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Retired Australian family lawyer, living about 50/50 in Sydney Australia and Chiang Mai, Thailand. I speak Thai at lower intermediate level.

Glebe Point, Australia | Member Since 2010

  • 4 reviews
  • 45 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2015

  • The Godfather of Kathmandu

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By John Burdett
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan

    Sonchai Jitpleecheep is summoned to the most shocking and intriguing crime scene of his career. Solving the murder could mean a promotion, but Sonchai is more interested in Tietsin, an exiled Tibetan lama based in Kathmandu who has become his guru. Sonchai is put to the extreme test - as a cop, as a Buddhist, as an impossibly earthbound man.

    Joe says: "Not in the same league as the earlier books"
    "Not in the same league as the earlier books"

    John Burdett's creative juices must be drying up or he needs to move on. Bangkok 8 was great. Bangkok Tattoo and Bangkok Haunts were very good but the weird sci-fi mysticism themes a little contrived.
    The Godfather of Kathmandu relies on The Godfather and The Silence of the Lambs movies to provide the background storylines with a little help from the Golden Book on the History of South East Asian Opiates Trading and Buddhism for Dummies. The moralising in the last chapter was overdone - get off the pulpit John and let the readers make up their own minds.
    But worst of all was the narrator. Songhai Jitpleecheep, the half American half Thai Buddhist Bangkok detective, a great character, with a James Bond accent - give us a break. Stephen Hogan did not even bother to get the pronunciation of Thai words and phrases correct. Luk kreung (Thai: ลูกครึ่ง), literally "child half", a colloquial reference in the Thai language to a person who is of mixed Thai and European origins bore no similarity to the correct pronunciation. Tom Yum Goong and Krung Thep (the Thai word for Bangkok) both got different versions at different spots. And there were other glaring errors. But worst of all, farang, (ฝรั่ง) the generic Thai word for a Westerner and to whom the story is narrated was constantly pronounced far- rang instead of the correct far-rung. Did not Burdett even speak to Hogan. Also Burdett certainly does not have the depth of understanding of Thai culture like fellow Thai authors in the same genre such as Christopher Moore and Dean Barrett.
    Time for Sonchai to retire I think. Three stars because I love the characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thailand: The Vicious Truth About Thai Hookers

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By The Blether
    • Narrated By Ron Herczig

    Thailand - Man Heaven? Or Man Hell? It's really as the Thai say "Up To You". You'll see plenty of books on kindle talking about the visible sex trade in Thailand. When you mention Thailand to many people that's the first thing that springs to mind. I'm not a genius but I can guess if you are looking at this book the chances are you are interested in seeing for yourself. The book is not the assassination job that the headline may suggest - it was based upon interviews with people that work in the trade.

    Joe says: "Do not buy, garbage"
    "Do not buy, garbage"
    What disappointed you about Thailand: The Vicious Truth About Thai Hookers?

    This is a very poorly written, badly assembled, repetitive load of garbage. The author purports to expose the truth about the subject but what we get is a disjointed list of generalisations, half truths, misinformation, straight out lies interpersed with a few truisms. The problem is if you hve no personal knowlrdge of the subjrect you do not know which is which.The author presents as a bombastic, know all, self important, smart arse, ignorant idiotic. You will find several of this type in any bar in Thailand. They make you make you cringe with embarrassment and give tourists a bad name in Thailand.Similar girls in their the men's own country would not give them the time of day. The only redeeming fact is that the girls recignise this and play them off a break. No wonder he writes under a pseudonym. He is a uneducated half witted moron.

    Would you ever listen to anything by The Blether again?


    Would you be willing to try another one of Ron Herczig’s performances?

    He is very average but had little to work with. As the text is written in the first person one cannot help but identify him with the author.

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Thailand: The Vicious Truth About Thai Hookers?

    All of it.

    Any additional comments?

    You should remove this and any other books, an I use that word loosely, written by the author from you catalogue. I have removed it from mine

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rumpole of the Bailey [AudioGo]

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By John Mortimer
    • Narrated By Robert Hardy

    In these witty and comic stories, Horace Rumpole takes on a variety of clients and activities. He, of course, brings each case to a successful end, all the while quoting poetry and drinking claret.

    Ian C Robertson says: "Wordsworth in a Wig"
    "Alone and without a leader"

    This is the original and best Rumpole by the late Sir John Mortimer QC an eminent member of the English bar himself. Reading this book again brings back nostalgic memories of the fabulous TV series of the same name featuring the late and great Australian actor, Leo McKern. Between them Mortimer and McKern captured the essence of the real practice of the law - cut and thrust, talent, innovation, cynicism, mateship, an understanding of the underlying jurisprudential principle of the rule of law and above all fun. Rumpole provides the complete answer to the question every lawyer fields many times during his/her working life "How can you represent a client who you know is guilty?" Wonderful and hugely entertaining.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Thai Phase 1, Units 1-30: Learn to Speak and Understand Thai with Pimsleur Language Programs

    • ORIGINAL (16 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Pimsleur

    Thai Phase 1, Lessons 1-30 includes 15 hours of spoken language practice and one hour of reading instruction in thirty, 30-minute lessons. In the first 10 lessons, you’ll cover the basics: saying hello, asking for or giving information, scheduling a meal or a meeting, asking for or giving basic directions, and much more.

    Joe says: "Pimsleur's Thai - best Thai course yet discovered"
    "Pimsleur's Thai - best Thai course yet discovered"

    If you want to learn spoken native Thai this is the course.

    I ave been coming to Thailand for 10 years and now live in Chiang Mai for about half the time. I started to attempt Thai language by purchasing the usual phrase books - so so. I found that after a while my vocab improved but my syntax, intonation, pitch and pronunciation were poor and my ability to understand native Thai speakers almost nil. Next to Audio courses and iPhone apps - a little better but almost no understanding of syntax and grammar. After a 2 month course at Chiang Mai University with an excellent teacher I could communicate with non English speaking Thais. I then discovered Dr Pimsleur. Fabulous. For the first time I cane to grips with tone and pitch. My teacher at CMU used a similar method and had probably unwittingly stumbled upon the Pimsleur method . Fellow students who were language teachers said that her teaching techniques were archaic but she was a brilliant teacher - the problem was that she was only available for 3 hours a day during the course. Pimsleur is available on demand until you get it perfect. This is without doubt the best non face to face Thai language course available. I can now understand what my Thai friends are saying and I can converse with them and they can understand me. If you want to speak Thai this is it.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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