Thailand And Asian Fiction

Whenever I am in need of factual verification, a reference, quote or whatever I turn to my bookshelves behind me and quickly (if in proper order) find the relevant book I need. However I am usually competing against the old enemy called time and fail to put the books back in any methodical order.

This of course after a while leads to having very disorganised bookshelves, meaning it takes longer to find the information I am looking for. Upon finally having wasted enough time looking for the book I wanted I decided to go through them all, organise properly and stick to taking the time of placing the book back in its rightful place.

This was not an assignment that I could devote a large amount of time to all in one go, so I allotted a 15 minute segment of organising them daily. To my surprise and horror there are actually books on my shelves that I have never read yet. A vast amount are Thailand based books collected over the years whether novels, language based products or other Thai based information products. A good proportion are Eastern philosophy and Western personal development and a large selection  salute the worlds greatest football team Manchester United and the worlds greatest ever footballer George Best.

So whilst performing this task I thought it only correct to give reference to a few book products and whilst doing that give you information on some of the authors. A  very brief who’s who if you like, but only based only on the books I have.

Bangkok Thailand

Discovering One’s Favourite Author

In the brilliant  book ”The Importance Of Living” by Lin Yutang.  The author talks about the discovery of one’s favourite author as being the most critical event in one’s intellectual development. The search of one’s favourite author or authors is an important task in itself as we must search for the author whose spirit is akin with our own and in this way comes the real good out of reading. This book should not be amongst the Thailand related category of books here, but is so good that it hardly matters.

The Importance Of Living by Lin Yutang

  I have given a couple of quotes from this great book on my work in progress website, but of course I don’t even scratch the surface or do any justice to it really at all. http://www.engagingthailand.com/importanceofliving.html

Thailand 

The first Thai related novel I ever read was ” A woman of Bangkok” by Jack Reynolds, but the first Asian based novel was ”The World of Suzy Wong” by Richard Mason, these were my introductory books to the Orient and that was before ever setting foot inside of Thailand. I must admit to nowadays buying more books in Thai script than English. Reason one for this is to enhance my Thai language ability and two is to open further cultural doors that might normally be otherwise closed off. I try to keep an eye on when possible  English written Thai based and Asian fiction, but I do admit to being slightly off track with it these days.

Lumphini Park Bangkok

Although the first two books whetted the appetite it was not until 1985 on reading the novel ”Ne’er The Twain Shall Meet” by Nick Noye that I became a massive fan of  Asian  based fiction, especially Thailand. I loved this book, the story lines , the characters and read it three times straight off.

I have given an outline of the book on my website an introduction to the story lines and characters. It was this book more than any other that lit the Asian based fiction torch. http://www.engagingthailand.com/Neerthetwain.html

Christopher G. Moore

The lions share of books on my shelves from any Asian based fiction author is from the work of Christopher G. Moore.In my time of travelling back and forth to Thailand over the last 25 years it has been his name that I have consistently seen on the Bangkok book shelves and in fact bookshops all over Thailand.

Christopher is probably best known for his incredibly popular Vincent Calvino private eye series, but has so far produced 22 published novels and other great stuff besides. Aside from his great story lines and characters I am a big fan of his cultural insights and life philosophies.At present I have the books listed below, but this is just a fraction of his work

  • God of Darkness (1998)
  • Chairs (2000)
http://www.engagingthailand.com/Chairs.html      A few words on Chairs
  • Minor Wife (2002)
  • Waiting For The Lady  (2003)
https://engagingthailandtips.wordpress.com/2011/01/30/asian-fiction-update/  A few words on waiting for the lady in a previous post
  • Gambling On Magic (currently reading) (2005)
  • The Cultural Detective (2011)
You can find out all you need to know about Christopher G. Moore and his work at his website http://www.cgmoore.com/
From his website check out the blog as well, more great stuff.
J.F Gump
I actually don’t know a great deal about this author only that I picked up by chance and enjoyed thoroughly the three novels listed below.
  • Even Thai Girls Cry (2003)
  • The Farang Affair (2006)
  • One High Season (2006)
You can find out more about the work of J.F.Gump at his website   http://www.jfgumpnovels.com/Index.html
Stephen Leather

Whenever talking to anyone regarding  reading  Thai related fiction products, the one book most fiction fans seem to have ( in some format or another) or say is their favourite is ” Private Dancer” by Stephen Leather.

