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Has Anybody Read The New Andrew Hicks Book Yet?

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Studying English lit. at school we were led to believe that there were absolute standards of good and bad writing. Of course there are but just as importantly there are books that you like and books you simply don't like. A lot of people are really gripped by "THAI GIRL".

You are 100% correct here. I always have to remind myself that although I don't enjoy the style of John Irving, many people - whose opinions I respect - love him.

I've also got to say that I have heard good things from customers who were asking for Andrew Hicks books. Maybe I will give him another try! :o

Edited by Ulysses G.

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Studying English lit. at school we were led to believe that there were absolute standards of good and bad writing. Of course there are but just as importantly there are books that you like and books you simply don't like. A lot of people are really gripped by "THAI GIRL".

You are 100% correct here. I always have to remind myself that although I don't enjoy the style of John Irving, but many people - whose opinions I respect - love him. I've also got to say that I have heard good things from customers who were asking for Andrew Hicks books. Maybe I will give him another try! :o

Too late for that UG, Andrew Hicks' fans have already begun boycotting your shop in droves :D

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Studying English lit. at school we were led to believe that there were absolute standards of good and bad writing. Of course there are but just as importantly there are books that you like and books you simply don't like. A lot of people are really gripped by "THAI GIRL".

You are 100% correct here. I always have to remind myself that although I don't enjoy the style of John Irving, many people - whose opinions I respect - love him.

I've also got to say that I have heard good things from customers who were asking for Andrew Hicks books. Maybe I will give him another try! :o

I know what you mean about John Irving. A bit too much the slick lawyer. One book of his I loved though and that's 'The Painted House'. Well up with 'The Grapes of Wrath'... and Steinbeck wrote some awful books too.

Books sell well if like, John Burdett they have the marketing clout of a huge publisher behind them. The problem is that the publisher develops their writer as a 'brand' and the writer is required to churn out a new novel say every year. That's when sometimes a writer cannot keep up the pace and the quality slips.

Better therefore to read the less commercial writer who has conviction!

I took the overnight bus from Surin to Bangkok last night and have wandered round some Asia Books and Bookazine shops. The staff recognise the guy on the front of MY THAI GIRL AND I and they say it's selling well.

I'm still waiting for the first person to stick their neck out and say what they think though. (I've resisted prompting my friends!)

Andrew

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I know what you mean about John Irving. A bit too much the slick lawyer. One book of his I loved though and that's 'The Painted House'. Well up with 'The Grapes of Wrath'... and Steinbeck wrote some awful books too.

Andrew

I believe the book you are referring to is called "A painted house", and is written by John Grisham. He has a very different style from John Irving. I like both, but for different reasons.

Good luck!

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I don't want to be nasty, but I have to ask myself if Mr. Hicks considers writing a career or just a hobby?

When I see a book on Thailand by Stephen Leather, John Burdett, Jake Needham or Jerry Hopkins, I don't have any doubt that they were published by a major publisher or could be. When I see something written by Andrew Hicks, I assume that he published it himself or got a local Thai publisher to do it.

It is true that I have never written a book myself - I don't have any talent. Maybe some of Thailand's many farang "authors" need to consider this as a possibility? :o

Writing is always a hobby until you get paid for it.

My hobby generated 5 novels over a period of about 12 years .. none ever published. One was shopped around the houses in NY by a real live literary agent .. but it "wasn't quite right" for any of them.

A manuscript submitted to Zebra Books brought a nice letter from an editor. Though it was a "not right for us at this time" rejection; the editor went on to explain that he had read the story .. didn't think I could not deliver on the plot .. then went on to congratulated me for doing so and doing it well.

Writing is easy. Writing well is difficult. Getting a major house to publish a manuscript is a miracle.

A novel being self published says nothing about the quality of the writing .. more about timing and the book marketplace.

