Curse of the Pogo Stick

Curse of the Pogo Stick

Book - 2008
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A Pogo Stick Brings a Curse Down upon a Hmong Village. In Vientiane, a booby-trapped corpse--intended for Dr Siri, the national coroner--has been delivered to the morgue. In his absence, only Nurse Dtui's intervention saves the lives of the morgue attendants, visiting doctors and Madame Daeng, Dr. Siri's fiancee. On his way back from a Communist party meeting in the north, Dr Siri is kidnapped by seven female Hmong villagers under the direction of the village elder so that he will, in the guise of Yeh Ming, the thousand year old shaman with whom he shares his body, exorcise the headman's daughter whose soul is possessed by a demon, and lift the curse of the pogo stick.
Publisher: Toronto : A.A. Knopf Canada, 2008.
ISBN: 9780307397256
Branch Call Number: COT
Characteristics: xii, 240 pages ; 20 cm.

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m
miaone
Jun 04, 2017

I loved the first two books in the series, but had to skim the third as there was too much pain in it. The 4th was OK, if odd. Finally, in the 5th book, the author is starting to address what the Lao government did to the Hmong people in the 1970's and 1980's. I'm only a 4th of the way through, so I don't know if Cotterill is going to tell about the years-long massacres which killed thousands of innocent Hmong children, women, and men. I rather doubt he will, which is too bad, because most readers probably don't know about it. Some of the Hmong were dragged by the CIA into siding with the U.S. after helping to rescue downed US pilots. That got them targeted for "extermination" by the Pathet Lao which, along with the Vietnamese communists, did a fairly thorough job of it. I was an ESL teacher in northern California in the 1980's, and most of my students were Hmong adults and teenagers, refugees who'd suffered horrors trying to escape Laos by making their way, at night, silently, to the Mekong River so they could float across it to the relative safety of Thailand. If they made it without getting shot, they'd languish in refugee camps for years before finally being allowed to go to a western country. I've been hoping Cotterill would tell their story in his books. It deserves to be told.

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