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Private Dancer by [Leather, Stephen]
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Private Dancer Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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Length: 290 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

The best book regarding relationships with bargirls that you can ever read. This should be compulsory reading for all first-timers to Thailand. (Pattaya Mail)

Because of all of its local wisdom, Private Dancer ought to be made available to every tourist at port of entry. (Bernard Trink, Bangkok Post)

About the Author

Stephen Leather is one of Europe's leading crime novelists with sixteen international bestsellers to his name (published by Hodder & Stoughton). He has sold more than a million books worldwide. He resides in Dublin, Ireland.

Product Details

  • File Size: 741 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Three Elephants (December 1, 2013)
  • Publication Date: December 1, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003GXEJV4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #264,997 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mr. Joe TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
When I was young and single, I fantasized about visiting Bangkok's fleshpot buffet. But, even 11 years in the Navy didn't provide the opportunity as I never made it away from Stateside. Now that I'm older, married, and only marginally wiser, I doubt that my wife would let me go - even if I could imagine conjuring up the energy to carouse once I got there. And there is, of course, the sobering specter of AIDS. But, should any of you young studs embark on the tour, PRIVATE DANCER should be required reading before reaching the airport departure gate.

Pete is a freelance writer hired by a publishing house to edit a new cookery book/travel guide for Thailand. Once ensconced in Bangkok, Pete is introduced to the red-light district by friend Nigel, where Pete meets pole dancer/prostitute Joy in the Zombie Bar. Pete is smitten despite advice from the resident expats that it's best not to get emotionally involved with a bar babe. And despite all the evidence, some provided by a private detective, that Joy is simply using Pete as a cash ATM, that she's married to a Thai man, and that she has sex with other farang (foreign) customers when he's out of town, Pete remains enamored of his PRIVATE DANCER. He desperately wants to believe her excuses, lies, and proclamations of true love - "I love you and have you in my heart only one. Miss you all the time."

Author Stephen Leather takes an interesting approach to the story, telling it alternately from the viewpoints of Pete, Joy, Pete's farang friends and acquaintances (Nigel, Big Ron, Bruce, Jimmy), the private detective Phiraphan, Pete's employer Alistair, and a certain Professor Bruno Mayer, an expert on prostitution in Thailand and cross-cultural relationships between the sex workers and their customers.
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Format: Paperback
Posted by Admin / 31. January 2008, 03:37
UP UNTIL a couple of weeks ago, I must have been the only foreigner in Thailand who had not read Stephen Leather's novel Private Dancer. I knew about the book; I'd heard great things about the book; but I'm not what you would call a prolific reader, having read perhaps only twenty books during my lifetime. A friend loaned me his copy of Private Dancer and, thanks to two visits to Bangkok in three days, I found the four road trips of two hours each provided the perfect opportunity to finally read it.

I've never done a book review since I finished high school and I don't intend to start now, but I must report on what I discovered was a fabulous book. First of all, Private Dancer is a novel with the usual disclaimer that "All characters in this publication are fictitious ..." I don't believe that for a second; the reason being that I have personally met them all. They may not have been the exact characters Mr. Leather was referring to but they were their cosmic clones. Trust me, these people do exist. In fact, I was once one of them but I'm not going to disclose which one!
In this I found the only negative feature of the book: I suspect it would be far more enjoyable if the reader had prior knowledge of Thailand and, in particular, the foreign bar scene. To someone who has never been to Thailand, a lot of the events, the irony and the dialogue may be wasted. Nevertheless, I could relate to all of it and form a clear picture of every scene in my head, making it chilling reading.
This was another indication that although the novel may be a fictional story in its entirety, it must be based on a series of real events.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this while I was living in Thailand, and after I had gotten to know may of the people who would be similar to the characters of this book. I had heard some of the same stories, but the book laid it out pretty clear how the bar scene works - especially in Bangkok. Having been to a few of the places named in the book made it more realistic for me. It is a sad and at the same time hopeful story of the sub-culture of Thailand. Many of the bar girls I met were nice and did not seem to have the same pressure as some of those in the book, but then we were in a different part of the country.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you've spent any amount of time in Thailand then you've probably heard of this book. I had heard that everyone should read this book before coming to Thailand; unfortunately, I hadn't heard that until after I had spent quite a bit of time in Thailand. Despite having learned quite a bit about Thailand, and having spent quite a bit of time in Thailand, this book made me question ideas, and knowledge which I had formed over years, along with opening my eyes to new concepts I had never thought about before. This book is not only entertaining, but a must read for anyone who enjoys spending time in Thailand, or is interested in learning more about Thailand.
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Format: Kindle Edition
"Rashomon with Hookers. Requiem for a Dream with Blow Jobs instead of Blow."

That's be the pitch-line I'd use for Leather's pulpy, so-outlandish-it-could-only-be-based-in-fact novel. I have never been to Thailand, but from my readings of the likes of Stickman, experience in expat scenes in Asia and the characters that they produce, it rings surprisingly true.

Those looking for local color will find little of it here, however, because Leather eschews detailed descriptions of alleyways of Nana Plaza, the characters or even the numerous, ahem, encounters in favor of keeping the narrative moving, if not advancing. For their number, sex scenes are often reduced to little more than a sentence. Whole evenings are condensed into a paragraph or two. The story covers roughly the span of one year and boy does it fly fast.

In place of the sparse prose, Leather focuses on getting into his numerous characters' heads, using their first-person perspectives as a way to divide chapters. These characters are primarily archetypical and Leather never quite manages to make them sound as different people, with similar verbal turns of phrase and grammatical "ticks" being shared between them.

Nonetheless, we do get a sense of who these people are and where they come from thanks to the conversational style, almost as if they were being interviewed by an unseen reporter, indeed echoing Rashomon and its unseen and unheard Judge. The protagonist Pete is generically affable - more sympathetic and perhaps even brighter than the cynical clods who surround him, but nonetheless not immune to the charms of bargirl Joy.
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