Best books set in Thailand discussion

148 views
Bangkok to Goodreads

Comments Showing 1-29 of 29 (29 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Harlan (new)

Harlan Wolff (harlanwolff) | 4 comments I am a Bangkok based PI and have recently published my first detective fiction 'Bangkok Rules' and am learning my way around Goodreads. This looks like my kind of group. Hello to all of you.


message 2: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Hicks | 1 comments There's a number of books about PIs in Bangkok which you should enjoy... as you should enjoy being a PI! If you'd like to read a love story that's reputed to tell readers a lot about relationships between farang men and Thais and what drives the latter, do please read THAI GIRL. I'm pleased that it's just appeared on Dasa Bookshop's bestseller list, up against the big hitters who are backed by big commercial publishers. It's nearly ten years ago that I wrote it and it's still selling well. Andrew Hicks


message 3: by Warren (new)

Warren Olson (warrenolson) | 6 comments Mod
I rate Stephen Leathers Private Dancer as one of the best novels 'loosley' based on the writers first hand Thai knowledge/bar girl experiences !
Bangkok Blackmail - that I recently put out as a kindle, is also very much based on a case I handled.
The only thing that tends to annoy me a little when reading books about S.E.Asian 'dtectives/private eyes' is the ease with which many seem to carry guns.
Obviously the authors as westerners have never tried producing a gun in public especially in Thailand, would have the equivilent of their armed offenders squad swarming the area within minutes !
Best of luck in your endeavours Harlan ~


message 4: by Harlan (new)

Harlan Wolff (harlanwolff) | 4 comments Thanks Warren. I had a drink with Stephen Leather last week and so decided it was time I read Private Dancer. He nailed the Nana Plaza scene. I was impressed.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Jake Needham said the Bangkok bar scene had been written up to death in a 2001 interview, and that he, personally, would never write a book that had Go Go girls or Go Go bars in one of his books. And Jake seems to have stuck to his promise. Good on him. But Timothy Hallinan came along with his Poke Rafferty series, which I had never read. The fourth one, QUEEN OF PATPONG, got such rave reviews, including from some authors I respect, I had to give it a go. Hallinan got an Edgar Nomination for the book, among others, which is no easy feat. And deservedly so. QUEEN OF PATPONG always leads any and all lists about Bangkok based crime fiction books, which I have read, even though I am not wild about his protagonist because he is a writer, albeit a travel writer. Anyway, Queen of Patpong my runaway winner for best book set in Thailand. But as James A. Newman, the new kid on the block says, they are my thoughts, like raindrops, they mean nothing ...


message 6: by Harlan (new)

Harlan Wolff (harlanwolff) | 4 comments Bars are part of expat life in Bangkok. High level corruption may be discussed under chandeliers in five-star hotels but crime, organised and otherwise, typically has its roots in a bar on one of a few streets in Bangkok.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Tend to agree, Harlan. My rule is: I don't care where good writing takes place, as long as it's good writing. And speaking of rules, this may interest you from a marketing standpoint ... I am waiting until BANGKOK RULES hits the shelves in paperback in the LOS... And I will tell you the reason ... I heard you intro'd BANGKOK RULES as a freebie in Ebook version ... and I always hate it when I miss the freebie and have to shell out a short while later ... just on principal more than anything ... so I'd just as soon own the paper ... I like your price point on paper in the USA ... if I was there I probably would have already bought it ... congrats on your first one ... Cheers.


message 8: by Harlan (new)

Harlan Wolff (harlanwolff) | 4 comments The paperback for Asia is slick and will hit the shelves end April to early May. Cost should be 360 baht.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/94...

