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Daveo

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Two books about Cambodia hold tales of sadness, bravery, and endurance that merit comparison with the best books ever written about war and revolution.

 

On the surface, the two books sound similar: both authors were young girls when the Khmer Rouge came to power in 1975. Both were separated from their families and orphaned, and both endured the starvation and slavery that characterized life during the Pol Pot time. At a deeper level, however, the books are very different, and their titles symbolize the difference. Chanrithy Him's When Broken Glass Floats is lyrical and haunting, and Loung Ung's First They Killed My Father is stark and riveting. Both books are outstanding.

 

Loung Ung was five years old when the revolutionaries seized Phnom Penh in April 1975. Her father, a military policeman, had always pampered his beloved young daughter. When the Khmer Rouge order the complete evacuation of all cities, Ung begins to struggle with a world that is suddenly beyond comprehension. Her parents conceal their past, carefully instructing their children to avoid discussion of their lives in Phnom Penh. They live in constant fear of discovery: if the Khmer Rouge learn of her father's identity, he will be killed. The hallmarks of the new regime emerge: violence, hunger, and suffering.

 

With poignant, direct prose, Ung describes a litany of horrors, vividly recounting the hunger that is her constant companion, the constant threat of violence, the deep exhaustion of unending toil. Despite their suffering, the family survives - until one day when two Khmer Rouge soldiers arrive at their house and escort Loung's father away. He does not return.

 

After their father's death, their mother, determined to save her children, makes decision of unimaginable pain: she forces her three oldest children out of the house. "If we stay together, we will die together," she tells her children. She reasons that separation will give them the greatest chance for survival. "f they cannot find us, they cannot kill us." When eight-year old Loung begs to stay with her mother, her mother pushes her away. "I don't want you here! You are too much work for me! I want you to leave!" Crying with sadness and anger, the child walks down a gravel path, away from her mother, but toward survival.

 

First They Killed My Father is a painful, gripping memoir, an unrelenting tale of sorrow. It is difficult to read, and impossible to stop reading.

 

In the events it recounts, When Broken Glass Floats is every bit as sad as Ung's book. It vividly documents the lives crushed by what the Khmer Rouge called kang prawattasas, "the wheel of history." But within the agony, there are tales of heroism and compassion.

 

Growing up in Takeo, Him gets a glimpse of the war at an early age: in 1970, as the war in Vietnam spills across the border, her family flees to Phnom Penh. When they return, their house has been destroyed. It is only the beginning. They are in Phnom Penh when the city falls, and as they join the forced evacuation of the city, the cruelty of the Khmer Rouge and the harshness of the new regime is on display everywhere.

 

Him's world is a savage realm where children, reduced to brutal slavery, struggle alone for their very lives. Day after day after day, there is nothing but work, sickness, and death. Her family is torn apart, deliberately separated to weaken their allegiance to each other. Her father is executed, yet they dare not mourn. In simple, eloquent prose, Him describes the slender hopes that sustain her in a bleak existence: "Just the hope of seeing Mak [mother] creates a horizon for me in a world with no horizons." But kang prawattasas is relentless. Weakened by starvation and malnutrition, Him's mother and five of Him's siblings die of illness.

 

But there are moments of kindness and hope. A man working for the Khmer Rouge risks certain punishment to give food to Chanrithy and her sister; another Khmer Rouge, in a rare show of compassion, miraculously finds penicillin to treat an infection in Him's leg. "For the first time, I wonder if some Khmer Rouge are actually nice, quietly hiding among the ranks of the cruel."

 

And then there is Cheng. Only a child, like Him, she is one of the "new people" - the former city dwellers who bore the brunt of Khmer Rouge hatred. She befriends Him on a forced march to a labor camp, sharing precious food and equally precious companionship. Later, when they are caught scavenging for food, they are tortured together. Sensing their fate if they remain at the camp, Cheng puts forth a bold plan: they must escape.

 

Reading Him's book, it is hard to imagine that any human being could endure such hardship. They are mere children, yet they possess the courage of heroes.

 

Today, Chanrithy Him works in Oregon, where she studies the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder. Her job often requires her to interview the victims of the Cambodian genocide. She queries a woman about her experiences: "Did you ever see corpses during this time? Did you ever witness the executions of family members?" The woman breaks down and begins to cry, then regains her composure. "She apologizes for interrupting the interview, a mark of Cambodian courtesy that survived the years of brutality. I am always amazed that some bit of humanity outlived Angka and is more powerful than the wheel of history."

