Hot Best Seller

The Dead Eye and the Deep Blue Sea: The World of Slavery at Sea-A Graphic Memoir

Availability: Ready to download

Too poor to pay his pregnant wife's hospital bill, Prum Vannak left his village in Cambodia to seek work in Thailand. Men who appeared to be employers on a fishing vessel promised to return him home after a few months at sea, but instead Vannak was hostaged on the vessel for four years of hard labor. Amid violence and cruelty, including frequent beheadings, Vannak survived Too poor to pay his pregnant wife's hospital bill, Prum Vannak left his village in Cambodia to seek work in Thailand. Men who appeared to be employers on a fishing vessel promised to return him home after a few months at sea, but instead Vannak was hostaged on the vessel for four years of hard labor. Amid violence and cruelty, including frequent beheadings, Vannak survived in large part by honing his ability to tattoo his shipmates--a skill he possessed despite never having been trained in art or having had access to art supplies while growing up.   As a means of escape, Vannak and a friend jumped into the water and, hugging empty fish-sauce containers because they could not swim, reached Malaysia in the dark of night. At the harbor, they were taken into a police station . . . then sold by their rescuers to work on a plantation. Vannak was kept as a laborer for over a year before an NGO could secure his return to Cambodia. After five years away, Vannak was finally reunited with his family.  Vannak documented his ordeal in raw, colorful, detailed illustrations, first created because he believed that without them no one would believe his story. Indeed, very little is known about what happens to the men and boys who end up working on fishing boats in Asia, and these images are some of the first records. In regional Cambodia, many families still wait for men who have disappeared across the Thai border, and out to sea. The Dead Eye and the Deep Blue Sea is a testament to the lives of these many fishermen who are trapped on boats in the Indian Ocean.


Compare

Too poor to pay his pregnant wife's hospital bill, Prum Vannak left his village in Cambodia to seek work in Thailand. Men who appeared to be employers on a fishing vessel promised to return him home after a few months at sea, but instead Vannak was hostaged on the vessel for four years of hard labor. Amid violence and cruelty, including frequent beheadings, Vannak survived Too poor to pay his pregnant wife's hospital bill, Prum Vannak left his village in Cambodia to seek work in Thailand. Men who appeared to be employers on a fishing vessel promised to return him home after a few months at sea, but instead Vannak was hostaged on the vessel for four years of hard labor. Amid violence and cruelty, including frequent beheadings, Vannak survived in large part by honing his ability to tattoo his shipmates--a skill he possessed despite never having been trained in art or having had access to art supplies while growing up.   As a means of escape, Vannak and a friend jumped into the water and, hugging empty fish-sauce containers because they could not swim, reached Malaysia in the dark of night. At the harbor, they were taken into a police station . . . then sold by their rescuers to work on a plantation. Vannak was kept as a laborer for over a year before an NGO could secure his return to Cambodia. After five years away, Vannak was finally reunited with his family.  Vannak documented his ordeal in raw, colorful, detailed illustrations, first created because he believed that without them no one would believe his story. Indeed, very little is known about what happens to the men and boys who end up working on fishing boats in Asia, and these images are some of the first records. In regional Cambodia, many families still wait for men who have disappeared across the Thai border, and out to sea. The Dead Eye and the Deep Blue Sea is a testament to the lives of these many fishermen who are trapped on boats in the Indian Ocean.

30 review for The Dead Eye and the Deep Blue Sea: The World of Slavery at Sea-A Graphic Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    Vannak Anan Prum is a Cambodian man just looking for work to take care of his family when he is sold into slavery on a fishing boat that flaunts international law. The horror these men have to endure as they work seven days a week is truly beyond comprehension. Read this book and you will never look at seafood the same way again. Not for the faint of heart - but a heartfelt cry for change that politicians all over the world need to heed.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Calzean

    Not sure how you can rate a novel drawn and written by a poor uneducated Cambodian man who went off to find work and found himself sold into slavery aboard a fishing ship for almost 4 years. After escaping he was again sold by his rescuers and spent more time in forced unpaid labour at a palm oil plantation owned by a local senior policeman. He spent months in jail before finally being rescued by a Cambodian Human Rights organisation LICADHO. It's a tale of survival amongst the reality that many Not sure how you can rate a novel drawn and written by a poor uneducated Cambodian man who went off to find work and found himself sold into slavery aboard a fishing ship for almost 4 years. After escaping he was again sold by his rescuers and spent more time in forced unpaid labour at a palm oil plantation owned by a local senior policeman. He spent months in jail before finally being rescued by a Cambodian Human Rights organisation LICADHO. It's a tale of survival amongst the reality that many people still find themselves victims of the modern slavery trade.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    A fascinating firsthand account of a Cambodian man who was victim to human trafficking and forced labor. A self-taught artist, Prum has produced a grown-up picture book, with each page featuring one or two large, color images and a block of type-set text recounting his misery aboard fishing vessels where human life has far less value than the cargo iced down in the hold. There is some occasional awkwardness in the art, writing, and coordination of the two, but that is overridden by the truth bein A fascinating firsthand account of a Cambodian man who was victim to human trafficking and forced labor. A self-taught artist, Prum has produced a grown-up picture book, with each page featuring one or two large, color images and a block of type-set text recounting his misery aboard fishing vessels where human life has far less value than the cargo iced down in the hold. There is some occasional awkwardness in the art, writing, and coordination of the two, but that is overridden by the truth being told, the corruption being exposed, and the suffering revealed.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ed Erwin

