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Smoking Poppy

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  569 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
Graham Joyce
travels to an enthralling, suspense-charged landscape in this hallucinatory novel of a father's quest to save his daughter -- without destroying himself.
Dan Innes has received shattering news from the British Embassy in Bangkok: his daughter, Charlie, whom he hasn't seen or spoken to in two years, has been imprisoned in a Thai jail for drug smuggling. Angry,
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 18th 2003 by Washington Square Press (first published 2001)
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J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite reads from 2016 was SMOKING POPPY. A bit of a departure from Joyce's usual dark fantasy fare, this is an amazing book. Reminiscent of Theroux's THE LOWER RIVER, this novel is a classic tale of a man out of his element in a foreign country. He's in over his head and has to find a way out of his predicament, just to survive. Wonderful characters and a story that will keep you guessing until the end. I loved this book.
Doug Bradshaw
Feb 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I still feel a little hot and sweaty, stinky, clothes are stained and dirty, mosquito bites both old and new all over my body, and I’m very relieved to leave the jungles of Thailand still in one piece. Graham Joyce, or at least the protagonist in this story, is a bit of a red neck (what do we call red necks from England?) know it all, emotionally closed guy who has lost any meaningful connection to his two kids who are in their twenties, one a born again Christian (boy how that bothers our hero, ...more
This is my second book this month by this author. I am already planning on reading more. I hadn't even heard of him before coming across Some Kind Of Fairy Tale. These books were completely different but I enjoyed both. I felt pretty sure I was going to like this one after reading the author's note in the beginning. I could relate to his thoughts on his love for his children.
This one for me was scary in its subject matter. Receiving a call that his daughter (who is just out of Oxford) is in a T
Dec 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
For me, this book had it exciting, fast paced story, that whilst being both an adventure and a mystery, was peopled by ordinary everyday characters who were flawed with all the usual human failings, but who magnificently rose to the occasion when someone they loved was in danger.
This was a novel about the fierce and unquestionable love of a parent for their child, no matter how difficult that child has's also about the love of an adult son for a less than perfect Father, an
Oct 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
A British father gets a phone call that his 20-something daughter is incarcerated in a jail in Thailand for smuggling dope. With a drinking buddy and his son, he rushes to Thailand, only to find that the girl incarcerated is not his daughter, but has his daughter's passport. They embark on an arduous journey into the jungles near the border with Myanmar, where drug lords control villages in the cultivation of poppies and finding his daughter is only the beginning of their harrowing experience.

Joseph D'Lacey
Jan 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was such an enjoyable read that I actually got angry whenever anyone interrupted my reading of it. I flew through the pages like I used to years ago. It’s easy to fall out of love with reading when you write. I think this is because you develop such a hyper-critical eye – both for your own work and everyone else’s.

But Joyce’s style and first person narration built swiftly from a trickle to a torrent and the momentum carried me effortlessly to the book’s conclusion. A bit like the raft ride
Nancy Oakes
Feb 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: uk-fiction
Smoking Poppy tells the story of Danny Innes, who one day gets a phone call saying that his daughter Charlie has been arrested in Thailand. It seems that she's now imprisoned and may be facing the death penalty. Even though Charlie and Danny have been somewhat estranged for a while now (since Charlie went off to Oxford, it seems), Danny is off to see what he can do. He is accompanied by a friend, Mick, and his son Phil, who has channeled his alienation from his father into religious zealotry. Th ...more
Nov 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Joyce, guys with grown kids, kids with grown fathers
Shelves: fiction-modern
Dan Innes has serious flaws as a father, husband and friend, the least of which being that he doesn't realize he's flawed. Dan's journey to attempt to locate and then ultimately bring his daughter home from jungles of Thailand is also a journey where he must confront and accept his own imperfections, as well as accepting the imperfections and embracing the strengths of those around him. In reality, this is a coming of age story for a middle-aged guy. It took awhile to realize that it was Dan who ...more
Aug 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book represents a nearly perfect narrative set-up. Curmudgeonly dude whose life is kinda of falling apart in slow motion gets a phone call out of the blue and learns that his estranged daughter is locked up in a Thai prison for smuggling opium, facing a possible life sentence (or worse). Accompanied by a drinking buddy (a kindhearted, somewhat goofy bear of a man), and his tense, evangelical Christian son, he sets off to fight for her freedom. From there, the story twists and it turns. Ther ...more
Oct 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: british
Dan Innes is a father, his two children, Phil and Charlie are young adults, independent, wilful, detached. Somewhere along the way he lost the connection with his kids, more recently he lost a connection with their mother. Now, with books as his only friend, he plays weekly trivia with a group of people he doesn’t like, and pool with a man he hardly knows. That’s just how he likes it.

