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Dogs at the Perimeter #2020

Dogs at the Perimeter In the midst of a cold Montreal winter a Cambodian woman known only to us as Janie separates from her husband and son She takes refuge in the apartment of her friend the neurologist Hiroji M

  • Title: Dogs at the Perimeter
  • Author: Madeleine Thien
  • ISBN: 9781847086075
  • Page: 360
  • Format: Paperback
  • Dogs at the Perimeter By Madeleine Thien, 2005 In the midst of a cold Montreal winter, a Cambodian woman, known only to us as Janie , separates from her husband and son She takes refuge in the apartment of her friend, the neurologist Hiroji Matsui, but one day he leaves the Brain Research Centre where they are both employed and disappears into the nightWe journey back thirty years from the moment of his vani2005 In the midst of a cold Montreal winter, a Cambodian woman, known only to us as Janie , separates from her husband and son She takes refuge in the apartment of her friend, the neurologist Hiroji Matsui, but one day he leaves the Brain Research Centre where they are both employed and disappears into the nightWe journey back thirty years from the moment of his vanishing to Janie as a young girl in Phnom Penh, where Cambodia is ruled by the brutal Khmer Rouge People are seized in the night, families are torn apart, and hunger is everywhere Helped by a defector, Janie escapes by sea, and arrives in Canada as a refugee In Montreal, she meets Hiroji whose brother James, a Red Cross doctor, disappeared in Cambodia in 1975 and who, like Janie, is haunted by the many lives we carry within ourselves, and the unwieldy shards of history that we make efforts to displace, but fail to extinguish.Weaving together these fragments in clean, luminous prose, Dogs at the Perimeter is a remarkable, unparalleled map of the mind s battle with memory, loss, and the unspeakable horrors of war.

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    1 thought on “Dogs at the Perimeter

    1. Janie is a researcher at the Montreal Neroulogical Center, but she was once known by different names in Phnom Penh, Cambodia She once came from a middle class family, had a father, mother, brother, until War came, and Cambodia became the killing fields Made to leave their home by the Khmer Rouge, her life and family will never be the same.Haunted by the memories of the past, and the atrocities committed at the hand of the Khmer Rouge, Janie falls apart Leaving her husband and young son, she seek [...]

    2. This is my second Thien novel, after Do Not Say We Have Nothing, which was my personal favourite book on the 2016 Booker shortlist Like that book, this one is deeply immersed in history, this time exploring the brutal period when the Khmer Rouge controlled Cambodia, and as such it is not an easy read, but it is a profoundly moving one.The story is held together by Janie, who was born in Cambodia but eventually escaped and lives in Canada with a husband and son she is separated from She works as [...]

    3. I wanted to go home but this was as close as I could bring myself, floating by sea, floating in air.So this is how it feels, when you read a book you d like to write, a book that exposes a similar experience or feeling We war survivors are a disjointed group, traversing normalcy while carrying the ones we left behind, the ones who left us behind Sometimes we find each other, the similarly wounded, and we talk about the past, careful to avoid the details we generalize stories because remembering [...]

    4. I should start by admitting that I rarely read books with this kind of harrowing subject matter because I find them too distressing But there is a gentle beauty to Madeleine s writing that enables you to keep reading, despite the atrocities being described.Like Elliot Perlman s The Street Sweeper, and Kim Scott s That Deadman Dance, this feels like one of those stories that absolutely needs to be told I had no idea of the scope of the genocide committed at the hands of Cambodia s Khmer Rouge, no [...]

    5. My father s stories came back to me, all the heroes that persisted in Khmer poems and myths, so many stories that promised us we were braver than we were Khmer Rouge, 1975, , 1979 Kampuchea , Madeleine Thien , Thien , 2005 Janie , .I would like to know which part of the mind remains untouched, barricaded, if there is any part of me that lasts, that is incoruptible, the absolute centre of who I am , , , Proust Thien , , , , , .You can follow the trail but you can t know in which direction you [...]

