Download Golden Bones: An Extraordinary Journey from Hell in Cambodia to a New Life in America Audiobook

Golden Bones: An Extraordinary Journey from Hell in Cambodia to a New Life in America Audiobook, by Sichan Siv Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Sichan Siv Narrator: David Thorn Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2012 ISBN: 9780062194664
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (62 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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While the United States battled the Communists of North Vietnam in the 1960s and ’70s, the neighboring country of Cambodia was attacked from within by dictator Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge came to power in 1975—the same year that the U.S. presence in Vietnam ended—and began a vicious genocide to return Cambodia to an agrarian society. The Khmer Rouge imprisoned, enslaved, and murdered the educated and intellectual members of the population, resulting in the harrowing “killing fields”—rice paddies where the harvest yielded nothing but millions of skulls. Young Sichan Siv—a target since he was a university graduate—was told by his mother to run and “never give up hope!”

Removing his glasses (since only intellectuals wore them), he set out to bicycle across Cambodia. Captured and put to work in a slave labor camp, Siv knew it was only a matter of time before he would be worked to death—or killed. With a daring escape from a logging truck and a desperate run for freedom through the jungle, including falling into a dreaded pungi pit, Siv finally came upon a colorfully dressed farmer who said, “Welcome to Thailand.” He spent months teaching English in a refugee camp in Thailand while regaining his strength, eventually Siv was allowed entry into the United States. Upon his arrival in the U.S., Siv kept striving. Working variously as an apple picker in Connecticut (he saw his first July 4th parade in southern Vermont), a burger flipper, and a New York City cab driver, Siv became a graduate student at Columbia University.

During this time he befriended Dith Pran—subject of The Killing Fields. His perseverance was noticed while working on the campaign of George H.W. Bush in 1988, and he was offered a job in the White House. Eventually rising to become a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Siv returned with great trepidation to the killing fields of Cambodia in 1992 as a senior representative of the U.S. government. It was an emotionally overwhelming visit. From his first Fourth of July parade in Vermont in 1976 during our nation’s bicentennial, to being the grandmaster at at 2006 July 4th parade in Texas, Sichan Siv has come a long way.

A proud American, Siv is now in demand as a speaker at universities and businesses around the country, where his incredible life story never fails to get a standing ovation and bring tears to the eyes of his audience.

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Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 T.J. | 11/15/2013

    " This is not your typical survivors story. Sichan Siv transformed his chilling encounter with the underside of human nature to become a force for good. This truly extraordinary book is filled with hope, courage and the spirit of freedom. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Samantha | 11/21/2012

    " Very awkward writing but the story is fascinating. I guess you can say it's refreshing he didn't use a ghost writer? It's skimmable so you can get through the awkward parts and enjoy the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 ML | 9/22/2012

    " Four stars for fascinating. Siv's success in his chosen new country - the USA - is every bit as spellbinding as his escape from Cambodia "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Suvi | 8/30/2012

    " I could not get over the photograph of the author on the back cover of the book. The first chapter confirmed his arrogance in my opinion, describing something about his name, or being the golden child? I can't quite remember what he said, but I couldn't get past it and try to finish the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maureen | 5/28/2012

    " The first part of his story was extraordinary, as advertised. After he came to the US though, it was much less interesting- a long list of all the people he met and jobs he held. Rising from orchard picker to taxi driver to UN representative is still quite a feat. "

About the Narrator

David Thorn spent his childhood in the Channel Islands off the coast of France, was schooled in England, and then immigrated to the United States at the age of twenty-three. He is retired from international commerce and currently resides in California.