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Currency Paperback – May 1, 2010

4.9 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Zolbrod writes with authority about Thailand in prose so beautiful I found myself conflicted between savoring every word and rushing to see what would happen next." --Ladette Randolph, author of A Sandhills Ballad --ladetterandolph.com/

From the Back Cover

"Currency is an absorbing story of love and betrayal set in Southeast Asia, a thriller of trafficing bodies--both human and beast--across international lines, and a perceptive foray into the dark powers beyond our control. It is a story that asks questions about home and happiness, while deftly taking us into a society's underworld where ethics are eclipsed by desperation, lust, and greed."
--Shipa Agarwal, author of Haunting Bombay

"From the first page to the last, Zoe Zolbrod's Currency had me hooked. I loved the boldness of the voice, the visceral and intoxicating landscape, the engrossing and masterfully woven story. Currency is a thrilling and unforgettable debut, and Zolbrod is a brilliant new voice that is sure to be with us for many years to come."
--Laura van den Berg, author of What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: OV Books (May 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982520433
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982520437
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,634,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. M. Bowman on June 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
I can think of very few writers who can pull off such a combination of high drama, suspense, and breathtaking lyricism. What begins as an intimate and unusual love story somehow escalates into a gripping tale of international intrigue without a whiff of melodrama (not a whiff!). It is at once wild and utterly believable, with every motive and emotion rooted in natural, candid, absorbing human detail.

I could not put the thing down. I finished it in two days. I felt anxious when I had to be away from it. I wanted to read slowly and savor it, but I could not stop turning the pages! Every reader should suffer such a plight.

We are lucky that this book exists. Don't miss it.
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Format: Paperback
Set in Thailand in the mid-1990s, this compelling novel has two protagonists: Piv, a young Thai man who has learned the financial and sexual benefits of flirting in English with foreign women, and Robin, a young American drifting around the world for as long as her credit cards hold out, which won't be for much longer. When they meet, Piv says he will call her "Nok," a Thai nickname that means "one bird." Strapped for cash, the lovers try out different ideas for making money, including Piv's plan to "make some business" with very dubious acquaintances. Piv and NokRobbin are two birds darting aimlessly around a field, oblivious of the hunters stepping closer and closer with their nets. The leisurely pace of the narrative only prolongs the suspense. This book is a fascinating exploration of love, culture, trust, and consequences of looking in the wrong places for easy money.
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I loved this book. The plot is fast-paced and compelling, while the characters are unique, fascinating, and entirely real. Really enjoyed Zolbrod's exploration of love relationships, made complicated hereby the key characters' cultural and linguistic misunderstandings -- not to mention the criminal involvements that entrapped them. The Thai setting was exotic. I love discovering other cultures and lands while immersed in a good fictional read. Can't wait for Zolbrod's next book.
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Format: Paperback
This book focuses on the relationship of Robin, a young American backpacker touring Thailand, and Piv, her Thai boyfriend. Robin and Piv have known each other for only a short time and each isn't quite sure of the other's intentions. Yet they are very attracted to one another--perhaps even in love. Both think vaguely and romantically of some sort of export business they could work together to help them extend their vacation love affair indefinitely. Unfortunately, Robin has run out of money and the two become involved with some seriously shady characters in an attempt to make money and stay together.

Robin and Piv are both sympathetic characters, but they are complicated. Robin's attraction to Piv may largely stem from the thrill of the new, the different, the "other." And Piv, for his part, has made a sort of living off of tourist girls. He is not one to work hard and is always looking for a way to scam himself into a better life. His actions have been fairly harmless to date, but his character is questionable.

The ambivalence Robin and Piv feel towards one another rings very true, especially since they've known one another for such a short time--and since they each have reason to be uncertain about the other. Yet I was rooting for them to be together and to find a way to make it all work out. I saw their relationship as a sort of dramatic stand-in for every relationship in its early stages, when we ask ourselves: "How much do I know this person? Is s/he who I think s/he is? Maybe s/he's a jerk or worse--but damn, I'm so attracted!" Robin and Piv, of course, have it worse since they also face daunting cultural conflicts.

The book is also highly visual--the scenes played out so clearly it was practically as if a movie screen was before my eyes. The action gets intense and the author brings it all to a thrilling climax. But for me, the quieter questions of identity and trust were the heart of this book. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
Action, great character development, exotic place...what more could you want for a fun summer read. I stayed up way too late reading! I LOVED it!
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Format: Paperback
When Piv and Robin meet, a tentative and touching bond is formed. Piv is a native of Thailand and is a small time hustler, living on the fly according to how his luck is transpiring. Robin, on the other hand, is an American backpacker who has dreams of settling in Thailand after seeing the world one stop at a time. Piv and Robin share the sights, shop and have a great time living amongst the other tourists and natives, but soon their supply of ready money begins to dwindle alarmingly. Through the-rose tinted glasses of new love, Piv and Robin begin to dream up schemes that will enable them to continue their languorous life together. One day Piv decides to take a business chance with a group of foreigners he knows. As Piv and Robin become invested in their new business opportunity, Robin becomes increasingly anxious. Why are these foreign men paying her to smuggle unmarked cartons out of the country? Has she unwittingly become involved in drug trafficking? Though Robin is unnerved with all these things, Piv is much more relaxed and seems to believe that he has no business asking questions, a fact that bothers and shames Robin and sends their relationship into a tail-spin. When Robin secretly opens one of the cartons as it is in transport, she is horrified by what she finds and begins to try to free herself from the situation. But Piv is loathe to make waves with his foreign friends, and although he doesn't plan for it to happen, he becomes an ill-used pawn in a game of international smuggling; a game that Robin can't save him from. This intricate and involving thriller, set in the exotic locale of Thailand, examines the ways in which two innocent people get caught up in a set of strange and dangerous circumstances that endanger both self and other.Read more ›
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