    6. 3.5 stars This is a less ambitious, accomplished novel than Do Not Say We Have Nothing, but it s got its own disjointed grace and eerie power It follows two Canadian adults who lost family to the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia, and takes you down a twisted path of searing memories, discarded identities, and ghosts who walk alongside the living Thien s writing, although overwrought in isolated moments, is mostly sparse and powerful It s a hard book to get into because most of the frosty, fragme [...]

    7. That atrocity could be documented in writing of such lyrical delicacy is an achievement that enabled this reader to bear witness Sometimes confusing, the splintered arc of the story mimics the confusion of war and emphasizes the insidious reach of what is vaguely known as post traumatic stress disorder There s hope in the message I got, that in spite of the unspeakable things that war inflicts upon people, inner peace is possible when we face our demons rather than try to deny them.

    8. We had to sign our names to these biographies, and we did this over and over, naming family and friends, illuminating the past My little brother and I were only eight and ten years old but, even then, we understood that the story of one s life could not be trusted, that it could destroy you and all the people you loved Evicted from their family home in Cambodia s capital, Phnom Penh, by the Khmer Rouge, Mei and her family are forced to follow the long and arduous trek through a devastated countr [...]

    9. My review published in the Asian Review of BooksWhile many books have been written about Cambodia s time under the Khmer Rouge, it is difficult to find works of fiction which tackle this difficult subject While Canadian author Madeleine Thien s second novel, Dogs at the Perimeter, is initially striking for exploring this subject, the reader quickly discovers much that is interesting and moving about Thien s narrative and writing.Thien alternates the story between Cambodia s war time past and pr [...]

    10. 3.5 stars I remembered beauty Long ago, it had not seemed necessary to note its presence, to memorize it, to set the dogs out at the perimeter This was my first Madeleine Thein book, not having read her famous Do Not Say We Have Nothing and although I admired the writing and was interested in learning about the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, this wasn t quite as successful as I expected.The book is initially set in Canada, where Janie a former Cambodian citizen who fled the country during the Khmer R [...]

    11. I decided to start with a book by Thien that hasn t been on list after list I do this sometimes to get a sense of the writer and I am typically not disappointed with the results.This is a story of Janie and her co worker Hiroji who goes missing What happens then is chapters with a person s name as the title As the story unfolds, we realize that these people are all linked through their efforts to flee Cambodia during the reign of the Khmer Rouge Janie and Hiroji are neuroscientists that work wit [...]

    12. A beautifully written book about the aftermath of genocide for several people who were caught up in it At times, I struggled to follow which timeline was currently happening flashback or present day and the plot moved pretty slowly Not a perfect book, but a vivid depiction of choices, compromises, and identity under an autocratic regime.

    13. Dogs at the Perimeter is an emotionally charged story about the lingering effects of the Khmer Rouge war in Cambodia on fictional characters Janie, Hiroji and James It s a short novel at just over 250 pgs.The story is set in 2005 in Canada and is told in first person account by the protagonist, Janie, a Cambodian woman who has separated from her patient husband Navin and kind hearted son Kiri Janie is a lost soul, with an unresolved past stemming from her early experiences as a victim of the war [...]

    14. Beautifully written, complex, and thoughtful novel about the impact of war, disappearance, and genocide The protagonist, Janie, is a young electrophysicist and mother in Montreal, who arrived in Canada as an unaccompanied child refugee from Cambodia Her mentor disappears, and she is convinced that he has gone to search for his long lost brother, who vanished in Cambodia during the genocide Janie s own sense of self begins to fracture, and she has trouble reconciling the different selves she has [...]

    15. This was a follow up read after breezing through her first book of short stories This novel is far different and definitely not as breezy to read I felt it to be dense, studied and exact Some of the metaphors Thien uses make my head spin, wondering how she could have come up with something so apt The title is perhaps the most telling one of all as it tells of how the protagonist learned to live her life, through hardships unimaginable Annabel Lyon said Madeline Thien writes with a diamond on [...]

