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Another Quiet American: Stories of Life in Laos
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Another Quiet American: Stories of Life in Laos

3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  179 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Brett Dakin spent two years working in Laos and returned to the States a changed man. In Another Quiet American, he takes you through the corridors of power and the living rooms of the poor in Laos.

You'll meet his boss, a wealthy general whose power and reputation scares his countrymen; a prince with connections to the French colonial past; an American pilot who left home

Paperback, 296 pages
Published October 1st 2003 by Asia Books
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May 14, 2014 Charlotte rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book on Suvarnabhum in Bangkok to have something to read on the plane, and I am so glad I did. Having recently returned from my year in Laos I cannot say anything else but: I love this book.
It's fascinating to read about how the Laos I know and love has changed so much in just 15 years. This book speaks of Laos in the way I think about the country, with frustration, love and fascination.
Ian Mchugh
Jan 15, 2017 Ian Mchugh rated it liked it
This is an enjoyable book on Laos - it's culture, history, and contemporary society and politics. It gives good insights into the workings of the country through the eye of an expat American who has a two-year job in Vientiane. If you're visiting the country or wish to know more about it then I'd recommend.
Nancy Clark
Mar 01, 2011 Nancy Clark rated it really liked it
In 1997, after graduating from Princeton, the author spends 2 years working in Laos as a marketing consultant to the National Tourism Authority - something he knows nothing about and the government apparently has no idea what it expects. This is is a collections of stories and observations of his time there and they give a youthful, wide-eyed view of a country that most Americans know little about. Things have changed since he was there, but it is still a great background book for travel to SE A ...more
Marc Udoff
Nov 07, 2015 Marc Udoff rated it really liked it
This was collection of essays which tell the story of one young expat's understanding of Laos. Although the essays are independent of each other, reading it weaves together an understanding of what Laos was like in 2000, and apparently not much has changed. This book is very well written an you end up really feeling like you too have been lived in Vientiane. Would highly recommend to anyone visiting south east Asia, especially Laos.
Lori Watson koenig
Jan 16, 2013 Lori Watson koenig rated it really liked it
Good depiction of life in laos in modern times (I guess..I haven't been there). I learned alot about Laos from reading this book. I was particularly interested in Royal family influences and roles and the author was able to fit that and alot more information in the book without making it feel like a history textbook.
Anthony Nelson
Aug 26, 2016 Anthony Nelson rated it it was ok
A book written by a 27 year old about his adventures from 21-23. I imagine I would have enjoyed it a great deal more if I'd read it at a younger age before traveling a lot myself.

It has some value as a relatively rare book about Laos, but I'd only read it if you have very little experience traveling in Southeast Asia.
Jan 19, 2016 Sophie rated it liked it
Not great but not horrible. Sort of like reading someone's travel journal which I would have found interesting for about 30 pages. I like reading about parts of the world a cultures I don't know much about. This book gave what I thought was a good snippet of regular life in Laos. I also liked getting the history of the region.

Aug 16, 2007 Ralph rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those interested in a young man's adventures in Southeast Asia
O.K., I am biased. I am currently a volunteer teacher in Laos and this book is about as good an introduction to the people and the country as you are going to get. Mr. Dakin is the naive young American who comes to Laos to offer his services in any way he can - and the trials and tribulations which ensue. An interesting introduction to Laos and it's people by someone who cares.
Oct 26, 2008 Jennifer rated it liked it
Pretty good book about Laos. I wouldn't necessarily call it a compelling read as it's a bunch of snippets from the author's two years in Laos, but it is very accurate and provides a lot of info about a country that the rest of the world knows very little about. A good book if you want to look see a culture quite alien from western life.
Aug 21, 2007 Jessica rated it really liked it
Great snapshot of life in Vientiane, Laos prior to the 'tourist boom'. Also a good look into what it is like to live and work in a developing country.
I thouroughly enjoyed it particularly because I currently work for a non-profit just across the Mekong.
Oct 31, 2007 Dominic rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those interested in Laos and SE Asia
An amazing insight into Laos and it's people. I went to Laos earlier in the year and had no idea about the political turmoil and policies in place. It appears that government are very clever with their cover ups.

I found the discussion of Laos communism pretty interesting. A decent read.
Jun 25, 2013 Katie rated it liked it
I've had difficulty finding any books about Laos, so when I picked this one up, I wasn't expecting much. But I enjoyed all of the author's vignettes about his time working in Laos, and I hope it gave me a glimpse into Lao culture.
Apr 13, 2013 Katie rated it liked it
Maybe more like 2.5 stars.

This has a bit of compelling information unique to Laos mixed in with a bunch of other things that would seem to apply to any developing, corrupt country. An easy read for those traveling to Laos, but don't spend too much time or money on it.
Dec 16, 2012 Annie rated it liked it
Interesting read of the modern history of Laos from the perspective of a young bright american. Anyone interested in Asia, and Laos , this is a good imteresting and entertaining read.
Rachel Commons
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“  Over a bowl of steaming feu, Chinese noodle soup, Mon kept talking. As always, the soup was served with a plate piled high with fresh greens—cilantro and mint, bean sprouts and lemon—that one added for taste. On the table sat an assortment of Lao and Thai condiments like fish paste, chili peppers, and hot sauce. I usually stayed away from these deadly bottles. Mon, on the other hand, dumped a healthy dose of each into her bowl. Just one” 0 likes
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