“A gripping tale . . . A convincing, page-turning evocation of recent history.”—The New York Times
Ray Barton travels to war-ravaged Southeast Asia to search for his missing friend Michael Langford, a brilliant, risk-taking combat photographer who was stolen into Khmer Rouge Cambodia on a mysterious mission and disappeared. The search illuminates Langford’s heroism, his fierce loyalties, and the personal highways he has traveled to war. Langford’s empathy for the brave but poorly commanded Cambodian troops and his love for a young Cambodian woman have led him in the end to put down the camera and take up the gun in a foreign struggle he had made his own.
Koch richly evokes Indochina—from the deceptively tranquil rice paddies of South Vietnam to the corrupt, doomed pink-and-white city of Phnom Penh. Highways to a War is a story of intense relationships forged in a dangerous and hallucinatory land that continues to haunt the American soul.
“An absorbing, deeply moving . . . tale of love and heroism. . . . The evocation of the Cambodian landscape . . . is truly haunting.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Highways to a War ranks among the best of the . . . literature that has come out of the agony of the wars in Southeast Asia.”—The Orlando Sentinel
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Christopher J. Koch (1932–2013) was an acclaimed Australian novelist from Hobart, Tasmania. He is best known for The Year of Living Dangerously, which was made into an award-winning film. He was twice awarded the Miles Franklin Award, Australia's top literary honor, for The Doubleman in 1985 and for Highways to a War in 1993.From Library Journal:
Australian war photographer Mike Langford has just disappeared inside Cambodia as this intriguing novel opens in 1976. That country has been closed to all foreigners since the Khmer Rouge takeover, however, so when Langford doesn't emerge the general presumption is that he has been killed or taken prisoner. When the narrator, a boyhood friend, receives Langford's diary-on-tape, spanning 1965-1975, it sets off a series of reminiscences that offer indelible insights into the mind and heart of a remarkable individual who would dare infiltrate Communist Kampuchea against all odds. Readers will be touched by Langford's experiences in Indonesia (the setting of Koch's 1979 novel, The Year of Living Dangerously), Vietnam, and Cambodia. Highly recommended.
Will Hepfer, SUNY at Buffalo Libs.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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