Phnom Penh Noir – Book Review

I missed my haircut schedule this weekend.

That’s a routine that I usually follow-up very carefully. Because if I miss it, I need to wait until next weekend.

“MAO HAIRCUT”, the only coiffure shop I love in Phnom Penh. It have been more than 10 years now that I go the same coiffure shop. He closes his shop before 6 PM. I leave office at 6 PM and it would take me around 1 hour to arrive in the city. There’s no way for me to have my haircut during the working day.

Now I need to wait until next weekend!

So 5 days of long curly hair :-) Hope I could deal with it.

Vitou, my son, pretends to read Phnom Penh Noir

Vitou, my son, pretends to read Phnom Penh Noir

I didn’t go to the coiffure shop because I was reading Phnom Penh Noir.

I would enjoy more reading the book if my English is better than what I know now.

It’s a big regret to me.

Somehow I finished the book without consulting the dictionary.

What I love the most from Phnom Penh Noir is the mystery hidden in each story. There is one of them that fascinated me a lot. I will tell which story I like the most in the next few minutes.

I get used to scan the contents as any other media consumers in this 21st century. I need to know within a few lines or less than 1 minute what’s in it for me before I decide the read the whole thing.

If you apply this methodology to read Phnom Penh Noir (or probably to any great novel), you would hesitate to turn the next page. And you would miss a great chance to discover great stories from the book.

It did happen to me when I first start reading the book. I could not attach myself to the stories. It might cause also from my little English and I am very new to the western writing style.

But then one day, I decided to let myself go along with the book without any purpose.

From there, I found it more and more interesting.

And this weekend, I read almost of everything. It’s a very nice discovery.

There are 15 short stories inside the book. There are 3 Cambodian writers, two of them I know well. One is Suong Mak. I published an article about his novel few years ago: Boyfriend, First Gay Novel In Khmer Language.

Another one is Kosal Khiev. I know him from TEDx Phnom Penh 2011.

I started by reading stories from Cambodian writers first because it is easy for me to understand.

Then there is one story I like the most. It’s a serial killer story set in Siem Reap, written by Bob Bergin. The title of the story called: A Coven of Snakes.

Bob created a very solid detective story that integrated very well into Cambodian history and its culture. I don’t want to tell much about the story. Be prepare yourself for a very beautiful Cambodian classical dance that you never heard of. After you read the story, I think you would never forget that dance.

I am not sure if you want to see it on your own eyes but it’s a very powerful erotic dance and a dangerous one!

Here after some of my favorite stories: Reunion by Christopher G. Moore, Orders by Christopher West, Khmer Riche by Andrew Nette and Hell in the City by Suong Mak.

You might find your favorite stories different from mine. These are the 5 stories I like the most from the book.

Phnom Penh Noir is now available via Amazon: Paperback and Kindle Edition.

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Comments

  1. Maria Falvey says

    If you haven’t read it, try “To Cambodia with Love” filled with wonderful short stories and reviews of sights to see but written in such a way you feel a friend is chatting with you about their trip.

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