 

More powerful than the wheel of history, both First They Killed My Father and When Broken Glass Floats are moving tributes to those who survived, and eloquent eulogies for those who did not.

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andrew19

Some of the latest books in.

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This book freaked me out!!!

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Daveo

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Sydney Schanberg's book Beyond the Killing Fields covers old ground, anyone with a passing familiarity with Cambodian history has heard these tales, Repression, widespread massacres, a horrific genocide, brought to a halt by a foreign invasion.

In the wake of that invasion, no one knew the exact death toll, and the new government estimated that it might be as high as three million, "while foreign diplomats and other independent observers do not generally put the figure this high, all say it was at least several hundred thousand and many put it at more than a million," stories emerging from the devastated country were horrifying.

A witness described the constant executions: "They killed some people every day... Sometimes five or six. Sometimes 20. On one day, they killed 500." Elsewhere, at a temple "half destroyed with dynamite, almost the entire stone floor around the altar bears a dull red stain. The stain is from blood, for this is one of the places of execution."

 

Schanberg described the scene as he made his way across the countryside: "Though truckloads of skeletons have recently been carried away for proper burial, bones are still scattered along the gray roadside for over a mile... It almost seems, as one goes from place to place, that each story of the killings is more gruesome than the one before."

 

Before the invasion, many had warned of atrocities. Now, however, "All the evidence now indicates that the killings were on a wider scale and more sadistic than foreign newsmen and other independent observers had earlier thought."

 

These stories are all familiar. They are not, however, from Cambodia. They're taken from Schanberg's stories from Bangladesh, in 1971.

 

Beyond the Killing Fields is an anthology of Schanberg's articles from Cambodia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Iraq, written over the course of more than thirty years. The fact that the stories from Bangladesh are so eerily similar to Cambodia underscores at point Schanberg makes in the introduction of this fine book:

 

"Why put together a collection of old war stories? What useful purpose does it serve? My answer is simple. To me, now a septuagenarian, it seems that our planet -- and maybe Washington in particular -- has become almost comfortable with regular wars. President Eisenhower's warning to America to beware of 'the military-industrial complex' has been brushed aside.

 

"We Americans are notoriously deficient about taking lessons from our own history. So perhaps this book will remind people what war is really like. Slaughter is no less bestial now than it has been through recorded history."

 

Few writers have done more to etch Cambodia's place into history -- and into popular consciousness -- than Sydney Schanberg. The 1984 film The Killing Fields was based on "The Death and Life of Dith Pran," originally published in the New York Times Magazine in January 1980.

 

"The Death and Life of Dith Pran" is reprinted in Beyond the Killing Fields, along with a number of Schanberg's other articles from the New York Times and other publications. Several of the articles describe the horrors of the war that brought the Khmer Rouge to power. Particularly moving are Schanberg's descriptions of the accidental bombing of Neak Loung, in August 1973. At least 137 were killed, and at least another 268 were wounded:

 

"Yesterday afternoon a soldier could be seen sobbing uncontrollably on the riverbank. 'All my family is dead!' he cried, beating his hand on the wooden bench where he had collapsed. 'All my family is dead! Take my picture! Let the Americans see me!'

 

"His name is Keo Chan, and his wife and 10 of his children were killed. All he has left is the youngest -- an 8-month old son. The 48-year-old soldier escaped death because he was on sentry duty a few miles away when the bombs fell."

 

At least thirty bombs fell in the center of the town, striking markets, apartments, a hospital, and a military compound.

 

"Ammunition also exploded in this compound and many people died. A woman's scalp sways on a clump of tall grass. A bloody pillow here, a shred of sarong caught on barbed wire there. A large bloodstain on the brown earth. A pair of infant's rubber sandals among some unexploded artillery shells."

 

As the war pressed on, the Cambodian people were caught between the warring parties. "The American embassy in Phnom Penh -- and Henry Kissinger's team in Washington -- insisted that the refugees were fleeing only one thing: attacks by the brutal Khmer Rouge," Schanberg writes. "But in fact they were fleeing both the Khmer Rouge and the American bombs. I visited refugee camps regularly and consistently heard both accounts. Some peasants didn't flee at all; the Khmer Rouge used their anger about the bombing to recruit them as soldiers and porters."

