Most helpful critical review
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A book that you can put down
on February 27, 2005
I brought the book with me to Thailand for two reasons: to have a great read (`not') and to have a better understanding of this country's exotic culture and history (also `not').
Barrett's writing is as unengaging as it is elementary, "Brian sat inside the lobby of the hotel waiting for Nalin to arrive. He reread the copy of telex he was about to send to Adelman in New York, detailing printing and shipping cost." After more than 100 pages of nothing happening (zero, zilch), then I realized that the title of the book was true to form. The `make-believe' is what you must do. It is the readers responsibility to create the action, develop the characters into more than the two-dimensional cardboard standups that Barrett makes them, and it is also up to the reader to make the book `come alive' because Dean Barrett is not going to do so.
The author does not give you any discernment into Thailand's Buddhistic way of life, nor will you have a better understanding of Thailand' rich history. Why Barrett used the word `Kingdom' in the book's title is the only mystery in the book. Thailand is no more a `kingdom' than England is. Thailand is a democracy, not a Kingdom. If you read this book you will end up knowing nothing more about this unique country than when you started; sad but true.
You can, quite easily put this book down. So save yourself the disappointment and get a fantastic thriller/detective novel about Thailand today; a book that will give you insight on both the culture and the Buddhist philosophy of life: read "Bangkok 8" by John Burdett (highly recommended - see my review). I do not recommend this book.