Sami’s Choice: Private Dancer by Stephen Leather
This book tells the story of a young and very gullible British Journalist who goes to Thailand on an assignment and falls in love with a go go dancer, who milks him to the last drop. The style is very interesting as every scene is described from the angle of several protagonists. The love story between the writer and the dancer is an endless game of pull and tug, and love and betrayal, which naturally ends in disaster. The story paints a bleak image of western expats in Thailand and their dynamics with the local people. Even though this is the type of book that makes you loose faith in humanity, Sami enjoyed it more than he expected. Interestingly, the book is available for free on the author’s website because his editor would not publish it.
Steph’s Choice: Bangkok 8 by John Burdett
It’s shocking how the Thai book section in the bookstores is almost entirely filled with books about prostitution, so its really no surprise that both Sami and I read books about this industry, which accounts for a whooping 10 percent of the country’s GDP. Bangkok 8 is a fast paced murder mystery that leaves you feeling a little unsettled. Like Private Dancer, his book was quite depressing at points because it shows the very real underbelly of a rapidly developing country. However, I must say that I found it equally parts enlightening because of the strong Buddhist faith of Detective Jitpleecheep. Despite having a disturbing plot, I liked this book and it’s lighthearted ending.