The Trader of Saigon

The Trader of Saigon

Lucy Cruickshanks / Nov 14, 2019

The Trader of Saigon In the chaos and corruption of post civil war Vietnam three seemingly unconnected lives are brought together in greed fear and hope As a US Army deserter Alexander is a man without country stuck in

  • Title: The Trader of Saigon
  • Author: Lucy Cruickshanks
  • ISBN: 9781782063216
  • Page: 100
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In the chaos and corruption of post civil war Vietnam, three seemingly unconnected lives are brought together in greed, fear and hope.As a US Army deserter, Alexander is a man without country stuck in a life he no longer controls and embroiled in the dark business of trading women His latest victim is Hanh, a poor rural girl living in Hanoi who dreams to escaping the ineIn the chaos and corruption of post civil war Vietnam, three seemingly unconnected lives are brought together in greed, fear and hope.As a US Army deserter, Alexander is a man without country stuck in a life he no longer controls and embroiled in the dark business of trading women His latest victim is Hanh, a poor rural girl living in Hanoi who dreams to escaping the inevitability of an impoverished future and for whom Alexander s arrival seems like the answer to a prayer Neither of them has ever met Phuc a Vietnamese businessman who backed the wrong side in the war and is now unable to pay his financial and political debts to the Party But his struggles are about to change both their lives.This fascinating tale of redemption and salvation in a post war society is a thrilling and explosive debut novel.

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      Posted by:Lucy Cruickshanks
      Published :2019-08-12T19:53:12+00:00

    About "Lucy Cruickshanks"

      • Lucy Cruickshanks

        Like Lucy on Facebook for access to news, events, tips and competitions at facebook L.J.CruickshanksAuthor of THE TRADER OF SAIGON 2013 and THE ROAD TO RANGOON Sept 2015 Published by Quercus Lucy Cruickshanks love of travel inspires her writing A great fan of the underdog, she s drawn to countries with troubled recent histories, writing about periods of time when societies are at their most precarious and fraught with risk She s fascinated by their uniqueness and moral ambiguity, and in capturing the people who must navigate them.Her debut novel, The Trader of Saigon, began life after she sat beside a man on a flight who made his fortune selling women It was shortlisted for the Authors Club Best First Novel Award and the Guardian Not The Booker Prize, longlisted for the Waverton Goodread Award and named a Top Ten Book of 2013 by The Bookbag.Patricia Highsmith, Amitav Ghosh and George Orwell have all influenced Lucy s writing, but her favourite books are Empire of the Sun by JG Ballard and Life of Pi by Yann Martel Lucy was born in 1984 and raised in Cornwall, UK She holds a BA in Politics and Philosophy from the University of Warwick and an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University She lives on the south coast of England and divides her time between writing and caring for her young familyAISE FOR THE TRADER OF SAIGON Compelling and involving ingenious The Guardian Authentic, beautiful and highly accomplished all novels should aspire to be this good The Bookbag Cruickshanks has created a gripping tale that is complex and profound Beautifully written and immensely atmospheric this is a compelling story that will touch your heart Kate Furnivall Powerful, pacy, vivid and involving Isabel Wolff Dark, vivid and deeply unsettling Matthew Plampin


    1. Saigon was an addicted city, and we were the drug: the corruption of children, the mutilation of young men, the prostitution of women, the humiliation of the old, the division of the family, the division of the country--it had all been done in our name. . . . The French city . . . had represented the opium stage of the addiction. With the Americans had begun the heroin phase.----James Martin Fenton FRSL FRSA an English poet, journalist and literary critic Lucy Cruickshanks, an English author, en [...]

    2. pebbleinthestillwatersspoBook Review: The Trader Of Saigon by Lucy Cruickshanks: Play Innocence To Pay InnocenceAbout the Book & Story:The Trader Of Saigon by Lucy Cruickshanks is a marvelously crafted fiction story that is not far from the reality of the world. Alexander is a trader - flesh trader - human flesh trader - live human flesh. His trades women and girls, rather girls, amateur, teenagers, economically poor girls living in insecurity but starving for support, faith and trust as mos [...]

    3. I enjoyed this book enormously and by the time I was about three quarters of the way through I just had to sit and read the rest of it in one sitting. The author tells the story of each of the characters separately but as the book progresses the three come together to make this compelling reading.See my full review at: leftontheshelfbookblogspo

    4. A decent storyline that will be even better read in location. Set in Vietnam it is evocative of the country, whether strolling around Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi with Alexander and Hanh, or negotiating the bustling and roaring traffic of downtown Saigon, rushing through Cholon or navigating the square around Notre Dame Basilica. This is the 1980s when guns were still commonplace on the streets, lawlessness still affected thousands upon thousands, women were struggling to find their place under the n [...]