I'd also throw out GAMBLING ON MAGIC by Christopher G. Moore, which is not a Calvino crime book. Rather the protagonist is a Vegas TV show bookie and odds-maker who retires to Thailand, has two girlfriends and a lot on the ball. The book came out as everyone was transitioning to Ebooks I think and didn't get a lot of pub. Complex, but very entertaining. Involves a cold case Las Vegas casino cage robbery that leads to Bangkok. My review is at the above link.


message 10: by Warren (new)

Warren Olson (warrenolson) | 6 comments Mod
Not a great fan of futuristic novels ;
But must admit the way a future Bangkok is depicted in "The Windup Girl" is very thought provoking -


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks, Warren. Like you I am not a sci-fi guy at all. I took a look at the first chapter of THE WINDUP GIRL over the weekend and decided to try it, based in part on what you said, above.


message 12: by Warren (new)

Warren Olson (warrenolson) | 6 comments Mod
Knowing Bangkok/Thailand -I am sure you will get through/enjoy it Kevin. It certainly is food for thought, and rising water levels worldwide make the idea of a sandbagged Krungthep not seem all that far fetched!


message 13: by Matt (new)

Matt Carrell (mattcarrell) | 4 comments Some great books listed in this thread - I hope you will take a look at Thai Lottery. There are five copies available in the Giveaways section of this site. http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/sho...

Am also new to this site - any tips on getting the best out of it gratefully received.


message 14: by Matt (new)

Matt Carrell (mattcarrell) | 4 comments Harlan wrote: "I am a Bangkok based PI and have recently published my first detective fiction 'Bangkok Rules' and am learning my way around Goodreads. This looks like my kind of group. Hello to all of you."
Harlan - just finished Bangkok Rules - very entertaining stuff. I was certain you were going to have to do one of those wimpy - "but it all turned out alright in the end" endings. You proved me wrong - very clever and credible denouement.


message 15: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 1 comments Timothy Hallinan's books are indeed wonderful, and I thoroughly enjoy Jake Needham, and Christopher G. Moore's books. I would like to give a special note for John Burdett's Bangkok series (Bangkok 8, Bangkok Tattoo - Sonchai Jitpleecheep is one of the most endearing Bangkok detectives out there).

Love those Bangkok crime thrillers !


message 16: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Gilbert | 8 comments Who knew Krung Thep generated so much fiction!!
Has anyone read "Letters from Bangkok"? Thai friends recommended it and I read it years ago in translation. It doesn't show up on Goodreads that I can find.


message 17: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Gilbert | 8 comments Harlan wrote: "I am a Bangkok based PI and have recently published my first detective fiction 'Bangkok Rules' and am learning my way around Goodreads. This looks like my kind of group. Hello to all of you."

Congratulations, Harlan.


message 18: by Warren (new)

Warren Olson (warrenolson) | 6 comments Mod
Hi Suzanne ; have heard of 'Letters from Bangkok' but not read it. I believe it was written a few decades ago and may have been re released under another name.
I think this is the book :
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...


message 19: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Gilbert | 8 comments Nope. The Thai bestseller was written by a Thai and was told in the voice of a Chinese immigrant to Bangkok. Thanks,though.


message 20: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Gilbert | 8 comments Maybe another Bangkok PI book to add to the list is "Bangkok Eight".
I'm glad to have found you guys here. I do have scenes set just outside the old Patpong before it was cleaned up and outside Chiang Rai -- but from the woman's voice. ;-)
Sanuk, na?


message 21: by Warren (new)

Warren Olson (warrenolson) | 6 comments Mod
Have you read Colin Cotterill's Siri series/the Coroners lunch etc. Great insight in Laos/Vientiane in the 50's. Personally I rate the pragmatic Dr Siri character far more interesting/insightful and correct character-wise than Burdetts Sonchai who seems to insist on calling me/the reader 'you- farang' and tries to ram the intricacies of Buddhism ( from HIS perspective ) down my throat at every opportunity :)


message 22: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Gilbert | 8 comments Warren wrote: "Have you read Colin Cotterill's Siri series/the Coroners lunch etc. Great insight in Laos/Vientiane in the 50's. Personally I rate the pragmatic Dr Siri character far more interesting/insightful an..."
No, that's a new one to me - I'm going to peruse your "bookshelf," ok?


