Bangkok Days

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

  • Title: Bangkok Days
  • Author: Lawrence Osborne
  • ISBN: 9780099535973
  • Page: 317
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 few dollars a day.Osborne s Bangkok is a vibrant, instinctual city full of contradictions He wanders the streets, dining on insects, trawling through foTourists 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 few dollars a day.Osborne 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 bars.Far than a travel book, 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.

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      Published :2018-05-05T00:28:56+00:00

    One thought on “Bangkok Days”

    1. God, how to describe this book imagine if O'Rourke were British and little less concerned with sociology and politics and a little more philosophical, and you can begin to imagine Lawrence Osborne. First off, a caveat: this book, which was just published this year, is marketed almost as some sort of expose on the steamy, sordid underworld of Bangkok. As the subtitle says, "A Sojourn in the Capital of Pleasure," which resides on the book jacket next to an ostensible working girl, her face partia [...]

    2. Borrowed this book from a friend while living in Bangkok. This was my daily BTS read for a bit more 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 wit [...]

    3. 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 that Osborne's descriptions of the largely male characters in his Bangkok expat life might not seem so . . . balanced? They do lead a rather Peter Pan existence, which he does a great job at depicting. Before reading the book, I was aware that Thailand is known for where western men go for mid-life crises.He excels at making Bangkok a "character" in its [...]

    4. I read this book concurrently with Farang by Iain Corness, as a sort of antidote to that books vanilla content.The 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 of [...]

    5. Readers of this book should take note of these words in chapter 4: ".irs 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 concerned with facts or accuracy shows in his writing. The book is loaded with mistranslations, transliteration errors, inaccuracies, and bald-faced [...]

    6. 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) [...]

    7. 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 particularly enjoyed the naked honesty and self-irony Osbourne employs in describing some truly awkward and embarrassing moments. I laughed out loud many times, but also felt [...]

    8. No one is a victim in Osborne's Bangkok, or perhaps everyone is. This is especially true in his interpretation of the sex industry, which dominates the majority of the book's focus. There are no villains either, and on at least 3 occasions the book aims to dispute Bangkok prostitution statistics gathered from the United Nations and other NGO's. No opposing numbers are provided, rather, the reader is to take the word of Osborne and a group of desperate losers in self-imposed exile. He tries so ha [...]

    9. from 3/21/16 Interview about sense of place: "For me, place is everything. The atmosphere and spirit of place. I think I spend more time thinking about that than anything. The subtle intuition of nature is something that all people possess and are alive to, but it's lost in urban environments and, therefore, in urban novels. One of the reasons I like living in Bangkok is that, although it's a megacity, it's very saturated with nature—the vast and brooding skies, the sudden storms and rains, th [...]

    10. great book about bangkok and the(western)men who who inhabit it. also very sad and melancholy. reminds me of jan morris' book "trieste and the meaning of nowhere", sad and profound, and irreverent and informational, if you like the dark streets, the side streets.

    11. Lawrence Osborne’s The Forgiven was one of the finest novels I have read in this century. Here he writes a travelogue about Bangkok. (Can one write a travelogue about one city?) Now I have been to Bankkok twice, but I have little knowledge of the city that Osborne writes about. He is intimate. He writes about the town with the same intimacy that Henry Miller writes about women.Oh, he knows Bangkok. And he shares the streets, the bars, the temples, the bar girls, the transsexuals, the food. And [...]

    12. Altra terra e altro mare sospiravi -Trovare una Città, un supremo approdo, Da contrapporre a questa, dove incombe Su ogni mia passione una condanna' Bangkok vuol dire ‘città degli angeli’ e in effetti, atterrandoci di sera, mi sembrò questa la vera Los Angeles di Blade Runner: una selva sterminata di grattacieli sotto una pioggia perenne, gigantesche pubblicità luminose, un traffico a livelli mai più visti altrove, una miriade di carretti con ambulanti che vendono noodles e una folla co [...]

    13. I just finished this one, although I've got the UK edition, with a very different cover. Osborne is a gifted author. There's a meandering quality to this book, a sense of a man adrift, which was what life in Bangkok was like for many (I spent summer 2008 there and have made several shorter visits; it's one of my favorite cities) until the recent spate of violence broke out. In fact, it was the violence that motivated me to read this book. I was there when the protesters barricaded the Pathumwan [...]

    14. Bangkok Days by self-confessed 'lazy ****' Lawrence Osborne is an alternative, and slighty seedy account of the lives of ex-pats in modern Thailand. He originally visits the city for some cheap dentistry (cost of flights, hotel and dentist's bills cheaper than having the work done at home) but soon realizes that he can get by on just a few dollars a day - the perfect scenario for someone who appears to be an ageing slacker - so decides to stay for a while and soon hooks up with a ragtag bunch of [...]

    15. New York Times writer Lawrence Osborne planned a trip to Bangkok and when he found he could live there on only a few dollars a day, he decides to stay indefinitely. In Bangkok Days, Osborne acts as a tour guide without inhibitions, bringing to light the draw of this Far East city. Also, he is a prolific writer; my favorite passage is in response to his visit to a brothel when he realizes his two prostitutes are very, (too) young girls, sadly named "Bum" and "Cartoon". The young girls approach hi [...]