    Slavery may be illegal almost everywhere, but like every other illegal thing it still happens. The author here was first a child soldier (basically a form of slavery), then sold into slavery aboard a fishing ship for almost 4 years, then after swimming to shore, was sold by his rescuers as a slave on a palm oil plantation. A few lucky breaks allow him to contact someone back home in Cambodia who knows how to work through international agencies to bring him home. But it wasn't easy. His owner, wh Slavery may be illegal almost everywhere, but like every other illegal thing it still happens. The author here was first a child soldier (basically a form of slavery), then sold into slavery aboard a fishing ship for almost 4 years, then after swimming to shore, was sold by his rescuers as a slave on a palm oil plantation. A few lucky breaks allow him to contact someone back home in Cambodia who knows how to work through international agencies to bring him home. But it wasn't easy. His owner, whom he knew as 'crazy boss' turns out to be a police chief who holds him in custody while working on his release. He has to pretend not to recognize the chief, and even then spend months in several prisons, before finally getting to go home. Then his wife back home doesn't believe his story. The fact that he knew how to draw was actually quite helpful to him at times to get better treatment and to escape. It also helps him eventually convince his wife. It also helps bring the story to my attention, since I'd be unlikely to pick up this memoir if it were in text form. If you are buying cheap seafood from Asia, for yourself or in your pet food, you may be unintentionally helping keep slavery alive. But the same is true for numerous other products. I wish I knew a good way to avoid unintentionally supporting such practices.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cornell

    The illustrations are beautiful. The writing is simple, yet effective in conveying a heartbreaking story of human trafficking.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Betsey

    Heartbreaking. It’s a memoir of a modern slave, so this wasn’t a surprise. The immerse nature of the art did a good job at showing how it is to be enslaved and impossible it is to just escape.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mick Howey

    A sobering recounting of a man's path into slavery, first aboard a fishing vessel then on a plantation, and his eventual way back home to his wife and daughter. The book is beautifully illustrated by author. The drawings help to convey his story and reinforce this harrowing tale. This book will stay with you for sometime. A sobering recounting of a man's path into slavery, first aboard a fishing vessel then on a plantation, and his eventual way back home to his wife and daughter. The book is beautifully illustrated by author. The drawings help to convey his story and reinforce this harrowing tale. This book will stay with you for sometime.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    This was an absolutely horrific memoir that I would recommend people read. The illustrations are an excellent way to convey and personalize the information.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Krystal

    This will probably haunt me for awhile.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mills College Library

    331.7 P9719d 2018

  11. 5 out of 5

    Edward Sullivan

    Prum, a Cambodian self-taught artist and laborer, seeks work in Thailand but is instead sold for slave labor into the Malaysian fishing industry. Injury from dangerous working coniditions, starvation, torture, and risk of murder become the lot of Prum and his fellow slaves. After nearly five years of enslavement, a Cambodian human rights organization helps him escape. A harrowing, visually stunning graphic memoir revealing the brutal realities of modern-day slavery.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Emma Phelps