    5. The Trader of Saigon opens in Vietnam in the 1980s. Alexander is an ex-US army deserter who trades in women, Hanh is a young Vietnamese woman who is trying her best to survive amidst appalling poverty, and Phuc is a business man fallen on hard times who will do anything in his power to protect his family. The intertwining of this disparate group of people weaves together a story of overwhelming greed and utter hopelessness.Without doubt this is a stunning debut novel, and even though parts of it [...]

    6. I really enjoyed this novel. I've developed a love of literature based in Southeast Asia since travelling there, and although I never made it to Vietnam I was able to visualise this novel well, thanks to the excellent atmospheric descriptions. The Trader of Saigon is set in post-civil war Vietnam, and tells the story of three seemingly unconnected people: Alexander a defector from the Americans who cannot go home, Phuc a well-respected businessman whose business was taken from him during the war [...]

    7. 11th July 2013Recieved signed copy of this book this morning as part of a giveaway, currently reading another giveaway book will get to this ASAP to read and reviewThank you for the opportunity to read this book.

    8. I read this because I am visiting Vietnam and thought I might get a feel for the country.I book is generally a bit depressing about Vietnamese life so I hope it's improved over the yearsI found most of the characters and storyline believable

    9. This was really easy to read. That though, is the reason for the two star rating. Until the last 50 pages, the book invoked no feelings of outrage, anger, and sadness in me.Considering the themes, this just leaves me scratching my head. I think if the theme hadn't been what it was I would have given it three stars, and left it as a nice story! Unfortunately though, it didn't leave me with any enduring fondness.

    10. Great writing and imagery, very atmospheric, but the plot didn't pass me: this couldn't have happened in Vietnam--an American deserter posing as a Russian and nobody notices? Sorry, nah! Also, Vietnamese do not use a lot of endearments attributed to them in the book. But I guess the book will settle well with readers who don't know Vietnam and the Vietnamese well enough to pick up on nuances.

    11. Interesting perspective on the human trafficking industry with one of the main characters as a human trafficker / brothel owner. Horrible realities revealed through this work of fiction. Gripping enough storyline, but didn't love it.

    12. The Trader of Saigon is a beautifully atmospheric novel, that tells the story of a few seemingly unconnected people whose lives become intertwined through bad fortune and sheer desperation in a disordered post-war Vietnam.The novel starts with Alexander, who is a US Army deserter but for the sake of his safety and blending in he pretends to be a Russian. He is the trader of Saigon the title refers to and his trade is unfortunately not something innocent like spices or even information. No, he tr [...]

    13. The Vietnam war is a rich, interesting and deservedly well worn path in literature. But I’ve not read any books about Vietnam in the aftermath of that huge and messy incident. It’s in this post war era where this is set. The American’s have left, the Communist rule that came into place is in full swing and it’s pretty hard work to get by on your average state living. One particular and unsavoury trend of people needing to eke out an existence without much resource was/is the human traffi [...]

    14. 'The Trader of Saigon' by Lucy Cruickshanks is set in the 1980's Vietnam. It is primarily about 3 main characters, Phuc a once affluent businessman (pre war) who is now desperately trying to do the best for his family in the miserable circumstances they now find themselves.Hahn a 15 year old girl trying to survive as best she can in abject poverty looking after her sick mother and working as a latrine girl.Alexander, a coward and deserter from the US Army; a man of very little substance struggli [...]

    15. pleasant read. i'm always attracted to books about Asia and to Asia in general. hearing contraindicating comments from tourist about Vietnamese and also wanting to visit Vietnam in near future this book was exactly what i needed in order to understand the last 30 years of Vietnam and the lifestyle i hear about. Unfortunately Vietnam was just another, far from USA and Russia, country, where these two superpowers wanted to proof their dominance. this book describes the post war consequences throug [...]

    16. I bought this as a "deal of the day" on Kindle just to pass some spare time. The topic, human trafficking in the chaos of post war Vietnsm sounded challenging. It could easily be either overly sanctimonious or overly cynical and I wasn't expecting much from an author I had never heard of. I was surprised. The book avoids the obvious pitfalls and is more than a pot boiler. However I won't say pleasantly surprised because the topic is dark and the book makes uncomfortable reading at times. There [...]

    17. This book tells the story of one Vietnamese peasant girl, Hanh in the aftermath of the Vietnam war and how she naively becomes the victim of ruthless human traffickers. It is told through the eyes of three different characters, Hanh herself, Alexander, the GI who went AWOL during the war and has made a new life and identity for himself spotting likely girls to be conned into prostitution or sale, and Phuoc, the former business-man who has lost everything during the communist era and gets drawn i [...]