    16. A beautifully written book about haunting and harrowing effects of genocide, war, and loss, during and after the reign of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia during the late 70s Written in fragments, about fragmented lives and fragmented relationships in a fragmented country, Thien blends beauty and atrocity, with seamless fluidity.

    17. OH MY GOD Madeleine Thien you have such beautiful prose If you wrote a technical manual, I bet I would still read it.

    18. The technicality of the writing was, at the onset, detrimental to my reading of Thien s novel it did not take long, however, to realize that Thien was reaching for a fragmented aesthetic the past coming into the present, blending into who knows where all replete with tonal shifts both in characterization and context that, after realizing that every word built on the last, and was relied upon for the future, I understood how to read this novel When I did, I was able to comprehend, not fully, but [...]

    19. A collection of interwoven stories concerning three souls who were severely affected by the war in Cambodia Especially the arc of the main character, Janie, was gripping in its painful details and gave a glimpse into how sad life is during wartime Overall the book contains beautiful passages and extraordinarily crafted sentences that were so poetic I reread them multiple times There is some discontinuation between parts of the book which possibly could be bothersome to a few people Not for me th [...]

    20. Exploring the deep, long lasting trauma that follows historical atrocities, this book follows a Cambodian who escapes to Canada, and a Canadian who travels to and becomes trapped in Cambodia during the reign of the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s There are some gripping passages, but the book becomes scattered in places and intellectual than heartfelt Despite its inconsistencies, it is a worthwhile read.

    21. Although, I think Do Not Say We Have Nothing is a better book, Dogs at the Perimeter is good, and similar to the aforementioned book in it s style What I like is that the book is set in Cambodia during Pol Pot s reign of terror.

    22. This is the kind of novel that generates its own light Madeleine Thien s writing about trauma, grief, loss of self, war, memory, and kindness is lovely beyond measure.

    23. Really liked the story, confusing as it might be, specially because I was visiting Cambodia in the meanwhile, it gave insight of the cruelty this people suffered and the strong need they have.

    24. I d like everything by Thien to be published in the United States My BookPage review bookpage reviews 21827 ma

    25. Broken memories, broken souls, and a broken country Montreal 2005 flashbacks to the Cambodian genocide 1975 1979 Madeleine Thien is a literary star in Canada She ought to be one in America too.If only Dogs at the Perimeter was dystopian fiction Yet historically, Thien s searing novel really did happen Which makes her sensitive approach to telling horrific history laudable.Thien focuses on the psychic trauma to survivors of unimaginable horrors when nothing seemed real What happens to their brai [...]

    26. This is part of my 238 books in 238 days challenge You can follow my progress here Once again, I find myself not really knowing what to say about a book depicting the aftermath of the Cambodian Killing Fields Contrary to The Disappeared however, Madeleine Thien s protagonist is not a young Canadian girl in love, but a woman that has escaped Cambodia as a child and is now being haunted by memories Janie has built a life for herself, working at a Brain Research Centre, and having a husband and a s [...]

    27. Dogs At The Perimeter is a flawed novel.Loosely, it is about the separation, dislocation and loss of identity caused by the Khmer Rouge rule in Cambodia We open in Vancouver with a woman, Janie, a neurological researcher looking for her colleague, Hiroji who has gone missing some three months earlier Both Janie and Hiroji have ties to Cambodia for Janie, it was the country of her childhood for Hiroji it is where his brother disappeared in 1975.What follows are a series of narrations, some set in [...]

    28. There is only one opening line that I remember from all the books I have read It is this There is a simple recipe for making rice It comes from the title story of Madeleine Thien s short story collection, SIMPLE RECIPES I love the simplicity of the sentence, its precision, and its rhythm.March 30, 2013 I m about 1 3 of the way through Dogs at the Perimeter and again I find myself marveling at the simplicity, precision and rhythm of Thien s writing If only there were a simple recipe for writing s [...]

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