Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Book Review: The Years of Zero: Coming of Age Under the Khmer Rouge by Seng Ty

The Years of Zero: Coming of Age Under the Khmer Rouge by Seng Ty starts out giving the historical timeline for Cambodia from 1863-2013; the Years of Zero happened from 1975-1979 (a new history of Cambodia was to be created). The ultimate goal during the Years of Zero was to wipe out people who could remember a reality different than the one they offer.

Seng Ty then starts his memoir of what he and his family suffered through during that time. Seng labored for small portions of food, was deprived of a secure and safe life, and saw family and other people lose their lives and become discarded in inconceivable ways. Somehow Seng and some of his other family members were able to escape from that type of life that had been forced upon them though and found a much better lifestyle. There are some black and white photos included towards the back of the book that show readers different things relating to Seng’s life before and after The Years of Zero.

This memoir really opened my mind up to what kind of terrible things have happened and are happening to people in other places around the world. There are some typos or grammar errors in the book, although I think the English is great from a person that does not originally speak English. It was (and continues to be) an encouragement to me and I hope many more people to carry on in spite of what happened to them. Seng’s life seemed to turn around for the better, even though his family members that didn’t survive are not with him anymore.

My rating =  4.5 out of 5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bostick Communications for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 

A Phnom Penh Post article recently written about Seng Ty and "The Years of Zero" book

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