    Required reading. This moving tale will stick with me for years. This is a PERFECT example of a stellar graphic novel.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This graphic memoir is truly a must-read. Prum's beautifully detailed illustrations are remarkable and his lived experience, told through his art and honesty, provides depth into the world of modern-day slavery. As Kevin Bale put it in the Afterword, the shame that ex-slaves often carry is irrational. "The victims have not done anything wrong, indeed they have been very seriously wronged. But the stigma of enslavement, a product of long-term physical and psychological abuse by slaveholders, press This graphic memoir is truly a must-read. Prum's beautifully detailed illustrations are remarkable and his lived experience, told through his art and honesty, provides depth into the world of modern-day slavery. As Kevin Bale put it in the Afterword, the shame that ex-slaves often carry is irrational. "The victims have not done anything wrong, indeed they have been very seriously wronged. But the stigma of enslavement, a product of long-term physical and psychological abuse by slaveholders, presses upon the minds and emotions of slaves long after they've gained their freedom, with enduring trauma to both their sense of self and self-expression." I am deeply moved by how Prum carried himself through his endeavors and how his love for his family kept him going. He shows humanity in the most inhumane experiences and his survival to share his story and give light and voice to those who've been silenced (or are still silenced) is incredible.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Wow. I feel bad because I picked up this book for superficial reasons and it turned out to be completely captivating and eye opening. I needed a book set at sea for my Pop Sugar reading challenge and needed some shorter books to finish my Goodreads challenge too. I was pulled in immediately in the forward by someone from the Human Rights Watch documenting slave labor used for international fishing. I feel well versed in the human rights abuses across many occupations including construction, hote Wow. I feel bad because I picked up this book for superficial reasons and it turned out to be completely captivating and eye opening. I needed a book set at sea for my Pop Sugar reading challenge and needed some shorter books to finish my Goodreads challenge too. I was pulled in immediately in the forward by someone from the Human Rights Watch documenting slave labor used for international fishing. I feel well versed in the human rights abuses across many occupations including construction, hotel work, salons, and domestic workers. I have even been to a panel discussion on human trafficking by an internationally known experts. But honestly, fishing never occurred to me as a line of work that is susceptible to human rights violations but it makes complete sense. This powerful graphic novel tells the story of Vannak Prum, a Cambodian who leaves his pregnant wife to find work and ends up sold and resold over the course of five years, four spent at sea. Always an artist, Prum spends some of that time tattooing for other slaves and even captors and his seemingly simple drawings are emotional and unforgettable. I would suggest this to many readers who are both familiar and unfamiliar with modern day slavery and those who like moving graphic memoirs that strongly show an "own voice" like The Best We Could Do or Stitches.

  15. 5 out of 5

    patty

    Last night while browsing the graphic novels section of kindle books available through my library system, this book caught my eye. Good catch. This is an autobiographical account of a Cambodian man who suffered for years at the hands of the those manning modern day slavery systems in the fishing industry. Leaving Cambodia for Thailand on the hunt for paying work to feed his young family, he was kidnapped, sold, and placed on a deep sea fishing boat for years, never leaving the boat. Food was one Last night while browsing the graphic novels section of kindle books available through my library system, this book caught my eye. Good catch. This is an autobiographical account of a Cambodian man who suffered for years at the hands of the those manning modern day slavery systems in the fishing industry. Leaving Cambodia for Thailand on the hunt for paying work to feed his young family, he was kidnapped, sold, and placed on a deep sea fishing boat for years, never leaving the boat. Food was one bowl of rice a day and allowed sleep was only three hours a night. Everything else was hellish hard manual labor with many hazards. Only through his art, he was afforded small breaks throughout his ordeal some of which aided to his eventual escape. This book is his story told through his incredible, detailed drawings. Personally I stopped buying seafood that comes from southeast Asia years ago, not even realizing how this cheap seafood came to market. Truth: It comes to market via modern day slavery. Profits over people. In 2012 US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton awarded Vannak Anan Prum the Human Rights Defender Award. Everyone should read this book. I urge you to boycott seafood sourced from southeast Asia so that you do not contribute to their profits (over human lives.)

  16. 5 out of 5

    Keen

    “I was fourteen the first time I went into battle. There was no training. They gave me a uniform and a gun, and sent me to fight the Khmer Rouge. I saw men kill and be killed. I saw men and boys my age with their limbs blown off, bleeding to death. At first I was terrified, and sure I would be next. But soon it became as normal as watching a movie. I never shot at anyone. I aimed over their heads.” This is a fairly incredible story of modern day slavery, and the adventure he ends up stumbling int “I was fourteen the first time I went into battle. There was no training. They gave me a uniform and a gun, and sent me to fight the Khmer Rouge. I saw men kill and be killed. I saw men and boys my age with their limbs blown off, bleeding to death. At first I was terrified, and sure I would be next. But soon it became as normal as watching a movie. I never shot at anyone. I aimed over their heads.” This is a fairly incredible story of modern day slavery, and the adventure he ends up stumbling into is almost of Homeric proportions as he battles to get back to his wife and home country. The introduction gives us an idea of the prevalence and scale of such practices and abuses, especially throughout Asia. According to studies done in 2016 there are thought to be at least 40 million people throughout the world being held in some sort of slave like conditions. The colouring is rich and vivid, really bringing the balmy and sleepy Cambodian village alive, as well as the horror and brutality of what he experiences at sea and in Malaysia. His drawing has its strengths though it can be inconsistent, he does seem to have a particular gift for drawing faces. This is a startling account that makes for shocking and compelling reading.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    A graphic memoir of slavery at sea, Dead Eye and the Deep Blue Sea is a really brutal read. Vannak Anan Prum left his pregnant wife in Cambodia to seek work to support her and their child, but he was in fact sold into slavery on a fishing vessel out of Thailand. The boat never returned to land, unloading its fish onto smaller boats that then took it to shore, in order to keep its crew aboard. Vannak eventually made his escape into Malaysia, where he was promptly sold into slavery on a plantation A graphic memoir of slavery at sea, Dead Eye and the Deep Blue Sea is a really brutal read. Vannak Anan Prum left his pregnant wife in Cambodia to seek work to support her and their child, but he was in fact sold into slavery on a fishing vessel out of Thailand. The boat never returned to land, unloading its fish onto smaller boats that then took it to shore, in order to keep its crew aboard. Vannak eventually made his escape into Malaysia, where he was promptly sold into slavery on a plantation. An NGO finally secured his release and returned him to his family after five years away. As I said, it's a brutal read, and it's a graphic novel, so it's almost harder to see. Vannak holds nothing back, and since his is one of the first (if not the first) survivor's narrative about life on these fishing boats, he tells as much as he can to awaken the world to their plight. I think it's an important read, but if you're sensitive to images maybe read a few news articles first so you understand what you're getting into.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ilse O'Brien