When he receives word that his daughter, Charlie, is in Chang Mai prison, Thailand, for opium smuggling, he sets
Anna Klein
Sep 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Dan Innes's little girl, Charlie, is now an adult with a mind of her own. And she's in a Thailand prison. Even though she never turns to her daddy for help anymore, when he hears she could get the death penalty it never occurs to him not to rush to her aid. Leaving behind his intellectual but empty life in London, Dan takes his pub buddy, Mick, and his fanatically Christian son, Phil, and sets out on the long journey to find his daughter. Instead, he finds the girl who stole her passport. Desper ...more
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is different from the first four Graham Joyce stories I've read in that it does not start with a happy but dysfunctional family in the heart of England, but starts with a father, estranged from his two adult children, and separated from his wife, who is completely at a loss as to how this happened.

His life is filled with the day to day things, but he keeps a distance between himself and everyone and yet, he has a best friend, Mick, who would do anything for him.

When word comes that his daug
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Graham Joyce has been one of my favorite authors for years, ever since I discovered him with Some Kind of Fairy Tale. Most of his books that I've read, however, seem to have astounding, otherworldly conceits and immediately hook me in at the beginning, but end sort of abruptly. This was true for me with Indigo, Requiem, and even in Some Kind of Fairy Tale, all of which I still loved, however I feel like with its simple but gripping story and (especially!) the satisfying ending Smoking Poppy is m ...more
Apr 27, 2015 rated it liked it
When Daniel's Oxford-educated daughter ends up in a Thai prison on drug charges, he and his motley crew of companions head to Asia to release her. From there, they are sent on a wild opium chase through the jungles of Thailand, learning (the hard way) about drugs, warlords and addiction.
The first half of the novel kept me amused as perpetually-negative Dan leaves his pathetic excuse for life in search of his once doted-upon daughter. For the first time in years, his eyes are opened to the world
Miriam Michalak
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 stars for this tale of a man trying to save his daughter. We follow Dan as he leaves his quiet & somewhat boring life of pub quizzes and trying to build flatpack furniture to save his daughter who is reportedly in a Thai prison for smuggling opium. He is joined on his journey by drinking buddy Mick & his son.

Well paced and very well written - I felt every mossie bite, the contant sweating and could almost smell the deep jungles of Thailand/Myanmar.
The Elves
Feb 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Graham Joyce is a great author...
dear lovers of wonderful fiction,
... whose characters come alive. In this novel, Daniel is a father who cannot understand how he has become so estranged from his son Phil, who's become a fundamentalist Christian, and more particularly, his beloved daughter Charlie, about whom he receives news that she is languishing in a Thai prison for smuggling dope. This leads him on an adventure to the heart of poppy country, and into the world were the spirits reside beside
Terry Mark
Aug 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A book that takes you on a journey into the dark side of the thai opium trade to find a lost daughter deep within the jungle. Fascinating and brutal at times but a book that's hard to put down and has you on the edge of your seat right to the end. Another Graham Joyce masterpiece.Graham Joyce lost his battle with cancer last tuesday he will be very sadly missed by me and the rest of his many followers.
Aug 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you enjoy novels about Westerners traveling to 3rd world countries and dealing with danger and other difficult problems, then you will enjoy this novel. This tale takes place in the jungles of Northern Thailand. A man goes to rescue his daughter from a Thai jail and .... won't spoil the story.
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 17
"Отец - это человек с разбитым сердцем и порезанной рукой"
Захватило дух, проникся целиком и полностью маленьким приключением.
Stephen Castley
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Joyce has set "Smoking Poppy" in northern Thailand. I think he has given a realistic description of the country and people. I enjoyed the story line and his take on places I have often visited.
Trev Twinem
I loved the beginning of this quirky little book...Danny bit of a louse living alone from his estranged family finds out that his daughter is missing and heads off to the steamy sights of Chiang-Mai in Thailand (or as his friend Mick likes to call it Thighland! in hot persuit)He is accompanied by this best friend Mick and his somewhat aloof and strange son Phil. I thought the scenes in Chiang-Mai were great fun and in particular one incident with Mick bought a big smile to my face...however once ...more
Sabrina Harvey
Jul 06, 2013 rated it liked it
I loved the premise of this story, and sympathized with Dan and his twisted wreck of a life. Since I love travel and Asia, I love the setting of this story and the descriptions of Thailand. I learned something about opium growing and the opium trade. I thought Dan's jealousy of this children, and his reaction to it, was an interesting insight. And that meshed well with the mocking, negative persona he projected at the beginning of the story.