 

The Khmer Rouge -- like Nixon and Kissinger -- were indifferent to the suffering that their tactics brought to the population:

 

"One afternoon in the summer of 1974, the Khmer Rouge trained a captured American-made 105 mm howitzer on Phnom Penh and fanned its muzzle across the city's southern edge. At first, as the shells fell in this half-moon arc, they exploded without result, but then the arc came to a colony of houses called Psar Deum Kor, and the death began. Fires started by the shells broke out and the houses were quickly in flames, whipped by high winds. Within half an hour, nearly two hundred people were dead and another two hundred wounded, virtually all civilians. The bodies were carted off on police pickup trucks. No military target was anywhere in the vicinity."

 

By the time the wars in Indochina were drawing to a close, the gap between the reality on the ground and the rosy predictions made a decade earlier was positively surreal. In an article originally published in the New York Times Magazine in 1972, describing the adversarial relationship between the press and the military command, Schanberg noted that "News stories from Saigon almost never use the word 'lie' about American press releases and reports -- perhaps because of the need for coexistence and because softer words will get the idea across. But there is really no other word for some of the stories the Americans put out." No one in the hierarchy really wanted to own up to their claims:

 

"Reporters can, from time to time, obtain interviews with all the top American officials -- with Ellsworth Bunker and also the commanding generals -- but none will speak for the record. No names can be used. No one accepts personal responsibility for what he says. What this means is that these men can get things in print as the official American view -- sometimes outrageous things -- and never have to answer for them personally if events prove their analyses totally wrong. How many times did we 'turn the corner' in Vietnam or sight that famous light at the end of the tunnel? Usually these officials do not assume this cloak of anonymity out of venality but rather out of fear, and presumably because of instructions from Washington. Toward the end of April, when Brig. General Thomas W. Bowen spoke frankly and on the record to reporters in Hue about the deteriorating situation on the northern front, he was admonished and silenced by his superiors in Saigon, who had apparently got the word from Washington."

 

A similar detachment from reality would come back to haunt another administration, decades later. The final chapter of Schanberg's book discusses Iraq, where the policy of the Bush administration seemed to be based entirely on ideology and wishful thinking.

 

Considering that most observers would describe Schanberg's political leanings as liberal, his assessment of Iraq is not surprising. It's foolish, however, to attempt to pigeonhole a journalist of Schanberg's caliber, and what is likely to be the book's most controversial chapter concerns an issue that is usually associated with conservatives. The title of the chapter minces no words: "The Cover-Up of U.S. POWs Left Behind in Vietnam."

 

Schanberg strongly believes that American servicemen were abandoned in Southeast Asia, and he makes a compelling case. He outlines a number of facts that support the belief that Vietnam failed to release all American prisoners in 1973.

 

Why would the communists have kept some of their captives? Schanberg notes that the 1973 Paris peace agreement called for the U.S. to pay $3.25 billion in postwar reconstruction aid that would be implemented "in accordance with its own constitutional provisions." In practice, that meant that the aid would have to be approved by Congress. The North Vietnamese were clearly skeptical about their chances of actually receiving the money. "Hanoi thus appears to have held back prisoners -- just as it had done when the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 and withdrew their forces from Vietnam. In that case, France paid ransoms for the prisoners and brought them home."

 

Schanberg raises a number of facts that suggest that not all the prisoners were returned. James Schlesinger and Melvin Laird, who both served as defense secretaries during the Vietnam War, testified under oath that they believed men had been left behind. Listening stations in the late Seventies and early Eighties picked up messages from the Laotian military, discussing the movement of American captives. Why were the messages disregarded? American listening teams had been moved out after 1975, and the posts were then manned by Thai officers who had been trained by the U.S. National Security Agency. When the Thais informed the Americans, however, the intelligence community ruled that the information had to be regarded as "third party" information, since it had not been garnered by U.S. personnel. The Reagan White House may have received a ransom proposal from Hanoi in 1981; two different individuals offered corroborating accounts of a meeting in which the offer was discussed. Even later, in the late Eighties and into the early Nineties, satellite photos appeared to show distress signals marked on the ground. "On one occasion, a Pentagon photo expert refused to go along. It was a missing man's named gouged into a field, he said, not trampled grass or paddy berms. His bosses responded by bringing in an outside contractor who found instead, yes, shadows and vegetation."

 

The official policy of successive American governments was consistent: All of the prisoners had been brought home in 1973. Reversing that position would have been tantamount to an admitting that men had knowingly been abandoned. In the most cynical evaluation, the soldiers left behind were simply another expense. War has costs.

