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Lawrence Osborne î 5 Summary

Ook Bangkok Days explores both the little known extraordinary city and the lives of a handful of doomed ex patriates living there 'as vivid a set of liars and losers as was ever invented by Graham Greene' New York Times. I suppose Lawrence Osborne s memoir Bangkok Days 2009 isn t for everyone since the Bangkok it describes is that of single middle aged men running away hiding searching or just living out their last days in a vital and potentially decadent city Bangkok is where some go when they feel they no longer can be loved when they give up It is also a city that I have returned to many times over the years as I have used it as a base to travel to other countries Laos Cambodia Myanmar Vietnam attended conferences in or in Thailand Khon Kaen Chang Mai and have visited friends who briefly lived there One of the many characters Osborne meets makes an observation about the lack of cleanliness in Bangkok I have also hated clean cities Cities should be as dirty as possible Dirt is the sign that they are healthy Not trash that s something else We don t want pizza cartons and Big Mac wrappers everywhere That s obscene no I mean decayed fruit and swill and pig bones and spittle Bangkok was the first Asian city I visited outside of Japan and the first one that felt truly Asian to my imagination of what an Asian city would be like that had that lack of cleanliness and the old world decay that I saw in my mindMy stomping grounds are similar to Osborne s Sukhumvit and the many Sois of pleasure and commerce along that stretch of road The author first arrived as a medical tourist to get his teeth fixed but he found himself returning and spending long stretches of time in the city Osborne has a very fluid and informed style in which he makes astute observations about the people he meets Thailand However conversant in Thai culture he will never get close to the bottom of it Buddhism Bangkok life We respond with instinctive bitterness to this loss of visibility but we also recognize the first taste of our future extinction and we accept it and himself Do we head to places which we know will undo us take the long hand of our clock and bend it backward throughout the book I am a sucker for this kind of memoir since it is not only a personal memoir but a love letter to Bangkok and a kind of analysis of the type of people who find themselves living in the vibrant city I have been waiting to read this book after spying it in a book store in Bangkok thus another visit to Thailand this year has inspired me to finally read it It was exactly what I was looking for in order to bring the city alive before I actually go there Dangerous Melody (Treasure Seekers years as I have used it as a base to travel to other countries Laos Cambodia Myanmar Vietnam attended conferences in or in Thailand Khon Kaen Chang Mai and have visited friends who briefly lived there One of the many characters Osborne meets makes an observation about the lack of cleanliness in Bangkok I have also hated clean cities Cities should be as dirty as possible Dirt is the sign that they are healthy Not trash that s something else We don t want pizza cartons and Big Mac wrappers everywhere That s obscene no I mean decayed fruit and swill and pig bones and spittle Bangkok was the first Asian city I visited outside of Japan and the first one that felt truly Asian to my imagination of what an Asian city would be like that had that lack of cleanliness and the old world decay that I saw in my mindMy stomping grounds are similar to Osborne s Sukhumvit and the many Sois of pleasure and commerce along that stretch of road The author first arrived as a medical tourist to get his teeth fixed but he found himself returning and spending long stretches of time in the city Osborne has a very fluid and informed style in which he makes astute observations about the people he meets Thailand However conversant in Thai culture he will never get close to the bottom of it Buddhism Bangkok life We respond with instinctive bitterness to this loss of visibility but we also recognize the first taste of our future extinction and we accept it and himself Do we head to places which we know will undo us take the long hand of our clock and bend it backward throughout the book I am a sucker for this kind of memoir since it is not only a personal memoir but a love letter to Bangkok and a kind of analysis of the type of people who find themselves living in the vibrant city I have been waiting to read this book after spying it in a book store in Bangkok thus another visit to Thailand this Devoted to Drew year has inspired me to finally read it It was exactly what I was looking for in order to bring the city alive before I actually go there

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Bangkok Days

Tourists come to Bangkok for many reasons a night of love a stay in a luxury hotel or simply to disappear for a while Lawrence Osborne comes for the cheap dentistry and then stays when he finds he can live off just a fe. Borrowed this book from a friend while living in Bangkok This was my daily BTS read for a bit than a month It s hard for me to put into words what I liked and did not like about this book But lets try It s an interesting introduction to the fucked up lives of dirty farang foreigner in Thai expats living in Bangkok that seek to escape their past There are many of them here and I bet this is one of the the best books written about them I liked it enough to recommend it to anyone with an interest in Bangkok It s well written and as shown in other reviews here it has some beautiful prose here and thereI liked the somewhat cynical approach towards Thai culture and the colourful farang characters I identify with the writer s appreciation of chaotic Bangkok and the urge to follow random roads until they end on late hours It s a bit of a travel book in that regard Bangkok is filled with little secrets unexpected sights hidden in side soi s or sometimes just unnoticed in that street you walk through every day This book describes these sorts of places analysing and writing about them I do have some different world views than the writer and sometimes he seems a bit fatalistic It s hard to describe what exactly bothers me here but I suppose I m a bit idealistic At the same time though while he distinguishes himself from the dirty sexpats and from the Thais themselves be it yaba addicts in Klong Toey or hi so housewives in Thong Lor it s without pretension or arrogance I appreciate that

