Tag Archives: Thailand

#Bookreview Running on Emptiness by John Dolan (@JohnDolanAuthor) Revenge, death, family and an endings of sorts

Hi all:

Today I bring you a new(ish) book, the last one (so far) in John Dolan‘s Time, Blood and Karma series. I had read the other three books in the series, a shorter story related to it, and a collaboration between the author and Fiona Quinn (Chaos Is Come Again. See review here) and I was eager to read this one. When I reviewed the third novel in the series A Poison Tree in my own blog, I took the chance to share the previous reviews again too, so you can read it here. As I say in the review, it’s important that one reads all the books so don’t hesitate to read the review and the books. But without further ado, here is the review.

Running on Emptiness by John Dolan
Running on Emptiness by John Dolan

Running on Emptiness (Time, Blood and Karma, Book 4) by John Dolan Revenge, death, family and an endings of sorts

“Today, there will be a reckoning.”

It is the summer of 2006. In Thailand, the army makes preparations to overthrow the elected government of Thaksin Shinawatra.

Against this backdrop of political turmoil, destinies are shaped as events ensnare a corrupt Police Chief and his dying wife, two warring drug lords, an embittered widow, and a vengeful gangster.

While dreams and obsessions play out on the streets of Bangkok, private detective David Braddock finds himself mired in guilt. The ghosts of his past misdeeds are coming home, and they are bringing devastation in their wake.

‘Running on Emptiness’ is the fourth volume in the ‘Time, Blood and Karma’ series.

The ‘Time, Blood and Karma’ series will appeal to lovers of the following book categories: mystery, thriller, crime, Thailand fiction, private investigators, British detectives, and amateur sleuths.

 

And here, my review:

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve read all the novels in the Time, Blood and Karma series by John Dolan and have enjoyed them enormously. I read many genres, but I am quite partial to mystery/thrillers. And these ones have a very special protagonist, David Braddock, and amateur detective (or rather a not professionally recognised and trained detective, but he is pretty good and gets paid for his efforts) and again a non-professional therapist, a British man but who lives in Thailand, an amateur philosopher who regularly visits an old Buddhist monk (his best friend), who has interesting an complex relationships with many women and a past full of ghosts.

Whilst the third book in the series, A Poison Tree explored and explained David’s back history and his life in the UK, Running on Emptiness continues with the adventures of Hungry Ghosts where we, the readers, were privy to some information that left us hanging and waiting for disaster to strike. We have a gangster determined to avenge his brother’s death (the only meaningful thing he has left to do in life), a dying woman who before ending her life in her own terms (remaining in charge of her meaning) reveals a dangerous secret, another woman who after losing her job realises she’s been living a lie and tries and find meaning by coming clean, an old man who, disappointed by his children, decides to revisit a shady past he thought he’d left behind to do the right thing. Each chapter is told from a different point of view, and that includes the characters whom we might think of as the good guys (but nobody is blameless, honest and truthful in this novel, at least none of the characters whose points of view we follow), but also the gangsters, corrupt policemen and killers. The action takes place in England (we start with a wedding and we end with a funeral) and Thailand, we have political unrest, and there is also a murder case to solve with magic trickery thrown in, where Braddock (and Dolan) follow on Agatha Christie’s footsteps and pull off a brilliant piece of sleight-of-hand engineering.

The story is told at a good pace, the writing is impeccable and lyrical at times (particularly on the parts from David Braddock’s point of view. He is witty and forever quotable), I must confess I cheered at a point towards the end (but I’ll keep my lips sealed as I don’t want to spoil it for anybody), and in the end, although there are some questions and unresolved issues, I felt we’d reached the end of an era. The complex and alternative life Braddock had built for himself, in an attempt at escaping reality, comes crushing down around him, taking no prisoners. By the end, although Braddock might not know everything, he’s lost a lot and learned a fair deal about himself, about the people he cares about, about his friends, and about life itself.

I recommend this book to lovers of thrillers and mystery stories with great main characters, those who have a penchant for philosophy and reflections on the nature of life, particularly if you’re intrigued by Thailand, and in general those who love good and memorable writing. But, do read the whole series in the right order, because the sum of its parts is much greater than the individual novels. Congratulations to John Dolan on his epic series. I won’t forget Time, Blood and Karma any time soon. And I’ll be waiting eagerly for more of novels, in the same or other series.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 4.5/5
Made Me Think: 4.5/5
Overall enjoyment: 5/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
 

Buy it at:  
Format & Pricing:
Paperback:  $13.49
Kindle: $ 3.99

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

 

Great stories and imagery … enhanced with reality. Down and Out in the Big Mango. @Deepcaster

Down and Out in the Big Mango

What the heck is the Big Mango? When I agreed to read Down and Out in the Big Mango by Tony McManus, that was the question I was asking myself. That’s what I get for not reading the complete title. I mean, that’s a great title, right? Who can blame me for not seeing the “and Other Thai Stories” part?

Once opening the cover and beginning the adventure I immediately knew the Big Mango had to do with Thailand, and specifically Bangkok, the capital city, the sister city of Washington, D.C., Liverpool, and Brisbane to name a few.

This wasn’t intended to be my book to review on the team but I’m Ko Chang Island Thailandglad I ended up here. As a collection of short stories, it was an easy read. I like shorts because I don’t have to commit a great deal of time at one go because I know I can read one entire entry from beginning to end without losing my spot or having to remember what happened before.

I didn’t know what to expect from tales of Thailand. Many people instantly think of Bangkok and the stereotype things about certain districts there. My mind didn’t drift to those places. I always think of a song from the 1980s about Bangkok and a game of chess.

