History Times Two

First of all, a big Thank you! to Annette for introducing me to Jonas Jonasson via ‘The Girl who saved the King of Sweden‘, the writer’s second book. I enjoyed it very much. Hence when a few weeks ago I managed to break my old e-reader and got a new (used) one which still had quite a number of books on it, I was pretty happy to find the ‘100-year old man‘, which is the writer’s first book, as far as I know.

So, for my WorldBookProject I went to Sweden and Cambodia during the last week of June:

47 Cambodia: Dith Pran (compiler) – Children of Cambodia’s Killing Fields: Memoirs by Survivors

48 Sweden: Jonas Jonasson – The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

While I found both books very readable and can recommend them both, they are both also distinctive. Each book deals with historical and historic events in the 20th century. The ‘100-year old man‘ takes a dry-humour approach to everything from the atom bomb to political ideologies and presents that through the lens of a laid-back centenarian. The ‘Children’, meanwhile, tell their own stories about their suffering under the appalling rule of the Khmer Rouge. I read the first book pretty much in one go, whereas I had to take a lot of breaks with the second one. I had read it a few years ago when travelling in Cambodia, and from my point of view more books like this are necessary for the healing of the country.

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