July 15, 2011

Another Thai Bar Girl Book - Bangkok Vanishing

Nana Plaza - Photo Credit
Thailand is world famous for its sex tourism industry, and if you want extensive commentary on it, you should visit Stickman's place. Even though prostitution is something not to be discussed in polite company, money talks, and even the Tourism Authority of Thailand has been promoting the go-go bars due to the slump in visitors to the country. The big places to go to meet ladies of the night (or ladyboys, whichever you prefer) in Bangkok are Soi Cowboy, Nana Plaza, and Patpong. My wife and I occasionally play pool at Country Roads in Soi Cowboy, as the ambiance there is nicer. It's less pushy compared to Patpong, and Nana is just a gigantic fire hazard with too many fat, old dudes sporting fanny packs.


There are many, many books that follow the story of the disillusioned foreign guy who comes to Thailand, falls in love with a bar girl, and then it turns out not everything is as it seems. Many Westerners don't understand that romance and financial support are essentially one in the same in Thai culture, and they feel that the women are taking advantage of them. The Thai woman in the story assumes that everything is milk and honey in the West and their obese companion is a walking ATM machine. It's been done many times before. The best book on the subject is by far Stephen Leather's Private Dancer, butthere are far too many imitations

So, I'm not completely head over heels for the newest bar girl book, Eric Rogers' Bangkok Vanishing, but let's give it a chance. He has an interview in a local newspaper back stateside:

He displays that love and understanding in his fledgling novel, Bangkok Vanishing, which he describes as a "gritty crime thriller."

It is the story of Blake Lawrence, an American in Bangkok who finds himself involved with a bar girl. That girl's boyfriend, a hard-core criminal, tries to blackmail Lawrence, sending a DVD of the pair's involvement to Lawrence's wife. Lawrence calls on two of his Marine buddies to help him deal with the blackmailer. "I've met a lot of characters over there," Rogers said. "An expat in Thailand is a different personality. A lot blend seamlessly into the culture."

Western men, Rogers noted, are attracted to Thai women. "They seem more pliable and submissive" than Western women, he noted. "They allow men to make more decisions. They have softer personalities than Western women. They are also very exotic."
Sounds like a pretty interesting read, and the book appears to try to buck some of the cliches. There's no shortage of craziness that happens in Thailand, which helps provide ideas for authors who have spent time out here. However, I'm not sure if Rogers would think my Thai wife was "pliable and submissive" if he met her. I certainly don't. Most of the Thai women I've met over the years may appear to be nice and gentle upon first impression, but behind the scenes they always run the show in any relationship. Just ask my wife, who once confiscated my ATM card because I spent 160 THB (~$5) on a magazine without asking her. Yeah, I'm wearing the pants around here.

Anyhoo, if you're into sleaze and deception in your fiction like I am, the bar girl books are always a fun read.
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8 comments:

madtom said...

"my Thai wife was "pliable and submissive""

She lets you play pool at an asian strip club? And I'm just guessing she knows all about your asian fetish.

Paul Salvette said...

Haha, that was someone else who said pliable and submissive. If I said that, I'd get smacked upside the head.

Eric Rogers said...

Hey Paul. Eric Rogers here - author of BANGKOK VANISHING. So, in the interest of clarity, I'm with you on the pliable and submissive. Thai girls are NOT! In the interview for the article I indicated that Western men often get that impression with Thai girls on first contact, but then, reality usually strikes with brutal alacrity - culture clash at its finest. I've been smacked upside the head many a time - personally, that's what makes Thai girls so damn cute, although that's not an opinion shared with many of my American friends...

Eric Rogers said...

Oh, and thanks for the comment. Have you read the novel? Looking forward to feedback by someone who "knows"... Take care.

Paul Salvette said...

Eric,

Thanks for stopping by. I purchased a copy of Bangkok Vanishing, and I'm working my way through your book on my Kindle. So far, it's pretty good.

Eric Rogers said...

Hey Paul,

Thanks for giving Bangkok Vanishing a read. Let me know your feedback please. And, don't sugarcoat it - not that you would...

Take care, and choke dee na kraap...

Eric

Holidays to koh lanta said...

I remember going to Thailand, one of those trips that you can't forget. Thanks.

Zheng junxai5 said...
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