- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Monsoon Books Pte. Ltd. (July 28, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9789810548322
- ISBN-13: 978-9810548322
- ASIN: 981054832X
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 30 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,946,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Confessions of a Bangkok Private Eye Paperback – July 28, 2006
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Confessions of a Bangkok Private Eye did not disappoint. I would actually like to give it 3.5 stars - but more 4 than 3. It's fast paced and has a good balance of grit. A little light on character development but since when did true stories need that? I'm becoming a Stephen Leather fan. He's no Burdett, but like a hot bar girl when a sexpat's favorite is already barfined, he will do quite nicely ;)
And Leather wrote this book, I doubt if Olson could write his way out of 3 paper bags... (Although the dude is multi-lingual and I can barely spell in English so perhaps shouldn't condescend)
I'm gonna go read the sequel now. Currently I'm pretty busy with my imminent two months in Thailand to pack for, but I could see actually reading Leather's books that aren't set in Thailand at some point...
There were also a fair number of witty quotes throughout the book that could come in useful for everyday life.
One thing that I didn't know was the rampant corruption that seems prevalent in Thailand. (It is interesting that they have so many coups and stay so poor year after year-- in spite of having a country where the population is homogeneous and hard working.)
Some things in the book stretched the limits of credulity. For example: The author claims to have spoken Thai like a native and that the natives couldn't tell the difference between him and a native speak. Oh, and he happens to speak Laotian and the Isaan language, plus at least two others. (He may have spoken a fifth language-- "Isarn," but I can't tell if this language is not the same as "Isaan," only misspelled.)
The author also seems to have something of an ego, and it comes through in the tales in very subtle ways. ("I'm a pretty good looking guy," etc.)
Overall, this is worth the purchase price if you can get it second hand. I'm glad that I didn't pay more for it than I did.