 

The problem is precisely as Schanberg described in the Preface. We're not good at history. We forget those costs; we have to keep relearning the same lessons.

 

Will Beyond the Killing Fields help us remember? As Schanberg puts it:

 

"Armed with this knowledge, maybe the next time a politician says we must invade and destroy evildoers who are being well contained by other means, maybe we'll think twice.

 

"And, then, maybe we won't."

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Daveo

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This is a true story about one of many family's life and death in Cambodia during The Khmer Rouge Regime. What we did to survive, to escape to a better place and hope for a better life. We've lost many family members during the bloodshed of The Khmer Rouge.

 

The four of us were very fortunate to survive these ordeals. With luck, faith, perseverance and survival instinct, we've escaped Cambodia and made it to America.

I am Bunthong Lim; I was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on January 1st, 1967. My father is Sun Chiev Suor and my mother is Kim Heak Lim. Both of my parents are deceased. I have one older sister Bunsay (Amanda Lim) and one younger brother Bunpa Lim. I am the middle child of the three. I am married to a thoughtful, loving, caring and beautiful woman whom I love very much (Hoa Lim). We have two beautiful daughters, Emily and Alissa Lim. They are the pride and joy of our lives! My hobbies include reading, listening to my favorite music, watching movies, exercising, attending auto/motorcycle shows, hanging out with good friends and riding my motorcycles-Just being free and loving life. My goals in life are to be the best person that I can be, and to be a better person than I was yesterday. I appreciate life as it is. I live life fully, passionately and with sincerity each day.

 

51XGNCF480L._SL500_AA300_.jpg

In Cambodia, between 1975 and 1979, nearly two million people died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. As head of the Khmer Rouge secret police, Comrade Duch was responsible for the murder of more than 20,000 people considered enemies of the revolution. Twenty years later, not one member of the Khmer Rouge had been held accountable for what happened.

Like so many others, Comrade Duch had disappeared, over a decade of working in Cambodia, photographer Nic Dunlop became obsessed with the idea of finding Duch, as the commandant of "S-21" prison, Duch could shed light on a secret and brutal world that had been sealed off to outsiders, then, by chance, he came face to face with him.

The Lost Executioner describes a personal journey to the heart of the Khmer Rouge. It is an attempt to find out what actually happened in Pol Pot's Cambodia and why, to understand how a seemingly peaceful nation could give birth to one of the most bloodthirsty revolutions in modern history.

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pedro27

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Two books about Cambodia hold tales of sadness, bravery, and endurance that merit comparison with the best books ever written about war and revolution.

 

On the surface, the two books sound similar: both authors were young girls when the Khmer Rouge came to power in 1975. Both were separated from their families and orphaned, and both endured the starvation and slavery that characterized life during the Pol Pot time. At a deeper level, however, the books are very different, and their titles symbolize the difference. Chanrithy Him's When Broken Glass Floats is lyrical and haunting, and Loung Ung's First They Killed My Father is stark and riveting. Both books are outstanding.

 

Loung Ung was five years old when the revolutionaries seized Phnom Penh in April 1975. Her father, a military policeman, had always pampered his beloved young daughter. When the Khmer Rouge order the complete evacuation of all cities, Ung begins to struggle with a world that is suddenly beyond comprehension. Her parents conceal their past, carefully instructing their children to avoid discussion of their lives in Phnom Penh. They live in constant fear of discovery: if the Khmer Rouge learn of her father's identity, he will be killed. The hallmarks of the new regime emerge: violence, hunger, and suffering.

 

With poignant, direct prose, Ung describes a litany of horrors, vividly recounting the hunger that is her constant companion, the constant threat of violence, the deep exhaustion of unending toil. Despite their suffering, the family survives - until one day when two Khmer Rouge soldiers arrive at their house and escort Loung's father away. He does not return.

 

After their father's death, their mother, determined to save her children, makes decision of unimaginable pain: she forces her three oldest children out of the house. "If we stay together, we will die together," she tells her children. She reasons that separation will give them the greatest chance for survival. "f they cannot find us, they cannot kill us." When eight-year old Loung begs to stay with her mother, her mother pushes her away. "I don't want you here! You are too much work for me! I want you to leave!" Crying with sadness and anger, the child walks down a gravel path, away from her mother, but toward survival.

 

First They Killed My Father is a painful, gripping memoir, an unrelenting tale of sorrow. It is difficult to read, and impossible to stop reading.