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I know what you mean about John Irving. A bit too much the slick lawyer. One book of his I loved though and that's 'The Painted House'. Well up with 'The Grapes of Wrath'... and Steinbeck wrote some awful books too.

Andrew

I believe the book you are referring to is called "A painted house", and is written by John Grisham. He has a very different style from John Irving. I like both, but for different reasons.

Good luck!

John Irving is probably most well know for "The World According to Garp" or maybe "Ciderhouse Rules" which were both made into movies. He has a very unorthodox style that a lot of people really love, but which I find difficult to follow. I really like Kurt Vonnegut Jr., so it isn't that he's too weird, Irving just isn't my cup of tea.

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I know what you mean about John Irving. A bit too much the slick lawyer. One book of his I loved though and that's 'The Painted House'. Well up with 'The Grapes of Wrath'... and Steinbeck wrote some awful books too.

Andrew

I believe the book you are referring to is called "A painted house", and is written by John Grisham. He has a very different style from John Irving. I like both, but for different reasons.

Good luck!

John Irving is probably most well know for "The World According to Garp" or maybe "Ciderhouse Rules" which were both made into movies. He has a very unorthodox style that a lot of people really love, but which I find difficult to follow. I really like Kurt Vonnegut Jr., so it isn't that he's too weird, Irving just isn't my cup of tea.

I liked "The Hotel New Hampshire" and "A Widow for a Year" as well, very much.

But, to style, now I am into Fyodor Dostoevsky. "Crime and punishment" (which also goes under another name, I think the name of the protagonist, Raskolnikov?). But I know that the book that is really "me" is still waiting for me in my bookshelf. No cigar for the title, but if I venture that it is also by Dostoevsky, and has a short title, can anyone guess? Ulysses? Andrew? Mobi? Naam? Guesthouse? Bendix? Oh come on, it is a sitting duck really.

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I don't want to be nasty, but I have to ask myself if Mr. Hicks considers writing a career or just a hobby?

When I see a book on Thailand by Stephen Leather, John Burdett, Jake Needham or Jerry Hopkins, I don't have any doubt that they were published by a major publisher or could be. When I see something written by Andrew Hicks, I assume that he published it himself or got a local Thai publisher to do it.

It is true that I have never written a book myself - I don't have any talent. Maybe some of Thailand's many farang "authors" need to consider this as a possibility? :o

Writing is always a hobby until you get paid for it.

My hobby generated 5 novels over a period of about 12 years .. none ever published. One was shopped around the houses in NY by a real live literary agent .. but it "wasn't quite right" for any of them.

A manuscript submitted to Zebra Books brought a nice letter from an editor. Though it was a "not right for us at this time" rejection; the editor went on to explain that he had read the story .. didn't think I could not deliver on the plot .. then went on to congratulated me for doing so and doing it well.

Writing is easy. Writing well is difficult. Getting a major house to publish a manuscript is a miracle.

A novel being self published says nothing about the quality of the writing .. more about timing and the book marketplace.

Clearly someone who knows about the agonies of writing!

Incidentally, being self-published can also be about cash. My experience is that having a publisher can yield royalties as low as 4%. If you self-publish and crucially can get the book distributed, you may recieve 50 or 60% of the published price.

Cutting out the publisher as middleman you do all the work and take the risk but ultimately it can be far more profitable. Some very good authors do it so don't knocj self-publishing.

Andrew

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Actually Taxexile I am not sure if the author was trying to teach you anything. He was just relating a series of experiences from living in a Thai village in Isaan and this is a far cry from the "cops and robbers" or Burdett fiction style of book that, whilst they may be good escapism, are nearly always focused only in Bangkok or other major tourist spots of Thailand.

As I also live in an isolated Isaan village there were many things in Andrew Hick's book "My Thai girl and I" that I could easily relate to from my experiences - some of his reactions to various situations may have been completely different to mine but in being able to see myself in many of his experiences provided me with many moments of appreciation and enjoyment.

