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Bangkok Haunts

Narrated by: Glen McCready
Series: Sonchai Jitpleecheep Series, Book 3
Length: 12 hrs and 44 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (353 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Critically acclaimed, nationally best-selling author John Burdett has earned starred reviews for the fast-paced action, snappy dialogue, and gritty realism of his thrilling tales starring Royal Thai police detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep. In this vibrant and witty novel, devout Buddhist Sonchai relies on his karma to guide him through the seamy underbelly of Bangkok as he pieces together the scattered clues of a complex mystery.
©2007 John Burdett (P)2007 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"Superb....Burdett has created a haunting, powerful story that transcends genre." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    88
  • 4 Stars
    130
  • 3 Stars
    70
  • 2 Stars
    34
  • 1 Stars
    31

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    37
  • 4 Stars
    42
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    8

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    41
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    40
  • 3 Stars
    19
  • 2 Stars
    7
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    7
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Funny, weird, horrible, terrific

This writer was a wonderful discovery for me. In terms of both the story and the characters, "original" hardly says enough. Warning: there's a mountain of graphic sex, and plenty of truly obscene violence. It's all part of the picture, but it might be too much for some. I found parts of it hard to read, though worth the discomfort. The humor is maybe the best part -- weird but hilarious. I'm torn whether this is a 4 or a 5 only because the writer is still a bit amateurish. He makes grammatical errors and non-compute phrases (like tears coming out of the retina), has some mild plot holes (why would having sex be blackmailable?) and falls in love with some words and overuses them ("frisson," for example). But in tribute to a fabulous story, I'll leave it a 5.

AUDIO:
The reader is a good actor but is wrong for the part. He's the ultimate occidental/Anglo-Saxon. Also, he sounds smug and pompous rather than practical and self-effacing as the protagonist is written. All his statements are lobbed at you like pronouncements. And though he seems to have studied how to pronounce words like Supatra and Chanya, he didn't bother with others, like Nippon, or sake (sacky! ugh! yuck!).

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Garett
  • San Jose, CA, United States
  • 03-19-08

Alluring read with a dispelling ending

I really enjoyed this book and was compelled to continue to (listen) to more and more; effectively a page turner. The mystery was well paced and developed and the setting (Thailand) was very interesting, with cultural references. This murder mystery kept me going and at the end when the threads fell together it was gratifying... that is until the "climactic scene" at the end (I won't spoil) that completely too far and destroys the suspension of disbelief.

Other than that scene, it was a very entertaining ride.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • psnorb
  • Northwest Chicago Suburb, United States
  • 02-22-08

Cultural Mysticism

Very good. Cultural diverse murder mystery. Comical at times this is not a light read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Andre
  • Ithaca, NY, United States
  • 08-16-07

Mystery and Magic

The book is absorbing, although you have to accept the spirit world as you read it. It is marred by an exceptionally long and boring "Epilogue", devoted to justification of the porn industry.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

morbidly erotic, very well written.

I liked it. This is a very unusual book. It takes topics classically "taboo", and then integrates the erotic, murder-mystery, spiritual, and religious into a fascinating tale. Lots of history, and background of the Southeast Asian people, Bangkok, Laos, Viet Nam, Cambodia, their totally unconventional culture, language and norms. It's an engrosing saga; kept me tuned in to the end. (Although I do agree with the other comment on the unnecessary epilogue which didn't fit with the literary level of the work).

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Exoticly Haunting

My first experience of John Burdett and his Bangkok books - fabulous!! You can almost smell and feel Thailand and what a great twist on the American detective that breaks the rules - the Thai cop who is NOT corrupt. All the characters are unforgettable. Simply spell-binding, narration is delicious! Looking for other books read by McCready and already ordered the first two Bangkok books - highly recommend this exotic murder mystery.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • MEMcL
  • Carlsbad, CA
  • 08-16-07

A waste of a credit

This book is not at all as described. Having visited Bangkok, I thought that it would be interesting to have that as a setting for a detective story. Wrong! The book was sordid, gruesome, and totally devoid of listening pleasure. I stopped about 30% through and I don't know why I even wasted 3 hours of my time, much less an Audible credit.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • Brooklyn, NY, USA
  • 08-10-07

urban legend

The whole thing about snuff films is an urban legend. That's ok. it worked for "dirty pretty things." But here it is just silly. I stopped in the middle.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Horribly inappropriate accent by narrator

What did you like best about Bangkok Haunts? What did you like least?

Jeez, I'm only about an hour in and seriously don't know if I can bear to listen to another moment! I loved the first two books, but now they've changed narrator and it's simply dreadful. He would be fine reading Sherlock Holmes or some priggish British colonial character, but his clipped vowels and snobbish accent and staccato pace are all wrong for Thai Sonchai. Every time I try to listen again, I get so irritated within minutes that I'm ready to throw my phone across the room. I will set it aside for a few days and then try again but will most likely return this audiobook and read it myself. For that matter, I'd prefer my kindle's robotic voice to this accent! Again, not the actor's fault, just HORRIBLE CASTING!!!

What other book might you compare Bangkok Haunts to and why?

The books themselves thus far have been lovely, somewhat reminiscent of Colin Cotterill's Siri Paiboun books. It is the switch to Glen McReady's narration that I object to.

Would you be willing to try another one of Glen McCready’s performances?

NEVER

Was Bangkok Haunts worth the listening time?

No - could not listen anymore.

Any additional comments?

Loved the first two books with different narrator.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

What Nonsense

Any additional comments?

Much spewing of pseudointellectual nonsense in a relentlessly grim worldview. People should not confuse this book with anything remotely resembling Buddhist thought or life in Thailand.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful