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The Paradise Eater

The Paradise Eater

by John Ralston Saul

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This provocative story from the well-traveled author of Baraka and The Next Best Thing is as much a novel of seedy Asian atmosphere as it is a satisfying thriller. John Field is a former Canadian journalist who has lived in Thailand for 20 years. Friendly with both a saintly doctor to the poverty-stricken and an eccentric American businesswoman who talks regularly to her dead husband, Fields has sunk comfortably to the underside of Bangkok life. Having slept with dozens of bargirls and contracted venereal diseases numerous times, he finds that his latest bout seems resistant to cure. He calls regularly on a Thai madame and a reporter-turned-guide to the X-rated pleasures of the city. When his eccentric friend, Catherine Laker, sends him to Vientiane as her agent in a coffee deal, the Canadian embassy asks him also to look in on two of his former friends working for the U.N. in the Laotian capital. What he discovers, however, are their mutilated corpses. And from the time he escapes Laos until his return to Bangkok, Field flees unknown enemies who believe he should be dead, too. From its pigpens, monsoon-flooded streets and slums, to the European country clubs, Bangkok is brought alive by the skilled travel-writer in Saul. In his own literate way, Saul has done for Bangkok something of what Raymond Chandler did for hardboiled Los Angeles. (October)
Library Journal - Library Journal
John Field, a former journalist, lives in Bangkok, running errands around Southeast Asia and making deals for other people. He spends his free time mingling with the foreign residents, drinking and whoring around. A supposedly simple trip to Laos involves him in a double murder and a drug operation that reaches into the highest levels of Thai government and society. The greed and corruption of most of the characters in this rich novel are underlined by the descriptions of the physical decay of the country and inhabitants. Saul has a rare ability to set dramatic scenes with startling images. A first-rate novel by the author of The Birds of Prey (McGraw, 1976), this can be read on more than one level, but the fast pace and superb dialogue should be enough. Highly recommended.Robert H. Donahugh, Youngstown & Mahoning Cty. P.L., Ohio

Product Details

Random House of Canada, Limited
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.76(d)

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