene Blum, a museum curator in Seattle, sets off to Cambodia in search of a temple believed to house the lost history of Cambodia’s ancient Khmer civilisation. But as she wanders through the back streets of Southeast Asia her quest to make the greatest archaeological discovery of the century soon becomes an investigation into her own family’s secrets.
First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers - Loung Ung and Tavia Gilbert
Loung Ung lives in Phnom Penh with her family and is five years old when the Khmer Rouge shatter everything around her when they march into Phnom Penh in 1975. Loung’s family flee their home and move from village to village to hide their identity, their education and their former life of privilege. Her father was a government official and is seen as an enemy of the state by Pol Pot’s dictatorship. The family disperses and Loung becomes a child soldier. Other family members are forced to work into different labor camps across the country. Only when the war has come to an end is Loung reunited with her beloved family.
The Rent Collector - Camron Wright and Diane Dabczynski 2013
Sang Ly, a young mother, struggles to survive by picking through garbage in Cambodia's largest municipal dump. But she wants her son to have a better life and she embarks on a journey in the hope of a better future. Although the book is a work of fiction, it was inspired by real people living at Stung Meanchey.