    After leaving his pregnant wife to find work to pay for her upcoming hospital bill, the author/illustrator was enslaved for almost 5 years. When he returned to his wife in Cambodia — she didn’t believe or recognize him. He drew the pictures in this book to explain what had happened to him. An incredible, true story of survival. Heartbreaking, eye-opening. Prum has incredible emotional and psychological strength, a true superhero. Highly recommend.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rick

    Found this at the library. A very dark and sad yet heroic tale of a young Cambodian man trying to find work to take care of his new family and finding himself blackmailed into slavery on a fishing boat for three years. This book is like a sad song sung so beautifully you almost forget how sad and brutally harsh this man's story is. Drawing is the throughline, how it opens doors, creates relationships, helps him escape, helps him endure, and now helps him deal. Found this at the library. A very dark and sad yet heroic tale of a young Cambodian man trying to find work to take care of his new family and finding himself blackmailed into slavery on a fishing boat for three years. This book is like a sad song sung so beautifully you almost forget how sad and brutally harsh this man's story is. Drawing is the throughline, how it opens doors, creates relationships, helps him escape, helps him endure, and now helps him deal.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Salamah

    What a story! This man has survived so much. Yes, slavery is still going on around the world and this important story is a must read. Mr. Prum has shared his heartbreaking story to not only share his art but also make us aware of human rights issues. It was a definitely overwhelming to read and made me say "What can I do to help"? Mr. Pru is a warrior for the human spirit. What a story! This man has survived so much. Yes, slavery is still going on around the world and this important story is a must read. Mr. Prum has shared his heartbreaking story to not only share his art but also make us aware of human rights issues. It was a definitely overwhelming to read and made me say "What can I do to help"? Mr. Pru is a warrior for the human spirit.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Powerful and tragic, with beautifully colored and uniquely drawn illustrations. It is remarkable to me how often Vannak's ability to draw gave him an advantage in the midst of his terrible situation, and yet in every day life, he continues to struggle to make ends meet despite his great talent. A paradox of sorts, it is. Powerful and tragic, with beautifully colored and uniquely drawn illustrations. It is remarkable to me how often Vannak's ability to draw gave him an advantage in the midst of his terrible situation, and yet in every day life, he continues to struggle to make ends meet despite his great talent. A paradox of sorts, it is.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Liz Yerby

    Usually this illustration /text on the side format doesn’t work for me, but this story is really gripping. It feels very real despite how distant it is from most readers realities. Also it’s an issue and story I haven’t heard before at all!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Symchych

    What a powerful story and an amazing man. To have gone through the years of enslavement and imprisonment yet come out mentally healthy and determined to share his story and make a difference! We can’t forget that slavery is not just a relic of the past but a current scourge as well.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    The story of a man sold into slavery in the modern day. The illustrations and words work together to highlight the plight of the poor and vulnerable. A must read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    A story of modern human trafficking in Southeast Asia.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Sciarrino

    An incredible graphic novel A victim of human trafficking, who was only trying to feed his family tells his story through powerful drawings. An amazing talent. A powerfully sad story of what humans do to humans. 😢

  27. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    Composition amazed me, both in the narrative and each panel of art. Fascinating to see artistic techniques from someone on the other side of the world who never received training.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    Essential reading on the intersection of mass consumption and modern slavery. Beautifully illustrated, tragic and heartbreaking.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Graeme

    An incredible narrative with illustrations by a Khmer from Cambodia who went through a series of modern horrors in Southeast Asia for 5 years as a slave on ships out to sea (not a romanticized view of pirates here). He had no formal training as an artist and his skills place his great works among a horrific folk art kind of style.

  30. 4 out of 5

    June

    The illustrations are lovely and the story needs to be told.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...