Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 1999
The author obviously knows Thailand very well. It's a country of beautiful temples and smiling people on the facade but the novel explores what lies behind. Set in throbbing bars in steamy Bangkok, seedy sea-side town, Pattaya, and beautiful ruins of Ayudhya, this novel will offer great entertainment to anyone who's been to Thailand or interested in Thai culture. Exotic, always interesting and even comic at times, it makes an engrossing read throughout. It is defintely a page-tunrer.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2001
"In the fleeting moments of twilight they sat mesmerized with the crumbling remains of the abandoned temple and glimpsed the still-living soul of the kingdom." The author's descriptions of Ayudhya are really fine and sensitive. The plot of this book is also interesting. I bought the book in Bookazine in Bangkok and it made great reading on the plane back to the States. This is a kind of love story and mystery and murder set against the background of Thailand about a decade ago. It's the kind of book you don't want to end.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 16, 2003
Dean Barrett captures the seedy side of 1980s Thailand, when the wealth is pumping in and out through greedy and shady characters.
The backdrop of the story is a tale of lost love between a man, his brother's widow and her daughter. The protagonist returns to Thailand after a long exit, expecting life to be similar to what he walked away from. Instead, he learns that you can never go home again, even in Asia. By the end, Brian Mason also realizes that the Thailand and people he remembered perhaps wasn't even as it really appeared the first time around.
Barrett really captured the essence of Thailand, and the extoic and hypnotic effects it can have. His writing draws you in to the story, and you become compelled to finish it in just a few sittings.
The only knock is characters that seem just a quarter shade from believable. A couple times I thought to myself, "They really wouldn't do that..." but perhaps that's because the characters were based on real people who don't act as we expect.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2001
Dean Barnett has painted a full technicolour panaramic view of what most ex-pats experience when stationed in strange and exotic lands. Although there is sex, violence, intrigue, adventure, etc etc I feel they are just a backdrop to the authors gentle decription of a style of life and working experience.
In this book, our hero, Brian is tricked back to Taiwan from his career as one of the working board members of a small publishing house. The letter, supposedly signed by his widdowed sister-in-law asks him for help at a moment when he had just convinced his company to send him to Tailand and the Far East to find unpublished authors and printers for a new series of books. Brian, at 45 or so, takes a trip back into time to meet with a part of his life that over the years of the 'hum drum' Western business had fogged over in his memory. While there, he meets up with a cast of colourfull characters that unflinchingly seem trapped in the late 1960's.
While there Brian manages to taste the fruits of Tailand, and by that I mean more than the pineapples, as he is asked by his siter-in-law to help get his 25 year old niece, Nalin, out of one of Bankok's more notorious 'strip clubs' the 'Horny Tiger'. I must admit that this book is written very much from a 'male' point of view and from the point of view of a business mercenary as he is forced to work in an exotic environment. The cast of characters are described with such knowledge that anyone who has ever found himself thrust into that life will immediately identify with bioth the characters and the settings. It certainly took me back, and, Barnett's perception of the large contingent of Brit ex-pats, and mid western good ole boys, stranded all over the world, made melaugh and smile in quiet agreement.
Although there is a story, there is a plot and there is adventure, this reader can not help but feel they take a secondary place to meeting the characters and enjoying a drink and the scenery of the 'Horny Tiger'. I would have enjoyed the book A LOT MORE if the author would have spiced up the sex scenes with his obvious mastery of erotic lit, as in 'Mistress of the East' a fab historical erotic novel .... then I guess I would have had to rate this book as a ten star novel...
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2005
Kingdom of Make Believe is one of the best novels I have read on Thailand and I have read a lot. Although it is set in 1988, nothing has changed as far as the illusions western men have when they keep their blinders firmly in place and head for the Land of Smiles. Barrett's novel gives the both sides of Thailand and he is someone who has obviously seen both sides himself. This is a fine novel, almost old-fashioned in the way it develops theme and gradually develops plot and character. This is much much more than the usual young man loses his bearings in Thailand. And some of the writing is quite beautiful, especially in the descriptions of place and characters. A fine novel for anyone, heading for Thailand or no.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2000
I like this book because it is not only a very accurate portrait of Thailand, it also portrays the conflicting emotions of someone confronted with the Land of Smiles. Thailand can be very disorienting and can be a real challenge to our own western values. The author captures the main character's journey very well. His knowledge of Thailand is evident, from bars to temples to the Golden Triangle to a marriage ceremony. A well drawn portrait.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 1999
A finely crafted novel weaving the past with the present. The author's experience with Thailand is evident and gives the reader an excellent sense of time and place. Wonderful characterizations and dialogue. Brian Mason's search for the truth pits mother against daughter in a race to keep a secret that could threaten more than one relationship. This is a memorable read.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2001
A real surprise! A well written novel of Thailand portraying real people by somebody who obviously knows the country well. I did see Thailand over a decade ago and this book certainly rings true. I like the way the main character seems torn between a kind of spiritual longing and more immediate sensual urges. That is indeed the choice the Land of Smiles presents us with.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2002
This book is set in Thailand in 1988 but besides being a fine novel it provides a wealth of information about the country and its people.
I would have to say it is one of the best I've read on a Southeast Asian country. I enjoyed the love story and the misunderstandings between a foreign man and a Thai woman. I especially enjoyed being taken behind the the tourist facade in Thailand by someone who knows the country well. A fine read.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 1999
Kingdom of Make-Believe captures a slice of Thailand as it really is -- and was. The novel could only have been written by one who has experienced the Kingdom -- and felt the pangs of seeing its magic mirrors crack and shatter." Denis Gray, Chief of Bureau, AP, Bangkok
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Bangkok 8: A Royal Thai Detective Novel (1)
Bangkok 8: A Royal Thai Detective Novel (1) by John Burdett (Paperback - July 13, 2004)
$11.92
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.