- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: Village East Books; No Additional Printings Listed edition (August 1, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0966189930
- ISBN-13: 978-0966189933
- Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.5 x 10.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 42 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,474,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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THAILAND: LAND OF BEAUTIFUL WOMEN No Additional Printings Listed Edition
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From the Inside Flap
It is seven in the evening and Bangkok's infamous Nana Plaza is coming to life. Neon signs are flickering on; flowers sellers and peanut sellers and garland sellers are already making their rounds; vans briefly block the narrow passageway into Nana to make last-minute deliveries of ice and soft drinks; sounds of music, laughter and motorcycle engines pierce the humid air; wispy curls of incense smoke rise above shrines dedicated to Brahma, Buddha, locals gods and various animist spirits. Dancers are enjoying last minute chili-flavored snacks or are already inside the go-go bars putting on their makeup. Men in short-sleeve shirts are laughing and drinking with the women working the beer bars, and killing time before the go-go action begins. Uninhibited eroticism permeates an evening air already so full of sensual promise that the Marquis de Sade himself might feel the need to run for cover.
About the Author
Dean Barrett has lived and traveled in Asia for over 20 years. His novels on Thailand are Kingdom of Make-Believe and Memoirs of a Bangkok Warrior. His novels set in China are Hangmans Point and Mistress of the East. Several of his plays have been staged in the United States and his musical set in 1857 Hong Kong, Fragrant Harbour, was selected by the National Alliance for Musical Theater to be presented on 42nd Street, NYC. For five years, he wrote a satire column in the Hong Kong Standard shamelessly posing as a Chinese gentleman, Uncle Yum Cha (Uncle Drink Tea). He is a member of Dramatists Guild, Mystery Writers of America, and the China Round Table.
His mystery novel with a Chinese detective set in Manhattan will appear in the fall of 2001 and is titled, Murder in China Red. He is well into his next novel on Thailand, a mystery entitled, Skytrain to Murder. Although he admits he still doesnt know why the victim was killed, who the killer is, or what it has to do with the Skytrain. He is also traveling between Bangkok and China writing a wacky, nonsensical and possibly imbecilic travel book entitled, Don Quixote in China: The Search for Peach Blossom Spring. Mr. Barrett lives in Bangkok.
Top customer reviews
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Looking at the pictures, I can understand why. It almost seems to be a fascination that borders on obsession. While it's a very good book overall, the text, although short and to the point in most cases, is spaced sporadically through the pictures. Paragraph, photo, photo, photo, paragraph, photo, etc.
Makes for awkward reading. There are a few revealing pictures, women shown topless, but with their nipples covered by yellow stars, something I thought was a bit cheesy and childish. Like Barret, or maybe the publisher (Village East Books) never stopped to think that most people who buy this book will more than likely be adult males over the age of 18. Some of the remarks about how Western women, out of jealousy, belittle Thai women, may offend some American females. They definitely have something to be jealous of........the women of Thailand are indeed mysterious as well as beautiful. If you're looking for a more in-depth account of Thailand and it's people, this is not the book. But for an interesting glimpse into the lives of the women of Thailand, this book will fit the bill. Loads of nice color photographs.
But what I really like is the often witty and well reasoned discussion of why men are crazy about Thai girls and why western girls get so upset about the situation. Like the author says, everybody has his or her own spin to put on the situation. Charming and beautiful, yeah, but if you marry a country girl best to keep her ikn the Thai countryside. Not try to westernize her. It won't take and it will just cause trouble. In other words, don't be afraid to live in Thailand and get a bit involved in the culture. The more you know about Thailand, the molre chance of having a great relationship with a thai woman. Anyway, that's my two baht worth. I think this great book will open a few eyes.
The second problem is the lack of research backing up the author's assertions about Thai women's culture and how it affects their personalities. It would be very easy, for example, to back up assertions about Buddhist influence with the relevant teachings of the Buddha. Also, Barrett is unclear about his sample size. Is he making these assertions based on his interviews with a hundred women? ten? three? It's never really clear. There are several places where anecdotes would be additive, but assertions are instead left to stand alone. For instance, in his section on bar girls, Barrett notes the differing attitudes toward the job that Thai women have. He includes a couple of anecdotes in the section generally, but that particular paragraph would have benefitted from "point-counterpoint"-style dual anecdotes. Also he switches styles about midway through the book, which is annoying. In the bar girl section, he makes a very real effort not to make any generalizations about the women in that field, but elsewhere in the book (most of the first half) he makes some pretty extreme generalizations, with minimal explanation/discussion. Last, Barrett is generally pretty good about avoiding extremes. However, he takes a couple of chances to take potshots at Western women, which are really unnecessary--and moreover not clearly true (he asserts, for example, that it is Western women, not Western men, who first promoted the idea that Asian women are "submissive," because the Western women were "jealous." An interesting idea, but totally uncorroborated either by Barrett or by any other historian).
Overall, I'm not questioning the truth of most of Barrett's assertions. Hey, most of them ring pretty true to anyone who has spent time among Thai people, and it's actually nice to hear a voice that acknowledges that neither the feminist extreme opinion of Thai women nor the misogynist extreme opinion are correct. But it would be nice if, especially for biggest generalizations he makes ("Thai women value harmony and happiness"--ok, who doesn't?), he had some hard data backing them up. Between this problem and the unprofessional photos, I would say this book is either a good starting point or a good ending point for a man interested in and researching finding love in Thailand, but definitely should not be your only source of information.