The review!

McManus gives stories that from the beginning start out as black and white stories. People have clear thoughts of issues and beliefs. It’s like a coloring book where lines dictate where to use the crayons. Bangkok, ThailandMcManus puts his characters into the picture and then blurs those lines with reality.

What would you do if you faced capturing a white-collar criminal, an embezzler of money from the super-rich, the millionaires? I know what my answer was, is, or whatever. I’m still having a difficult time with it. McManus shows the layers of our beliefs and rules and then throws in reality, situations that test how either correct or perhaps needed those beliefs, and rules are.

Down and Out in the Big Mango and Other Thai Stories is a sleeper hit in my opinion. You get the imagery of a beautiful country, an inside look at the people and some of the interesting character that makes it a unique place on earth. I would love to visit a place like this, perhaps even live there.

Recommendation

I think most anyone would enjoy this that likes a bit of intelligent humor, some intrigue at times, relationships, beautiful imagery, and life questions. An enjoyable series of short reads. A great introduction to Tony’s other books you can find on his Author Page at Amazon by clicking HERE for the US or HERE for the UK.

RATING

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 4.5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 4.5
Overall Rate: 4.8

Author: Tony McManus
Title: Down and Out in the Big Mango, and Other Thai Stories
File Size: 454 KBDown and Out in the Big Mango by Tonay McManus
Print Length: 149 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Ridge-Way Publications; 1 edition (January 14, 2014)
Publication Date: January 14, 2014
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, LLC.
Language: English
ASIN: B00HVE1YHG
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
Format: Kindle-US   Kindle-UK
Price:  4.99 (US)   £3.20 (UK)
Lending: Enabled

About the Author

Born in Manchester, I left England many years ago to get about and see the world. It was the best move I ever made. After lots of traveling and adventure in Africa, where I worked in many jobs to serve my passion for travel such as English teacher, bar tender, taxi driver, construction worker in the Transvaal goldmines and the Tony McManuscopper mines of Zambia.
Eventually, I moved to Canada where I still live part of the time. I made my home in Quebec, living in Montreal for many years before moving north into the Laurentian Mountains where I built a log home in the town of Ste. Adele.
I’m now living in Chiang Mai, Thailand and like it a lot. In the winter of 2012, I published my first novel on Amazon: The Iran Deception. Last November I published Down And Out In The Big Mango a collection of Thai short stories. I am presently working on a second novel: A Bangkok Interlude.

Goodreads    Author Site


About the Reviewer

Ronovan Hester is an author, with his debut historical adventure novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling due out in Valentine’s Day of 2016. He shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer through his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge, a  Weekly Fiction Prompt Challenge, and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.com.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@RonovanWrites

© Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterviews.com 2015

#Book #Review A Journey to Happiness (Passage to Thailand) by Paloma Caral. A journey to the depths of consciousness

A journey to happiness  (Passage to Thailand)by Paloma Caral
A journey to happiness (Passage to Thailand)by Paloma Caral

Hi all:

Before my review I wanted to share a word of clarification. I have a personal connection with the book I’m reviewing today. I have translated it to English. I have no commercial stake in the sale of the book (I’ve provided the translation but don’t share in the sales) but wanted you to know that my review (that I’m not posting in official sites as I appear in the credits) is a translation of my review of the Spanish version of the book as I wouldn’t dare comment on my own work. I try to be as unobtrusive as I can when translating as I want the final result to be as close as possible to the original. So any faults you might find with the book will probably be mine and the merits are Paloma’s.

And without further ado…

A journey to happiness (Passage to Thailand)

  • File Size:948 KB
  • Print Length:184 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage:Unlimited
  • Sold by:Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language:English
  • ASIN:B00UXZH6DG

A journey to the depths of consciousness

The title of this novel describes it perfectly. Initially the story is presented from the pont of view of Sara, a young woman who decides to start taking classes at a martial arts school, although what she is trying to do is to find herself. Marc, one of the teachers of the school feels a special affinity for Sara from the very beginning and knows that she needs somebody to help her.

But, although the story returns to Sara, the main part of the novel follows Marc, who discovers many family secrets he wasn’t aware of, including a young half-sister, Carlota, who accompanies him in his journey to Thailand.

His journey to a temple in Chiang Mai, is also ours. Through the narration of several of the characters, including the abbot of the temple, and later a young novice, we learn the story of the Buddha and some of his ideas. The reflections and reactions of the characters, especially those of Carlota, help us question and explore Buddhist philosophy, and at the same time provide us with a human and emotional centre. Carlota is a girl confronted by a situation that would be terrible and cruel at any age who grows and discovers that you make your own happiness.

Marc goes from being an intuitive and “good” man to a man who reaches enlightenment and becomes a master of more than just martial arts, and the father of a unique family.

And to complete the transformation, Sara also goes in search of her own happiness and I found her adventure truly inspiring.

This is not a novel full of action and drama, but a reflective novel where ideas and philosophy are at a premium. The psychological portraits of the characters help us live the story and experiment in the first person their discoveries and revelations.

If you’re only looking for action, romance and standard adventures, I don’t recommend you this novel. But if you dare to go embark on a journey exploring ideas and confronting prejudices, I recommend you this book by Paloma Caral, an author whom you should follow closely. She’ll open up the doors of your mind and your spirit.

The Spanish version of the book has been on the best-sellers list for over a year now.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 4/5
Made Me Think: 5/5
Overall enjoyment: 4.5/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 4.4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
 

Buy it at:  Amazon
Format & Pricing:
Kindle: $3.04

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://OlgaNM.wordpress.com

http://www.OlgaNM.com