message 23: by Warren (new)

Warren Olson (warrenolson) | 6 comments Mod
All good Suzanne ; Have a trilogy of my own just undergoing edit/format procedure that are based around a P.I. along the lines of myself that will be out in the New Year. I guess a pet hate of mine is Thai based books that feature serial killers/gun toting westerners and such ; as I often point out to the writers, just try waving a gun around in Bangkok and see how it go's, you would have half the cities police force after you in minutes. So although all novels need some coincidences/raid rise or fall in fortune etc, I tend to like those that you can say 'Yes, I guess things could have happened like that' ~
The only thing against that theory with Colin's Dr Siri series is the regular appearance of spirits ; but that is a strong Laos belief and the readers are also kept down to earth by the good Doctors downs syndrome mortuary assistant ! Im sure you will enjoy the series.


message 24: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Gilbert | 8 comments Warren wrote: "All good Suzanne ; Have a trilogy of my own just undergoing edit/format procedure that are based around a P.I. along the lines of myself that will be out in the New Year. I guess a pet hate of mine..."
I look forward to it. Two questions: Where will it be published?
As a PI yourself, have you ever helped an overseas adoptee find birth family? That's one of the roles of the PI in TAPIOCA FIRE:
http://www.amazon.com/Tapioca-Fire-Su...


message 25: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Gilbert | 8 comments Goodreads will be giving away paperback copies of my novel!!
You can enter the giveaway for one of five copies of Tapioca Fire. (Description below)

Sign up has already begun at: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/sh...

Please pass this along to anyone you think might be interested.

Thank you,
Suzanne

Description of Tapioca Fire:
"Tapioca Fire opens with adoptee Susan being offered a chance to visit Thailand, the country of her birth. This quest is hers: she discovers the truth behind her relinquishment, the life she might have led and a new purpose for her life going forward.

But it is as much the story of her adoptive parents who became pioneers in international adoption after weathering an irreversible tragedy. This tribute to all aspects of the adoption triad includes stories of the women and men who gave children away lovingly, pragmatically or under horrible duress, and introduces us to David who, like many adoptees, chooses never to search for his missing father.

If you want to learn more about adoption, including the rich search & reunion subculture populated with sleuths, search angels and political activists, Tapioca Fire is a journey worth taking."


message 26: by Matt (new)

Matt Carrell (mattcarrell) | 4 comments Released this week. Vortex is my third Thai based book.I hope anyone interested in Thai based fiction will check it out -
http://www.amazon.com/Vortex-Matt-Car...

In nature, the vortex takes many forms. On land or at sea it is mesmerising, powerful and destructive. When Andy Duncan secures a dream job in an Asian investment company, he discovers that the same forces apply in business. The pursuit of power, money and status blurs moral boundaries and once the first line is crossed the vortex will drag you in. Duncan is learning to play the game, but those around him are changing all the rules and he soon realises that his career, his freedom and even his life may be at stake. He is thrown many lifelines, the question is whether he can trust his saviours and whether he's willing to pay the price they demand.


message 27: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Gilbert | 8 comments Good luck, Matt. Bangkok is a beautiful setting to bring to literary life!


message 28: by Matt (new)

Matt Carrell (mattcarrell) | 4 comments Suzanne wrote: "Good luck, Matt. Bangkok is a beautiful setting to bring to literary life!"

Suzanne - many thanks. And best of luck with Tapioca Fire.

Matt


message 29: by James (new)

James Newman | 1 comments Red Night Zone, a Bangkok fiction book is free at the moment. Just click to download. The Dylan series has picked up a couple of translation deals, has been adapted for a motion picture, and audio versions are out there. Not a bad place to start for anybody looking to explore the strange phenomenon that is Bangkok fiction.
http://spankingpulppress.com/the-deal/


back to top