    18. Excellent book! I loved the evident joy the writer has in words; it was the beautiful prose as much as the story which carried me along, although Lucy Cruickshanks wove the elements of the story well with a satisfying denouement. The book is set in 1980s Vietnam and I found the section at the end of the book where the author explains its birth and the impulse behind it, most interesting. The three main characters are well depicted: Alexander, a deserter from the US army who becomes involved with [...]

    19. I received this book in a giveaway. The Trader of Saigon deals with the poignant subjects of corruption and human trafficking in the thriving blackmarket of the slums of postwar Vietnam, and how the war had transformed the country and the lives of its civilians forever. The story is presented in alternating perspectives of its three main characters, each trapped in a desperate circumstance and suffering from their own overwhelming experiences. The author has done a good job of depicting the uni [...]

    20. This is a first novel? It’s a great debut novel and I enjoyed Lucy Cruickshanks writing style. She has crafted some interesting and believable characters woven within an original storyline. I was hooked from the start and read it in two sittings.Set in 80's Saigon, the culture and attitudes of the times are captured perfectly with a wealth of detail which really brought to life the poverty and oppression many people suffered during these times, and I could easily imagine the sights and sounds [...]

    21. The Trader of Saigon took me to a place I have never visited. Vietnam is a destinationknown only from news, documentaries and Hollywood blockbusters. Now it feels a little more real . The novel weaves a story about the inhuman trade of trafficking within the context of post-war Vietnam. The brutal nature of the business seems all the worse when presented in a beautifully written book. The tastes, smells and locations that are the backdrop to the story are brought to life with evocative descripti [...]

    22. I picked this book up from a book exchange shelf in the Philippines and read it while in Malaysia. My travel in the region certainly made the book more interesting, but I did find it to be rather dark, with little light or hope until the very last pages. In fact, nearly all of the characters were suffering so completely that it was difficult to find any of them to like or connect with. It seemed that all was hopeless on every front. And, while I appreciate that this captures the hopelessness of [...]

    23. Loved reading about Vietnam and all the memories it awakened in me as a country.The storyline was topical and relevant and I liked the mix of characters. People smuggling and modern day slavery seems to be a hot potato these days. Sad. However i felt that the ending was a little too easy and everything fitted together to smoothly in the end. Not what would have happened in reality with such nasty characters and such a violent 'industy'. I liked the ending don't get me wrong, but didn't seem to f [...]

    24. Very interesting reading Alexander a us deserter passes himself off as a Russian and gets girls for this man to use or sell as wives uc had a good life with his family till he picked the losing side in the war. He as nothing amd is always being watched stupidly gambles and win but goes back and loses the lot and more with him ending up in bigger hot water.Poor Hahn has a hard life father died mother ill and not getting paid for a horrible job she really tries working in the rice fields as well a [...]

    25. ***RECEIVED FROM FIRST READS GIVEAWAY***I have never been to Asia, however, I think the author has done a wonderful job to evoke the streets and the paddy fields of Hanoi beautifully. Alexander, an American deserter, Hanh, a young girl who falls for his talk of helping her and Phuc, a former businessman fallen into debt with the wrong people, all have sad tales that intertwine with each other. The reader is left wondering how this story can work out for all involved in the corrupted world they l [...]

    26. I was expecting a lot from this book, and it delivered. Cruickshanks does a good job of bringing the steaming heat of Hanoi to life, as well as the knotted backstreets of Saigon. Her handling of the three primary characters is sensitive given the space available, though I feel there may have been scope to develop them further if the publisher had allowed more pages! I particularly enjoyed the openness of the last few pages, as it's delicious to be allowed to define my own ending to a novel. All [...]

    27. I am travelling to Vietnam this summer and reading this book has really added to my excitement. Set in the period immediately after the American war the sense of time and place is excellent. You can smell and taste every location. On top of this you truly care about each of the characters (somewhat surprisingly) and the incredibly clever plot ensured that I could not put this book down. I would never have guessed that this was a debut novel and I will thoroughly recommend it to anyone who will l [...]

    28. @LJCruickshanks ‘The Trader of Saigon’ is a fascinating read that draws three disparate characters’ lives together in an unexpected way. As you read, Vietnam comes to life in your head, and as you follow their journey the true horror of human trafficking fully hits you. Highly recommended. I read it in virtually one sitting, and will look forward to Lucy’s next book. It will appeal across a broad spectrum of people, and is a great addition to my growing library of books on Vietnam during [...]

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