Synopses & Reviews
From the highly acclaimed author of Pure Slaughter Value
comes this latter-day literary noir about an ex-pat in Cambodia eager to get home but taking all the wrong turns.
Asher went to Cambodia to get away from Julie, his Harvard grad ex-girlfriend currently tending bar in a topless joint in New York. But when his UNESCO work cleaning bat dung from Khmer statues is finished, and he decides on a dicey heroin scheme as his means to get home with plenty of money to spare, it's Julie whose help he solicits. She agrees, but plans go dangerously awry frighteningly fast. A pulsating plot and precise literary prose make Lightning on the Sun a startlingly compelling and strangely poetic tale.
"[A] compelling first novel....Bingham has written a gripping literary thriller a precocious debut novel and an eloquent punctuation point to a sadly short career." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"Bingham stands out here as a hip traditionalist, elegantly updating the conventions of Graham Greene and Robert Stone....[A] melancholy triumph from a writer who might have become one of the strongest of his generation." Publishers Weekly
"As subtle as a blunt-force trauma. Not without flaws, but a work of some promise that, sadly, can never be fulfilled." Kirkus Reviews
"Bingham doesn't break any new ground, but he joins some outstanding literary forebears: Somerset Maugham, Joseph Conrad, Graham Greene, and Robert Stone....This skillfully written and gripping tale is a worthy legacy." Booklist
"[A]s an artist he was funny, mordant and quick. His brand of black comedy is curiously tender....Robert Bingham will be missed. Good satirists are hard to find, and a true gift for darkness is rare." Stacey D'Erasmo, The New York Times Book Review
"[A] smart, stinging literary thriller reminiscent of Graham Greene and Robert Stone." San Francisco Chronicle
"A powerful story about desire, greed, and the hope for redemption in a fallen world." Alan Cheuse
From the highly acclaimed author of Pure Slaughter Value comes this latter-day literary noir about an expatriate in Cambodia eager to get home but taking all the wrong turns.
About the Author
Robert Bingham was the author of the highly praised short story collection Pure Slaughter Value. He held an M.F.A. from Columbia and was a founding editor of the literary magazine Open City. His fiction and nonfiction appeared in The New Yorker, and he worked for two years as a reporter for the Cambodia Daily. He died in 1999.