The King's Last Song

The King s Last Song Ryman has not so much created as revealed a world in which the promise of redemption takes seed even in horror The Boston Globe Sweeping and beautiful The complex story tears the veil from a hidden wo
  • Title: The King's Last Song
  • Author: Geoff Ryman
  • ISBN: 2940000146804
  • Page: 368
  • Format: Nook
  • The King's Last Song
    Ryman has not so much created as revealed a world in which the promise of redemption takes seed even in horror The Boston Globe Sweeping and beautiful The complex story tears the veil from a hidden world The Sunday Times Inordinately readable extraordinary in its detail, color and brutality The Independent Ryman has crafted a solid historical novel wi Ryman has not so much created as revealed a world in which the promise of redemption takes seed even in horror The Boston Globe Sweeping and beautiful The complex story tears the veil from a hidden world The Sunday Times Inordinately readable extraordinary in its detail, color and brutality The Independent Ryman has crafted a solid historical novel with an authentic feel for both ancient and modern Cambodia Washington DC City Paper Another masterpiece by one of the greatest fiction writers of our time Kim Stanley Robinson Ryman s knack for depicting characters his ability to tell multiple, interrelated stories and his knowledge of Cambodian history create a rich narrative that looks at Cambodia s killing fields both recent and ancient and Buddhist belief with its desire for transcendence Recommended for all literary fiction collections Library JournalArcheologist Luc Andrade discovers an ancient Cambodian manuscript inscribed on gold leaves but is kidnapped and the manuscript stolen by a faction still loyal to the ideals of the brutal Pol Pot regime Andrade s friends, an ex Khmer Rouge agent and a young motoboy, embark on a trek across Cambodia to rescue him Meanwhile, Andrade, bargaining for his life, translates the lost manuscript for his captors The result is a glimpse into the tremendous and heart wrenching story of King Jayavarman VII his childhood, rise to power, marriage, interest in Buddhism, and the initiation of Cambodia s golden age As Andrade and Jayavarman s stories interweave, the question becomes whether the tale of ancient wisdom can bring hope to a nation still suffering from the violent legacy of the last century.Geoff Ryman is the author of the novels Air winner of Arthur C Clarke and James Tiptree awards and The Unconquered Country a World Fantasy Award winner Canadian by birth, he has lived in Cambodia and Brazil and now teaches creative writing at the University of Manchester in England.
    The King's Last Song By Geoff Ryman,
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    About " Geoff Ryman "

  • Geoff Ryman

    Geoffrey Charles Ryman born 1951 is a writer of science fiction, fantasy and slipstream fiction He was born in Canada, and has lived most of his life in England.His science fiction and fantasy works include The Warrior Who Carried Life 1985 , the novella The Unconquered Country 1986 winner of the British Science Fiction Award and the World Fantasy Award , and The Child Garden 1989 winner of the Arthur C Clarke Award and the Campbell Award Subsequent fiction works include Was 1992 , Lust 2001 , and Air 2005 winner of the James Tiptree, Jr Award, the British Science Fiction Award and the Arthur C Clarke Award, and on the short list for the Nebula Award.


  • I ve only ever written e mailed three fan letters, and they ve all been to fantasy writers My husband says he always wants to meet people he admires, because he has this fantasy that he ll be able to come up with something witty and brilliant to say that will impress them and make him memorable The only time I ve ever handed an author I loved a book to be autographed, I just stood there beaming like a slightly backward three year old after one too many trips to the sundae bar until she cleared h [...]

  • The King s Last Song tells two parallel stories, the first set predominantly in 2004 with flashbacks to the 60s and 80s around a great find at an archeological dig at Angkor Wat a book of golden leaves, a hundred and fifty five leaves of gold inscribed with the personal story and history of one of Cambodia s greatest kings Jayavarman VII, a Buddhist who brought the Path to all levels of Cambodian society, built great temples and other structures, and treated the lowliest of categories castes as [...]

