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"Bangkok is the sponge that absorbs 'those who have lapsed into dilettantism,' writes Osborne (The Accidental Connoisseur) in recounting his time in the fabled city of recreational sex and Buddhism. As he encounters characters questing for sensation and knowledge, he muses on how easy it is for Westerners to remake themselves in the East-much as the 19th-century English schoolteacher Anna Leonowens did when she tutored the royal children of Siam and fashioned herself into a mythologized literary figure. As he discovers in an encounter with a Catholic missionary, it is the ideal place to lose the burdensome grip of the "self." In Osborne's narrative, Bangkok serves as an existential crossroads for a cast of British, Australian and Spanish expatriates who are haphazardly searching for and running away from responsibilities; in the labyrinthine city, these tourists have established a playground for adult pleasure. As their documentarian, Osborne is at once incisive and romantic. He creates a character-driven travelogue that reveals but does not exploit the salacious subtext of Bangkok nightlife. It is a journey flush with atmosphere but tempered with a subtext of lonely Western wonder."—Publishers Weekly
"This book should rightly have been called 'Bangkok Nights,' for Osborne (The Naked Tourist) provides a raunchy account of the nightlife and bars and bargirls of Thailand's capital. In particular, he delves into the lives of a motley band of aging, libertine Westerners (Farangs) living in his apartment complex and explores the city in their company. Their tragicomic lives are compelling, and Osborne provides some extraordinary anecdotes. For instance, when an illness takes the author to the Bumrungad Hospital, he finds that it is more like a five-star hotel than a hospital. Despite being confined, the author and a companion manage a visit to a girly bar with two IV drips in tow. What lifts this book beyond mere sleaziness is Osborne's prose. He uses language with great skill, and the sounds and smells of Bangkok are wonderfully evoked. Osborne's writing conveys a genuine love for the city and an appreciation of its ethos of easygoing tolerance. Recommended." —Library Journal
"In Bangkok Days: A Sojourn in the Capital of Pleasure, Osborne revels in the intersection of the sacred and the profane . . . Bangkok Days is a refreshing diversion from the common portrait of the city's licentious reputation. From the Muslim neighborhood surrounding the Haroon Mosque to the ancient Buddhist Loha Prasat temple, Osborne finds beauty in all corners of the city. Meanwhile, his cultural exploration is sprinkled with information about the city's historic past. Osborne is at once sincere with his audience but occasionally deceitful with those he interacts with in the book. It's a commanding combination, one that lures readers to follow him around every twist and turn of Bangkok's back alleys." —Forbes.com
Through a weave of various stories, I received information about Bangkok and its interconnected streets and "citizens. Read morePublished 23 days ago by vamcz
If you are a white male ex-pat, then this is the book for you on Bangkok! If you are not one of those then this book pretty much neglects that you might have a perspective on... Read morePublished 1 month ago by JCG
I lived in Bangkok much longer than Osborne did/has. He gives a perspective of a foreigner who lives tremendously above the economic level of the average Thai. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Tom Terrific
Took up this book after reading his fascinating tale of the gambling scene in Macao.Can't think of any other author writing about south east Asia in such detail and with such... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Fearless Fed
If you have the time in BKK, to attempt a sense of the real version, most of what mr.osborne has written, is accurate, a few small errors, I noticed, but altogether, I am going to... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Dr.Anonymous
Superbly written with brilliantly crafted sentences. Even for a person living in Bangkok there are new things to learn about the city from his account, just as there is... Read morePublished 11 months ago by A. McLeod
I might have missed something here… Was there a story? I read the book, but nothing seemed to exactly happen.Published 13 months ago by Marina
Wasnt as thrilled by it as I was expecting to be. I usually finish a book quickly but there wasnt much to lure me back so it has taken a while to finish it, left me with a kind of... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Gail Lefroy
philosophical wanderings through the underworld of Bangkok, not bad overallPublished 13 months ago by Leo Morris