 

In the events it recounts, When Broken Glass Floats is every bit as sad as Ung's book. It vividly documents the lives crushed by what the Khmer Rouge called kang prawattasas, "the wheel of history." But within the agony, there are tales of heroism and compassion.

 

Growing up in Takeo, Him gets a glimpse of the war at an early age: in 1970, as the war in Vietnam spills across the border, her family flees to Phnom Penh. When they return, their house has been destroyed. It is only the beginning. They are in Phnom Penh when the city falls, and as they join the forced evacuation of the city, the cruelty of the Khmer Rouge and the harshness of the new regime is on display everywhere.

 

Him's world is a savage realm where children, reduced to brutal slavery, struggle alone for their very lives. Day after day after day, there is nothing but work, sickness, and death. Her family is torn apart, deliberately separated to weaken their allegiance to each other. Her father is executed, yet they dare not mourn. In simple, eloquent prose, Him describes the slender hopes that sustain her in a bleak existence: "Just the hope of seeing Mak [mother] creates a horizon for me in a world with no horizons." But kang prawattasas is relentless. Weakened by starvation and malnutrition, Him's mother and five of Him's siblings die of illness.

 

But there are moments of kindness and hope. A man working for the Khmer Rouge risks certain punishment to give food to Chanrithy and her sister; another Khmer Rouge, in a rare show of compassion, miraculously finds penicillin to treat an infection in Him's leg. "For the first time, I wonder if some Khmer Rouge are actually nice, quietly hiding among the ranks of the cruel."

 

And then there is Cheng. Only a child, like Him, she is one of the "new people" - the former city dwellers who bore the brunt of Khmer Rouge hatred. She befriends Him on a forced march to a labor camp, sharing precious food and equally precious companionship. Later, when they are caught scavenging for food, they are tortured together. Sensing their fate if they remain at the camp, Cheng puts forth a bold plan: they must escape.

 

Reading Him's book, it is hard to imagine that any human being could endure such hardship. They are mere children, yet they possess the courage of heroes.

 

Today, Chanrithy Him works in Oregon, where she studies the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder. Her job often requires her to interview the victims of the Cambodian genocide. She queries a woman about her experiences: "Did you ever see corpses during this time? Did you ever witness the executions of family members?" The woman breaks down and begins to cry, then regains her composure. "She apologizes for interrupting the interview, a mark of Cambodian courtesy that survived the years of brutality. I am always amazed that some bit of humanity outlived Angka and is more powerful than the wheel of history."

 

More powerful than the wheel of history, both First They Killed My Father and When Broken Glass Floats are moving tributes to those who survived, and eloquent eulogies for those who did not.

 

What a wonderful book, "First they killed my father". very sad but so well written a great read.

Edited by pedro27

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Daveo

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Vietnam Reconsidered covers nearly every facet of the war, including its origins, the impact of print and broadcast journalism, and the war's effects on American veterans and civilians, Vietnamese, and the armed forces. And it does so with a great diversity of authentic, and often contentious, voices. Thoughtful, Informative, provocative, soul-searching, Vietnam Reconsidered is a book rife with memories, insights, fears, visions, and hopes.

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Daveo

These and more of Jeremy Clarkson Books in our bookshop, read about Jeremy here; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Clarkson

books (10).jpgbooks (11).jpgbooks (12).jpgbooks (13).jpgbooks (14).jpgbooks (15).jpgbooks (16).jpgbooks (17).jpgbooks (18).jpg

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Daveo

These and more Bill Bryson Books in the bookshop, read more about Bill; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Bryson

books (1).jpgbooks (2).jpgbooks (3).jpgbooks (4).jpgbooks (5).jpgbooks (6).jpgbooks (7).jpgbooks (8).jpgbooks (9).jpg

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Daveo

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Daveo

What Canterbury Tales Bookshop can offer, David Baldacci Zero Day published 2012, 400 baht in Asia books who offer no credit refund etc, in Canterbury Tales for less than half that + you receive 50% of our price back in credit off the next book.

fzC2yND18t.png20121214_165006.jpg

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Daveo

Some of the many Sports Bio's

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Edited by Daveo

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sluminit

Gotta say, as a used book store, Ct's is hard to beat, For the new stuff, so are the prices.

 

Well done Daveo

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Daveo

We have this DVD of Unseen Thailand for the more adventurous

20121215_145354.jpg

Edited by Daveo

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Daveo

Jeremy Clarkson

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Daveo

Gotta say, as a used book store, Ct's is hard to beat, For the new stuff, so are the prices.

