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Border Run: A Novel by [Lewis, Simon]
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Border Run: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Captivating…A gripping, fast-paced novel that will pull readers in from start to finish.”—Shelf Awareness

“The pages of this short novel turn so quickly, its dark undertow can sneak up on you.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Well-paced [and] suspenseful…”—Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Simon Lewis was born in Wales and grew up in Scotland. He has worked as a travel writer on the Rough Guides to China, Beijing, and Shanghai, after falling in love with the country while enroute from India. He is the author of Bad Traffic, and Go, which he wrote in a village in the Himalayas. He spends half his time in Brixton, London, and the rest in Asia, mostly China and Japan.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3380 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1416596062
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (April 24, 2012)
  • Publication Date: April 24, 2012
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005GG0LQ6
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,824,194 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

By Mr. Joe TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jake and Will are a couple of American buds off on a backpacking tour of Southeast Asia. Southwest China first, then Laos and Thailand, then home.

While in China's Yunnan province, soon to cross into Laos, and with Burma "just over there", our two heroes meet up with Howard, a laid-back hippie dude who lives in the area. Howard promises a day's excursion to a waterfall off the beaten track near the border that tourists haven't yet discovered. Who knows, there might even be naked, native girls bathing in the pool under the falls. Local color, right? Yo, dog, we're in!

The sally-forth pretty much meets expectations until Jake accidently nails a rural customs cop with a crossbow. Then the day becomes a major bummer. Totally.

The focus of this unusual thriller by Simon Lewis is Will, a meek and timid type not comfortable with changes in plan or confrontations of any sort. Here in the jungle he finds he must take responsibility and man-up. Indeed, this is perhaps the overriding theme of BORDER RUN and is thus reminiscent of the 1971 film Straw Dogs (The Criterion Collection) though the two plots are vastly different and I'm not sure why I'm compelled to make the comparison. Perhaps senility and the fact that I loved the film for the lesson it taught about getting cornered and the loss of "civilized" escape routes.

In any case, BORDER RUN is an imaginative story of a series of events that spiral out of control through faulty perceptions, circumstance, and just plain bad luck. Will, who could likely represent a lot of us, is the lab rat that must react. I liked this book enough that I'll seek out the author's previous novel, Bad Traffic: A Novel (Inspector Jian).
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Format: Kindle Edition
... will transform itself into a deadly adventure.

"Border Runs" are called the trips ex-pats in Thailand have to make initially every three months to renew their tourist Visas. They have to cross a border and go for a Visa extension in embassies or Visa offices in Laos, Malaysia, Cambodia.
But here the meaning of Border Run has an entirely new signification...

Here we have two backpackers - Jake and Will - on their gap year travel in a small village in Kunming, China, planning to take the bus to Laos or maybe Burma aka Myanmar. But they are also tired of the usual exotic fruit shakes and noodle soups and Mekhong whisky. And so, when an elderly hippie called Howard invites them on an excursion so really exotic that it will be their experience of a lifetime, to tell their grandsons..., they grab it.
Howard promises them a fun day, visiting local Chinese tribal people totally isolated from tourists along the Burmese border and visiting a unique waterfall only the locals know and go to swim. Howard is also insinuating that there will be some biiiig surprise they have never seen or met before. But surely he has an ulterior, very personal motive of his own that he's keeping hidden from both of the boys.
First they have contact with a soldier but being tourists, he lets them pass with Howard's old jeep. When they arrive at the secret place - yes, there are surprises for the boys, but then locals appear who obviously know Howard well. And a secret change of bags takes place...
And what follows then, is a Greece tragedy of faith and betrayal, lies and half-truths, which ends in a manhunt with tribal crossbows only the fittest can survive...
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Format: Hardcover
Had never heard of Simon Lewis before stumbling upon this short novel, I really didn't have high expectations for this one, I just started reading it because there wasn't anything else much around to read at the time and it looked like a quick easy read. Being a travel tale set in the Chinese jungle (a location you don't come across to often in fiction) also piqued my interest so I thought why not give it a go. Glad I did, it was a great little tale, full of plot twists and turns, surprises, and certainly the what would you do if in this situation factor can be thrown in as well. Once you start and the first hurdle for one of the backpackers appears, you just want to keep turning the pages to see what happens next. I guess that can't put down factor also adds a fair bit of why I would say the ending wasn't quite up there with the rest of the novel, simply because the novel had been building towards it and I guess I just had such high expectations for it.

Admittedly it's a little hard to separate and form an individual picture in your mind of the two main characters since initially Jake and Will seem pretty similar. At times I didn't know which was which, not that this really mattered. It is only when morals come into play that as the story progresses where you start to be able to differentiate between the two. Even though the novel is set in China, I liked how the novel didn't waste a lot of time constantly pointing out little bits of trivia on the local culture or China in general as a lot of authors like to do to prove they've been there.
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