    16. The author has a gift for writing. He really depicts scenes/happenings in the city well. And I can relate as I visited there last year. I also learned about the Hindu learned in Bangkok (Which I either don't remember or never learned)That said, I cannot say I like to author as a person (which to me is imperative in a autobiography). He seems to treat the people he meets with condescension. Eg. he describes older men he has befriended as dirty old men who came to Bangkok because of easy women and [...]

    17. Having spent several years living in Bangkok myself, I found this book to be one of the better "foreign expat in Bangkok" books out there. Its an honest travelogue which manages to feature a lot of the tropes that often appear in this genre but also digs deeper. Osborne is a good writer and the sense I got reading this is that his observations and experiences were true ones. Missing from the book were deep insights into how Bangkok changed Osborne (if at all), which would have made for even bett [...]

    18. I was drawn to this book for no other reason than I live in Bangkok so thought it might be interesting to see how the city is portrayed. I can't say that I found the narrator, presumably the author, appealing, but I did respect his honesty. I also loved the way he evoked the sounds, smells and tastes of Bangkok. His knowledge of Bangkok is certainly very different to my own, his consisting of an analysis of seemingly every bar and brothel in town, but it is a well written and interesting book th [...]

    19. I loved this book. I want to follow every word the next time I visit Bangkok. I like the astute observations and the wry humor. I love the fact that it tells it how it is. There's no putting a glossy sheen on things. Added to my list of books to love for life.

    20. 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.

    21. Questo libro è stato una sorpresa. L'ho preso aspettandomi altro e ho trovato qualcosa di imprevisto. È uno sguardo originale e molto particolare su una città incredibile. È una radiografia di come i vizi occidentali hanno creato un enorme mostro. È una visione per forza di cose maschile, ma mai fastidiosa. L'io narrante intriga quasi quanto Bangkok: non sappiamo nulla di lui, non sappiamo cosa vuole dalla vita e dal mondo e per questo la sua visione è in qualche modo neutra e asettica. Qu [...]

    22. Sitting poolside at the Westin Grande on Sukhimvit and laughing out loud about the Bum and Cartoon incident. People are looking at me. Do I care? Nope lol.Being a frequent (woman) traveler to BKK, I will be looking at every middle aged farang with new eyes.Thanks for a great read.

    23. I decided not to finish it. I did not really enjoy reading about the seedier side of Bangkok, and its associated cast of characters.

    24. Osborne is an excellent writer and I've enjoyed some of his fiction. I am torn whether to call this great travel writing. It's an enjoyable read and nearly every place he passes through I've been myself (other than the seedy/red light sorts of places, though even some of those we've walked/gawked through). Central to the narrative are the expat characters, all of them interesting and well developed, so for anyone tired of this angle of Bangkok, this may not be interesting. Some glaring mistakes [...]

    25. Though he has written several novels before, this is the first I have read by him. I was distracted by the prose in a really great way, in that I wanted to read it over and over to commit some of the phrases and quirky descriptions to memory. First-person is not always my favorite perspective, but he executed it brilliantly. It opened my eyes to Thailand and its uniqueness in a way that offered enough sociopolitical detail so it helped understanding, but not so much that it slid into the driest [...]

    26. Lawrence Osborne came to Bangkok to have his teeth fixed a.k.a a harmless dentist visit, since the cost is far cheaper then where he came from. Having tasted the local price for pretty much everything, he has decided to stay for a longer period.To make his money lasts longer, he chose a cockroach-infested apartment across the great Chao Phraya river, which also means across the bustling-tourists laden Bangkok. He found companies, old men who escaped the dreary life of the Occident and sought ref [...]

    27. This was an interesting book to have read before visiting Bangkok, as I think I would have tried to visit some of the places Lawrence wrote about. For the most part, I enjoyed the book: not quite travelogue, not quite memoir, not quite non-fiction. It was slightly heavy handed, prose-wise, in places but overall was enjoyable. The idea that farangs arrive in Bangkok to live out their days in anonymity or blatant fiction was pretty interesting (as that seems to get with the several westerners I me [...]

    28. Tourists come to Bangkok for many reasons—a sex change operation, a night with two prostitutes dressed as nuns, a stay in a luxury hotel. Lawrence Osborne comes for the cheap dentistry. Broke (but no longer in pain), he finds that he can live in Bangkok on a few dollars a day. And so the restless exile stays. Osborne’s is a visceral experience of Bangkok, whether he’s wandering the canals that fill the old city; dining at the No Hands Restaurant, where his waitress feeds him like a baby; o [...]

    29. Bangkok di Lawrence Osborne è sostenuto da una sofisticata tensione narrativa che rimanda ai grandi autori, Lowry, Green, e Somerset Maugham, anche se la scrittura non sempre è all’altezza di questa ricerca. E’ un’immersione in un mondo non solo lontano, ma altro da quello occidentale, in cui ogni azione è benedetta da mille significati buddisti, in cui il re è considerato una semi divinità, e la potente natura del sudest asiatico è così fisicamente intrecciata alla città. La Bangk [...]

    30. Osborne's chronicle of his time in Thailand is a meandering journey. He often wanders about Bangkok with no particular destination in mind and that sense of drifting and aimlessly wandering is passed onto the reader in his writing style. It's not a chronological recollection of his time there, but rather a series of episodes. He seems to have an insatiable curiosity about all aspects of life and delves into everything from hanging out and philosophizing with fellow expats to prostitution to hang [...]

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