  • The King s Last Song at first blush looks like another entry in the Da Vinci Code genre protagonists make important historical find, setting off contest between those who wish to expose it, and those who wish to hide it But the book really brings home the tragedy of modern Cambodia by contrasting it with its ancient history I found it moving and beautifully written

  • Good book Annoyed by Jayavarman s several wives I know, I know, historical fact and all that, but the imbalance of this sort of thing always annoys me Liked Map.

  • Well written book dealing with the aftermath of Cambodia s crazy long civil wars and the people from the various sides of it ending up having to get along and work together.

  • Un intreccio di tre storie, ambientate una nel 2004, una durante il perido dei Khmer Rossi e quella di Jayavarman VII, il re a cui si devono molti degli edifici di Angkor e la diffusione del buddhismo.Colta nel segno la descrizione dei Cambogiani

  • I loved this novel.In this novel, Geoff Ryman moves between the 12th century life and times of Cambodia s King Jayavarman VII c 1120 c1215 and the 20th century lives of Luc, Map and William.When archaeologists discover an ancient book written on gold leaves at Angkor Wat, everyone wants to be involved The gold leaves have slept for a thousand years The precious artefact is stolen and its guardian, Professor Luc Andrade is kidnapped with it The search for Luc and the precious book brings together [...]

  • It took a couple of chapters to get used to the writing style in this book There are two parallel story lines told here, one of Map and William in modern Cambodia in the 90 s anyway , and one of Jayavarman VII and his wives in the 12th century The story of Jayavarman is loosely based on the bas reliefs found in temples, it is sometimes fairy tale like, sometimes disjointed, but pretty interesting none the less I think the story of Map really is the heart of this novel He, than any other charact [...]

  • This is a double book, both taking place in Cambodia The main one deals with Jayavarman, king on the XIIth century The supporting one though it could be accepted it is the opposite way round, but that is my own view presents Cambodia as it enters the XXIst century, after the horrors of the previous century.I find the present better handled than the past, as the style and language are not different enough from the present, and some concerns are also quite modern The background is superb, as usual [...]

  • I had to save this book to read until I finished writing my own novel about the Cambodian temples I was afraid of being influenced Wow What a great book about Cambodia The story travels back and forth between the modern day 2004 and the reign of King Jayavarman VII The connecting link is the king s diary, written then, discoveredd now But what struck me about this book is the author s imagination I have read much about ancient Cambodia, and Ryman has put all of the many fragmented pieces togethe [...]

  • So a couple of days ago I started reading this 400 pages novel that I purchased In Siem Reap Cambodia It is a story that weaves 2 separate timeliness simultaneously, one set in 1100 AD during the time of the Jayavarman the Khmer Universal King, and the other set in modern times with the effects of the Khmer Rouge shadowing it Surprisingly it was a hard book to read, having being transported back and forth from the different timelines However, I can appreciate how everything ties in together at t [...]

  • Solid 3.5 stars for me I bogged a bit about 3 4 through otherwise would have been a 4 or 4.5 star.Two stories, once set in the 1100 s and one in the early 2000 s in Cambodia Many parallels although the two stories are quite different I did like the linkages between the two stories and how history does perhaps especially in the case of Cambodia repeat itself I liked how slowly characters were revealed and we got a much better understanding of them.Quite good and would recommend to my friends who [...]

  • Ryman s novel, The King s Last Song has to be one of the best novels I ve read in some time Beautiful, spare language married to skilled character development and impeccable historical research all converge in a tragic, desperate telling of Cambodia s ancient and modern history Here is an author, and a novel, worthy of awards, proof that small presses throughout the world are publishing jewels overlooked by the giants And this novel certainly is a jewel If you haven t read The King s Last Song, [...]