 

Well done Daveo

Thanks mate, no good being 2nd best in Pattaya

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Ohyesuare

I will drop by and grab some Dean Koontz books, my favorite author. You have a lot of the newest ones? I always forget which ones I have read or not.

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Daveo

I will drop by and grab some Dean Koontz books, my favorite author. You have a lot of the newest ones? I always forget which ones I have read or not.

 

We have quite a large selection of Deans books, here are some examples.

Copy of KOONTZ.jpg

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Ohyesuare

What's the price for the newish ones? The book store in the Avenue want like 380+ for most books.

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Daveo

Normally when I buy brand new books from the publishers as I did recently with Only Thai girls cry, Farang, One high season, My name Lon you like me, etc which are all behind reception, I knock off about 50 baht off retail, more sometimes depending on what I have to buy them in at, 50 baht off such as what Asia books sell them at, + we offer 50% trade in of that price off the next book/s you buy and so on, Asia books offer nothing.

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Ohyesuare

How much for a Dean Koontz book that has been traded in? If it is only 50 baht off the retail I would rather just buy it new.

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Daveo

no not run of the mill fiction, many that cost around 350 baht new we sell for between 100/180 plus the 50% trade in.

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Daveo

A Woman of Bangkok by Jack Reynolds.

Woman BKK.jpg

 

Acknowledged as one of the most memorable novels about Thailand, “A Woman of Bangkok” was first published to critical acclaim in London and New York in the 1950s and is a classic of Bangkok fiction. Set in 1950's Thailand, this is the story of an Englishman’s infatuation with a dance-hall hostess named Vilai. No ordinary prostitute, Vilai is one of the most memorable in literature’s long line of brazen working girls.

 

Jack Reynolds wrote only one popular book in his life but what a book, A Woman of Bangkok has achieved a mystical classic status among novels set in Asia since it was published in the 1950's.

Almost impossible to find for many years, and jealously coveted by those who had a copy, it's reputation in more recent times was fueled by word of mouth and enshrined by scarcity I needed this book on our shelves at Canterbury Tales Bookshop as soon as I found out the book had recently been reprinted.

 

Set at a time when Bangkok was still an exotic and largely undiscovered frontier for expats, Jack Reynolds feel for location, character and plot, as well as his elegant prose, earns the novel a well deserved reputation as a classic.

I have repeatedly seen 'A Woman of Bangkok' cited among the 'top ten novels in Asia' and although my own reading has been far from exhaustive I can well believe this to be fair.

Can be purchased online from us and shipped from Thailand to anywhere.

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badboybilly

And do you read all these books yourself Dave?

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Daveo

And do you read all these books yourself Dave?

No not all Billy, but I am writing one and your innit, going to call it "being silly with Billy"

Edited by Daveo

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Daveo

IN Today

The-Last-Gangster-From-Cop-to-Wiseguy-to-FBI-Informant-Anastasia-George-9780060544225.jpg

"It's over.

You'd have to be Ray Charles not to see it." former New Jersey capo Ron Previte, on the mob today As a cop, Ron Previte was corrupt, as a mobster he was brutal, & in his final role, as a confidential informant to the FBI, Previte was deadly.

The Last Gangster is his story the story of the last days of the Philadelphia Mob, and of the clash of generations that brought it down once and for all, for 35 years Ron Previte roamed the underworld, a 6 foot, 300 pound capo in the Philadelphia South Jersey crime family, he ran every mob scam and gambit from drug trafficking and prostitution to the extortion of millions from Atlantic City.

In his own words, "Every day was a different felony " By the 1990s, Previte, an old school workhorse, found himself answering to younger mob bosses like "Skinny Joe" Merlino, who seemed increasingly spoiled, cocky, and careless. Convinced that the honor of the "business" was gone, he became the FBI's secret weapon in an intense and highly personalized war on the Philadelphia mob.

Operating with the same guile, wit, and stone cold bravado that had made him a force in the underworld & armed with only a wiretap secured to his crotch Previte recorded it all, the murder, the mayhem, and even the story of mob boss Ralph Natale's affair with his youngest daughter's best friend.

Previte and his FBI cronies eventually prevailed, securing the convictions of his nemeses, "Skinny Joey" Merlino and Ralph Natale.I am sure will be well read of the read on the true crime section of Canterbury Tales Bookshop.

Edited by Daveo

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