"Several impressive books have been written on the subject. But 'When Clouds Fell From The Sky' both humanizes the story and brings new insights into the causes of the Khmer Rouge's reign of terror." - Dan Southerland, Christian Science Monitor "Poignant ... An unforgettable book." - Elizabeth Becker, journalist and author of 'When the War Was Over: Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge Revolution' "A Cold War history lesson that's worth re-telling. Carmichael writes intelligently about a complicated subject that continues to haunt the survivors, be they Cambodians or anybody else from the myriad of foreign powers that dabbled in this country's tragic history at their peril." - Luke Hunt, The Diplomat "Combining extensive historical research and analysis with colourful narrative, 'When Clouds Fell from the Sky' is arguably the most vivid and terrifying literary portrait of the prison to date." - Bennett Murray, The Phnom Penh Post "Crisply written, elegantly constructed and thoroughly researched, When Clouds Fell from the Sky is a perceptive, often heart-breaking book." - David Chandler, author of 'Voices from S-21: Terror and History in Pol Pot's Secret Prison' "This is both the poignant story of a young woman seeking the truth about her father's disappearance at the hands of the Khmer Rouge regime, and an unflinching portrait of the executioner who oversaw the torture chamber where he was imprisoned. An unforgettable book." - Elizabeth Becker, author of 'When the War Was Over: Cambodia and The Khmer Rouge Revolution' "A beautifully written book that does a masterful job weaving the history of the Khmer Rouge tribunal with a more personal story of human tragedy and redemption. This extremely thoughtful work is the product of its author's deep understanding of Cambodia. Anyone trying to make sense of the Khmer Rouge war crimes court should read this timely book." - Peter Maguire, author of 'Law and War', 'Facing Death in Cambodia' and 'Thai Stick' "'When Clouds Fell from the Sky' is a standout. Carmichael chronicles the rise and fall of the Khmer Rouge through the interconnected stories of five different people." - Dan Southerland, Christian Science Monitor "Several recent books have tackled the most vexing questions - the how, what and why - of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge past. Robert Carmichael's When Clouds Fell From The Sky' is the latest effort and could well be the best of the crop. Carmichael draws on an impressive range of sources and interviews in Clouds, leaving few stones unturned as he weaves together events of the past, with the efforts by its victims to reconcile with its legacy." - Wayne McCallum, The Advisor
About the Author
Robert Carmichael (b. 1969) is a South African journalist who has spent eight years reporting from Cambodia for print, radio and television on a wide variety of stories that have people at their heart - from the Khmer Rouge tribunal to reconciliation, health to the environment, and poverty to tourism. Carmichael first came to Cambodia in 2001, staying for two years as the managing editor of the Phnom Penh Post, the country's oldest English-language newspaper. He returned to Cambodia in 2009 to cover the trial of Comrade Duch, one of the central characters in his new book titled "When Clouds Fell from the Sky". He enjoys reading both non-fiction and fiction, and is particularly interested in books that examine people's ability to endure the most difficult of circumstances. That focus accounts for his decision to write his first book, which - over five decades and through the lives of five people - tells the reader what happened to Cambodia under Pol Pot's 1975-79 rule and why that happened, as well as the efforts made by a nation and by ordinary people to come to terms with that period.