Descripción de editorial
Between 1970 and 1975 Jon Swain, the English journalist portrayed in David Puttnam's film, The Killing Fields, lived in the lands of the Mekong river. This is his account of those years, and the way in which the tumultuous events affected his perceptions of life and death as Europe never could. He also describes the beauty of the Mekong landscape - the villages along its banks, surrounded by mangoes, bananas and coconuts, and the exquisite women, the odours of opium, and the region's other face - that of violence and corruption.
From 1970 to 1975, Swain, an award-winning British journalist, worked as a war correspondent in South Vietnam and Cambodia. In this arresting memoir, he recounts the atmosphere in Saigon (today's Ho Chi Minh City) as the U.S. began to withdraw after the Paris Peace Accords, as well as the eventual takeover of the city by North Vietnamese forces. He also includes harrowing descriptions of the "boat people" who fled Vietnam and were raped and often killed by Thai pirates. The adventurous author, who trained for the French Foreign Legion, is obviously smitten with the land and people of Southeast Asia--he conducted a long love affair with a French-Vietnamese woman--and he effectively conveys his personal horror at the 1975 siege of Cambodia's Phnom Penh by the Khmer Rouge. During the appalling violence, his life was saved by interpreter Dith Pran, whose story was depicted in the film The Killing Fields, and Swain later took refuge in the French embassy with U.S. journalist Sydney Schanberg. Although the author details his unusual experiences in compelling and dramatic terms, the nostalgic romanticism with which he regards the opium dens and prostitution of former Indochina is sometimes excessive.