  • I really wanted to like this book I picked it up from a kid on the street in Angkor Wat It had everything in a book I want The book is two stories One A adventure involving a stolen golden book 2nd The story of King Jayavarman VII, the Buddhist ruler who united Cambodia in the 12th century Despite the backdrop this book just lagged and lagged It took a real effort to finish this book

  • an interesting dual timeline story I do not know much history of Cambodia other than the headline grabbing pieces I did visit the Siep Reap Angkor area in 2003 so I have that visual in my head I enjoyed the stories, it would have helped me locate the action if the book had contained some geographical maps of the SE Asia of Jayavarman VII s time the Cambodia of today Some timelines might also have helped me stay focussed I relied on my guidebooks for much factual information.

  • This was a very good novel for a book and an author that I didn t know what to expect from In one half of the story you get a glimpse into the history of Cambodia around the time when Angkor Wat was built The other half deals with the contemporary Cambodia and its recent brush with the genocidal Khmer Rouge The writing is not the best, but the great plot and the background insight into Cambodia that it provides make up for it.

  • I really enjoyed this story Life was given to the mysterious character of Jayavarman VI, a man who is essentially still much a mystery Lots of artistic license, but also much of the sense of what Cambodia is and the way Cambodians often think and behave is captured here Part of my enjoyment no doubt comes from the considerable time I have spent there myself and the time and favour I feel happy to give to Cambodians A great yarn.

  • The writing style of this book is very nonoriginal after reading lots of nifty creative brilliant books it is kind of an intellectual downer The plot is good though It was especially cool to read this book after having visited Angkor Wat I could picture a lot of the scenes that occurred in ancient and modern Cambodia with striking clarity I m not sure if it s really worth reading if one lacks an emotional tie to the region though.

  • This was pretty amazing Not at all the kind of thing I usually read but I loved his other books so I picked this one up despite the lack of sciencefictional elements.Half of it takes place in modern day Cambodia, and half is about 800 years ago I really didn t know much about Cambodia before, so it was cool to learn a bit about it Also, his writing as usual is evocative and compassionate I definitely recommend

  • Tells a fictionalized story of King Jayavarman VII of Cambodia, and about an archaeologist who discovers a gold book that tells Jayavarman s story, and is subsequently kidnapped with his find His friends Map, an ex Khmer Rouge, and William, a boy who grew up after the Pol Pot era, set out to find him.Really nicely done manages to convey a great amount about Cambodian history by focusing on some compelling characters who have lived through different parts of it.

  • This brilliantly written novel portrays two Cambodias, separated by 800 years, but in fact barely different It is a sobering look at what unifies or breaks up a country, how and why people go to war, and what happens when greedy self servers are in power For South East Asia or Cambodia lovers, this is a must read For others, this is a discovery into South East Asia its fragilities, its beauties.

  • Two stories, one of Cambodia in current times as seen through the eyes of a motodop driver, and the other story that plays during the time of Angkor Wat and King Jayavarman, are connected when an ancient book is found, written on leaves of gold The King s Last Song gives an interesting view into the Khmer culture and lives of Cambodians now and in the past I loved reading this.

  • What a wonderful book Such rich characters One of the things I liked very much is after the story ends, the author writes about how he put it together, where he deviated from known history, why he made the choices he made, and even where his limitations were This will move to the top of my list as a favorite.

  • Anyone interested in Cambodia should give this a read The novel is fictional, but it gives you a taste of both Cambodia s ancient history the time period when Angkor Wat was built , the time period when the Khmer Rouge was in power, and the current state of the country Ryman has obviously spent a lot of time in Cambodia and understands the culture and people.

  • everything Ryman does I love, so no surprise here Fascinating historical and modern political fiction Good quote Books grow out of people, and if you have the people first, the books will trail after them.

  • I reread this book, which I don t often do, but it provides very interesting perspectives on several different time periods in Kampuchea Cambodia For travellers to the region it s especially interesting It s frequently brutal, which is inevitable.

  • I really wanted to love this book as much as I loved Cambodia and the magic of Angkor And I did enjoy some very evocative passages But I struggled so much with the structure, and to some extent, the language as well It s not that this is a 2 star book, it s just that it was a 2 star read for me.

  • Good mix of historic fiction and modern day fiction giving some background on Cambodia Good story Great characters Occasionally long in parts, but worth it.

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