Berlinski's mesmerizing first novel blurs the line between fact and fiction. A young American couple living the expatriate life in Thailand, Mischa and Rachel struggle to keep one step ahead of insolvency. Rachel works as a first-grade teacher; Mischa is a freelance journalist. When they meet up with a bibulous fellow expat who...more
This story had me in its grip on so many levels. First, it is a murder mystery (which I love) and I found it set up and then unraveled in a very interesting way. The reader, through the protaganist, becomes the anthropologist as you pi...more
it’s an interesting premise: mischa berlinski (and we could spend the rest of the afternoon discussing the implications of a novelist naming his fictional protagonist after himself), while in thailand with his girlfriend, stumbles on this improbable murder story. an anthropologis...more
How do I know this? I worked with Mischa briefly in 2001. Though our ‘relationship’ can be, at best, characterized as a casual acquaintance,...more
The book was incredibly cinematic, but the payoff in the end was not what it could have been...more
I found the book to be interesting, rye and fast-paced. The only part I thought slowed down the book was the background of the Walkers--the missionary family whom Martiya visited and ultimately murdered youngest son David.
My suggestion is to listen to the book. I don't know that I would have caught the wit of the author through readin...more
When his girlfriend takes a job as a schoolteacher in northern Thailand, Mischa Berlinski goes along for the ride, working as little as possible for one
of Thailand's English-language newspapers. One evening a fellow expatriate tips him off to a story. A charismatic American anthropologist, Martiya van
der Leun, is being imprisoned in a Thai prison where she was serving a 5...more
The story is narrated by a young journalist who hears about the intriguing tale of the...more
1- I probably wouldn't have chosen to read it on my own (that's why you join a book club, after all)
2- Rather than assuming my usual leisurely pace, I read it in three days.
Before I start, let me say that there seems to be a bunch of literature that seems overly burdened with facts and research. These books never seem to be captivated by flights of imagination; they are constrained by the need to expose and relay weirdly integ...more
The novel tracks the story of three generations of Protestant missionaries dedicated to converting the Dy...more
Berlinski embeds this story in his (?) personal account of living in Thailand. That adds a nice perspective to the story, as it shows life in a foreign country apart from the challenge of doing fieldwork.
Also, the author gives thorough descriptions of every involved...more
The main character, named Mischa (like the author) starts investigating, and soon becomes obsessed with finding out the truth about what happened.
The story is about what happens to expatriates who struggle to understand the foreign cultures around them, told fro...more
Mischa Berlinski originally intended to write an account of the real-life Lisu tribe of Thailand, but held scant interest in the project until he decided to fictionalize the natives and turned his research into a novel. In this readable and clever debut, told almost entirely in backstory, Berlinski explores the problems inherent in trying to assume the perspective of another person or culture and the enduring conflict between faith and science. While he treats each perspective with genuine empat...more
Two things killed it for me: 1) Most of the book is relayed in a third-person history of GENERATIONS of people - many people, too many for me to keep up with sometimes. There...more
AND? It was pretty good! I was frustrated with the ending, but, I enjoyed the story -- the characters were well formed, and the author spent a lot of time building a history that brought you to the climax with a nice roar.
HOW WAS THE ENDING? Mm, so-so. The story is written a bit back-to-front, in that you know the end when you get started, you just don't know how you got there. The middl...more
The point-of-view changes consistently from the under-employed journalist narrator to the different characters he interviews, going back multiple generations and following a myriad of anecdotal plot detours. The story switches back and forth from first-person to third-person, until a final, opium...more
|Books Stephen Kin...: * Fieldwork by Mischa Berlinski General Discussion||44||59||Dec 01, 2011 03:39pm|
|Books Stephen Kin...: Overal Impression/Final Comments (SPOILER ALERT)||6||17||Nov 24, 2011 11:11am|
|Books Stephen Kin...: Epilogue (SPOILER ALERT)||4||5||Nov 24, 2011 11:09am|
|Books Stephen Kin...: Part 5: The Pendulum-Edge of the Soul (SPOILER ALERT)||5||14||Nov 24, 2011 10:32am|
|Books Stephen Kin...: Part 4: Possessed (SPOILER ALERT)||7||8||Nov 24, 2011 07:25am|
|Books Stephen Kin...: Part 3: The Native's Point of View (SPOILER ALERT)||4||10||Nov 23, 2011 07:02am|
|Books Stephen Kin...: Part 2: The Story the Walkers Told of Themselves (SPOILER ALERT)||6||11||Nov 18, 2011 04:02pm|
Among other jobs, he has worked as a journalist in Thailand.
He lives in Rome.
His first novel, Fieldwork, is widely popular and has even been chosen as a book to read in school.