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Bangkok Days Paperback – February 1, 2010
"The Lost Girls of Devon" by Barbara O'Neal
From the Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestselling author of When We Believed in Mermaids comes a story of four generations of women grappling with family betrayals and long-buried secrets. | Learn more
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Frequently bought together
- Item Weight : 9.5 ounces
- Paperback : 271 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780099535973
- ISBN-13 : 978-0099535973
- Product Dimensions : 7.6 x 5 x 0.9 inches
- Publisher : Vintage Books USA (February 1, 2010)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 0099535971
Best Sellers Rank:
#300,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #182,552 in Literature & Fiction (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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"I liked the hesitant motion of lonely men walking through their own vacuums to get to a massage parlor, the way the green neons of the massage parlors themselves suddenly came on, as if remembering something. I admired this impersonality, because it was my sort of impersonality, and I was tired of churches in Europe, and brown-stones and parks and stone beauty in general."
The theme is a rumination on lonely European men (specifically British and Australian) in a place they don’t belong. It’s a very dense book, especially if you’re an older European man or may become one. I’ve read it several times and still find new reflection and meaning. The novel combines the exotic surroundings – the food, Hinduism, Buddhism, Thai customs and history, Thai women, Asia vs. the West, the changes in Bangkok over his time there – with a more universal exploration of European men, their quirks and desires, women in general, the fluidity of sexual identity, being poor and how that affects one’s relationship with other men and women and an overall elegiac tone of regret. The protagonist, a not overly cynical man, searches for meaning and what is the good, possibly finding it in hedonism but contradicted by a trip to some missionaries in a Bangkok slum. Osborne finds contradictions, release and tension.
There’s quite a bit of brutal, droll humor involved in his adventures as well. In fact, I think Osborne specializes in brutal, droll humor. The book ends with a failed trip to a new age spa in Hua Hin (apparently during a hurricane) accompanying a professional travel writer, his calculating Thai wife and a possibly gay friend where all are puritanically lashed, only to escape to the dubious pleasures of eating, drinking and more or less unsatisfactory fornication.
[Side note: Anyone else who enjoyed this *might* also enjoy "WIndup Girl"]
This paperback was in great shape and shipped fast with using the standard free option.
Another aspect is it is a singular tutorial on Asian religious beliefs
Top reviews from other countries
It's let down by sloppy editing. "sukhumwit haa sip ek" should be "haa sip et"; "rab rioy" should be "riab roy"; "Mae Nak" is called "Mae Nang" later in the same paragraph.
Follow the author on into two recent novels, Ballad of a Small Player, Osborne's enthral king, atmospheric novella set in Macau detailing the death drive of a Brit lawyer who has absconded with clients' funds to gamble, drink and debauch himself into the afterlife in Macau's casinos. Then read Hunters in the Dark to see Osborne move over the Thai border into Cambodia to generate a novel that stands alongside the late died-too-young Robert Bingham's wonderful Lightning on the Sun.