In the beginning this product was only available as a free download and became somewhat of a cult classic. It was downloaded 60,000 times in more than forty different countries. The published edition has a fantastic front cover and I have a copy. Away from the thrillers he also was the author of ” Confessions Of A Bangkok Private Eye”.

http://www.stephenleather.com/privatedancer.html

Stephen Leather has written lots of  thrillers and not just Thai or Asian based fiction. Visit his website to check out the full listings and take a look at some great advice he gives on ”how to get published” and a great insight in to how he works, really good stuff.

http://www.stephenleather.com/index.html

Also from his site you can check out both his blog and E-Publishing blog

China Town, Bangkok

Collin Piprell

Next on the shelf is one of my very first Short story collections called ” Bangkok Knights” by Collin Piprell.

I have to admit to being a big fan of short stories. I was going to say a few words about the book, but found someone who has already done a fantastic job of that below. All about Bangkok Knights and mentions other fine work  by Collin Piprell. Other work includes ”Kicking dogs” and Yawn, incidentally here is a great tip, never lend any of your books out as you probably won’t see them again. I had Kicking dogs once  let someone barrow it and you know the rest.

http://www.simandan.com/?p=1287   (About Bangkok Knights)

Voicu Mihnea Simandan the gentleman who wrote the post on Bangkok Knights is also an excellent writer in his own right and it is well worth staying and looking around his site, I especially like his short stories.

The website for Collin Piprell  http://www.collinpiprell.com/

My Transport

Timothy Hallinan

The next book is one of the books I have yet to read, but it is next in line after finishing the current novel I am reading. The book is called ” The Fourth Watcher” by Timothy Hallinan and is a Bangkok thriller classed as a hard action, but more than just a detective story.

I am looking forward to reading this and will let you know all about it in due course. Tim’s most recent book ” The Queen Of Patpong”  was nominated for an edgar as the best novel of 2010. Tim is also the author of ” A nail through The Heart”

You can find out more information on the work of Tim Hallinan at his website here    http://www.timothyhallinan.com/

You can also get to Tim’s blog called ”blog Cabin from his website and to a fantastic helpful piece of work called Finish your novel. This is for anyone who may have ever considered writing a novel or for anyone  who has started a novel, but had trouble finishing it. This is incredibly useful information.

Emporium Sukhumvit Road, Find authors books here

Collection Of Authors

If you visit a previous post I did on a book called Bangkok Noir you will find most of these authors in that book and many more that have not been mentioned here. Each author contributed a short story to the book.

https://engagingthailandtips.wordpress.com/2011/05/15/thai-fiction-and-bangkok-noir-tales/

Sukhumvit Road, busy as usual

Susan Fulop Kepner

I agree absolutely just too many men listed here and time to introduce a fantastic book called ” Letters From Thailand” by Botan and  translated by a lady called Susan Fulop Kepner.

First of all how I wish I had the language translation skills from Thai to English and English to Thai of Susan and secondly this has always been one of my very favourite books. I have commented about the book on my website

http://www.engagingthailand.com/lettersfromthailand.html

Soi life, Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok

Susan is also the author of ”The Lioness in bloom” (modern Thai fiction about women), ” Married To The Demon King” and Somebody’s Mother.

Hopefully over time I will get the opportunity to re-read all books individually and let you know a lot more about them. There will be many a fine author that I have missed out here and for that I apologise, however today has been for looking at the authors of some the book products on my shelves. The rest of the Thai related book products and authors I will get around to separately over the coming months, years or whenever. There are many more novels just on my shelves, but that is a brief introduction to a few Thai related fiction novels and their authors.

If you visit the websites of the authors here you will find links and other references to many other fine authors who write Asian based fiction. Just check out the authors that have contributed to Bangkok noir for a start.

For more information on Thailand in the form of articles, tips and relevant links please visit   http://www.engagingthailand.com/  the site where work will always be in progress.

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