I thought the characters were too stereotyped, and Oxf
Aug 09, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel is about a divorced, middle aged electrician who hears that his precociously intelligent daughter has been arrested in Thailand for drug-trafficking. Accompanied by his drinking mate, an overweight fruit and vegetable seller and his son, a laconic born-again Christian, he sets off after her, determined to bring her home. As with Joyce's other books, the supernatural hovers just out of sight. Strange things happen, but there's always an alternative explanation. I found the final twist, ...more
Sep 25, 2015 rated it liked it
I only just learnt Mr Joyce is no longer with us which is quite sad but what a legacy he has left us. This is my third book of the authors and was keen to read as I'm visiting Chiang Mia next year coupled with my admiration of the author's previous efforts which I thoroughly enjoyed. This venture is a worthwhile read though once the tale was in the village I did think it wavered a little and the book wobbled on a chore to read. But read I did and would suggest this isn't Graham's Jewel in the cr ...more
Jan 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
One wild ride with a journey into the Myanmar jungle of Thailand where opium grows in abundance, drug lords rule with absolute authority, and Thai villagers show a respect for the power of the opium and fear the spirits who truly command the effects of the poppy. All this and the determination of a father to find and save his daughter and discover himself. I know that sounds hokey, but he really does self-discover. (In an unhokey way - if there is such a word.)
Kendra Kettelhut
Apr 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
This one took a while for me to get into. Sometimes it is hard to tell whether that is the book's fault or my own distractions in my life that result in reading less in general, especially when I am so pleased by my feeling at the completition of the novel. I really in the end of this felt it really had a great deal of complexity and a very interesting story to escape into during the time it took me to read this.
Aug 06, 2007 rated it really liked it
A British father learns that his largely estranged daughter has been arrested and detained for drug-smuggling in Thailand. His quest (with his equally estranged son and his "best friend") is part adventure, part Heart of Darkness, part religious pilgrimage and just freaky enough to be not only entertaining but really worthwhile.
Feb 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, urban, horror
My first book to finish in 2009, and an excellent way to start the year! I thoroughly enjoyed my first read from Graham Joyce -- the fast-paced events, hallucinatory images, well-drawn characters and good dialogue, the humor and sometimes caustic tone. It's a novel that tells several stories at once, and not least of all about being a father.
Jun 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book took me to the brutality of the Tai world with contrabanda, drugs and fake kidnapping. This life is not easy, but the author manages to show the emotional side of people opening their inner sides to the reader and to each other.
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Very good book by Graham Joyce - the best one I've read thus far by him - though it isn't really a scary story, which I thought would be at first. It's a page turner that's for sure, short chapters, not too much descriptions and etc...
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Graham Joyce (22 October 1954 – 9 September 2014) was an English writer of speculative fiction and the recipient of numerous awards for both his novels and short stories.

After receiving a B.Ed. from Bishop Lonsdale College in 1977 and a M.A. from the University of Leicester in 1980. Joyce worked as a youth officer for the National Association of Youth Clubs until 1988. He subsequently quit his po
More about Graham Joyce

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