Free read Bangkok Days

W dollars a dayOsborne's Bangkok is a vibrant instinctual city full of contradictions He wanders the streets dining on insects trawling through forgotten neighbourhoods decayed temples and sleazy barsFar than a travel b. I read this book concurrently with Farang by Iain Corness as a sort of antidote to that books vanilla contentThe author travelled to Thailand to get some cut price dentistry and discovered he could live in Bangkok for practically no money so he stayed Throughout the book he comes and goes from Thailand but it is never really explained At various points he has no money and resorts to stealing other times he is just poor and is supported by his fellow farang other times he seems well offHis story revolves around the non touristy Bangkok He spends a lot of time walking around the lesser known parts of the city The parts where the servants to the wealthy live and the urban areas and their hidden sights And of course it tells the story of his fellow expat weirdos and the unusual lives they live in BangkokThe book contains some great descriptive writing and the author is obviously fond of the back streets the grit the aging colour and the fringe culture While there are many mentions of sex and the prostitution well known in Bangkok it is certainly not central to the narrative but always present and the author remains surprisingly coy about his involvement along these lines There is a certain cynicism to the book which suggests the author is living alongside the other characters rather than with them It is probably worth touching on the other farang in this book as the large part of the story revolves around them They are I guess a pretty sad but realistic bunch of expats living hiding in the city They include the ex military Scotsman living across the border is Cambodia running an adventure guiding business among the mines who spends time in Bangkok looking for guests than he does with his wife in Cambodia there is the aging and lonely retired Australian bank manager preparing to die here a strange an eccentric Spanish artist the mysterious McGinnis whose background and business are never clear Lionel the gay French journalist with the attractive wife in a marriage of convenience a German BMW salesman having a testicle amputated who Osborne meets in hospitalThe book covers a lot of ground and there is a lot of detail in the stories but one can t help thinking there is a bit of embellishment going on here There is plenty of opportunity to mix and match stories as there is no real avenue for validation however the sleazy bars the decaying temples the strange characters all make for a good read On this train of thought I like the uote on the back cover Far than a travel book Bangkok Days explores both the little known extraordinary city and the lives of a handful of doomed expatriates living there as vivid a set of liars and losers as was ever invented by Graham Greene Three and a half stars rounded up


10 thoughts on “Bangkok Days

  1. says:

    God how to describe this book imagine if O'Rourke were British and little less concerned with sociology and politics and a little philosophical and you can begin to imagine Lawrence Osborne First off a caveat this book which was jus

  2. says:

    This is the second book I've read recently where one's impression may be swayed by gender Having never been a woman I'm not sure but I think th

  3. says:

    Borrowed this book from a friend while living in Bangkok This was my daily BTS read for a bit than a month It's hard for me to put into words what I liked and did not like about this book But lets try It's an interesting in

  4. says:

    Readers of this book should take note of these words in chapter 4 memoirs are rarely empirical in nature They are statements of purpose descriptions of life as the writer WOULD LIKE IT TO BE His emphasis but the faultless memoir doesn't exist indeed it's a lame moralistic fantasy James Frey couldn't have put it better That Osborne isn't con

  5. says:

    I read this book concurrently with Farang by Iain Corness as a sort of antidote to that books vanilla contentThe author travelled to Thailand to get some cut price dentistry and discovered he could live in Bangkok for pra

  6. says:

    A great book to read during a time when it's hard to travel Bangkok Days investigates various nooks and crannies of the Big Mango that while fascinating I don't particularly want to go to personally Osborne is “on the lam” in Bangkok a place he can live cheap he makes this discovery while visiting to have dental work done“The days were empty by design I didn’t have a job; I was on the lam as old American gangste

  7. says:

    I suppose Lawrence Osborne's memoir Bangkok Days 2009 isn't for everyone since the Bangkok it describes is that of single middle aged men running away hiding searching or just living out their last days in a vital and potentially decadent city Bangkok is where some go when they feel they no longer can be loved when they give up It is also a

  8. says:

    No one is a victim in Osborne's Bangkok or perhaps everyone is This is especially true in his interpretation of the sex ind

  9. says:

    Lonely middle aged white man writes about lonely middle aged white men in Bangkok That's a real perspective and there's some good phrasing and a few fun stories but in the end it's too limited to be very interesting

  10. says:

    I visited Bangkok for the first time only weeks before reading this book and really enjoyed following the adventures of Lawrence Osbourne in a small underworld community of foreign transplants to Bangkok It's a travelogue and nothing too momentous happens but the sights sounds impressions are beautifully narrated I partic

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