Sunday, July 20, 2008

John Burdett - Bangkok Tattoo

I had previously mentioned that Mike got me hooked on John Burdett's book Bangkok Tattoo when I stayed with him in Vancouver. So much in fact that I left with his book in my backpack as I absolutely wanted to read the whole story. Now.

Last night, during dinner, I finally managed to read the last page of the book. And what can I say, I really liked it, despite the ending being a little weak in my opinion. But the first 2/3 of the book are simply outstanding and a truly excellent read. Most of all I like the descriptions of Thai culture, thinking and living as compared to Western or rather Westerners-in-Asia () mentality. The best quote from the book in that respect reads
The advantage of a culture of shame as opposed to one of guilt is that you don't start to fell bad until the shit hits the fan.
Writing hardly gets better than this!

It's certainly been quite some time since I've been sucked into a story as as much with this one. It has many twists and turns and especially the descriptions of the various characters is just superb. I especially like Ishy and Colonel Vikon, with especially the first one being a perfect role for someone like Takeshi Kitano in case the book were to be made into a movie.

Overall a definitely well-recommended read which also made me realize that I really should be reading more books and novels. To that end I bought John Bardett's Bangkok 8, Bangkok Tattoo's predecessor today. Plus I stumbled across William Gibson's Pattern Recognition which I've also wanted to read for quite awhile. I certainly hope I can read one of these books before I fly back to Europe in 2 weeks. The second book will then probably keep me busy in August and September, hopefully while lying in the sun next to a lake or something. It's good to be back into reading books!

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