The day to day challenges, frustrations and fun of living here are never ending and so I envy the fact that someone has the capacity to capture some of these experiences.

As the book is non-fiction and a great attempt to share a farang's experiences of village life in the North-East of Thailand, I believe many people like me will appreciate and enjoy sharing his experiences.

If you want to learn a bit about Thai culture try reading some of John Burdett's books e.g Bangkok 8, Bangkok Haunts, Bangkok Tattoo etc. Full of all the prejudiced opinions that you find on TV but good entertainment and also helps you to understand some aspects of down-to-earth Thai culture. Well that's my opinion. Shoot away!

bang bang !

i dont think these stories will teach you anything about thai culture , they may be entertaining to some , but mostly they are just everyday cops , robbers and romance tales that happen to be set in thailand.

if you enjoy uncomplicated plots in cliched thai settings with cliched characters of little depth ( jaded foreigner , really mean local criminal with big benz , thai bird down on her luck , good cop , bad cop , toothless crone from the village , etc) then these books may find a spot on your shelves......or more likely propping up that wonky table.

you can learn more about thai culture from the first few pages of any travel guide book .

if you want to learn about thai society , then the best available book is "inside thai society" by neils mulder.

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Clearly someone who knows about the agonies of writing!

Incidentally, being self-published can also be about cash. My experience is that having a publisher can yield royalties as low as 4%. If you self-publish and crucially can get the book distributed, you may recieve 50 or 60% of the published price.

Cutting out the publisher as middleman you do all the work and take the risk but ultimately it can be far more profitable. Some very good authors do it so don't knocj self-publishing.

Andrew

For me, it's more about the difficulties of the marketing and distribution of books when self publishing .. than about the cost. I've heard a few comments about Asia Books editing assistance as well. Not sure about their royalties.

I've basically stopped working on a character driven novel because there is so little illumination at the end of the corridor.

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Thanks Pab!

Yours are the first comments by someone who has read my new book, MY THAI GIRL AND I and I very much appreciate the nice things you say about it.

And I agree that most of the writings about Bangok are cliched urban stuff that says nothing whatsoever about Thailand. That's why in my novel THAI GIRL I tried to break the stereoptype with Fon, the 'Thai girl' who refuses to go with plausible farang, Ben. Truth or fiction?

As for my non-fiction, Thailand is still substantially rural and that of course is what MY THAI GIRL AND I is all about, the countryside.

Anyone else read it yet? I'm hungry for feedback.

Somebody told me there's a complimentary review by Jim Eckardt in The Phuket Gazette but I can't find it on their website.

Andrew

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But, to style, now I am into Fyodor Dostoevsky. "Crime and punishment" (which also goes under another name, I think the name of the protagonist, Raskolnikov?). But I know that the book that is really "me" is still waiting for me in my bookshelf. No cigar for the title, but if I venture that it is also by Dostoevsky, and has a short title, can anyone guess? Ulysses? Andrew? Mobi? Naam? Guesthouse? Bendix? Oh come on, it is a sitting duck really.

I'll bite: "The Idiot"? :o

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I know what you mean about John Irving. A bit too much the slick lawyer. One book of his I loved though and that's 'The Painted House'. Well up with 'The Grapes of Wrath'... and Steinbeck wrote some awful books too.

Andrew

I believe the book you are referring to is called "A painted house", and is written by John Grisham. He has a very different style from John Irving. I like both, but for different reasons.

Good luck!

My own thought on his confusing John Iriving and John Grisham is that perhaps Mr Hicks writes more than he reads :o Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, as long as you don't plan to discuss recognised literature.

I would never pick up a book entitled either 'Thai Girl' or 'My Thai and I', and thus I haven't read either of Hick's books I'm afraid. Am I the only one who finds the wording of the latter title somewhat degrading?

That aside, the next time I come across one of the other of these titles, I'll overcome those presumptions and have a look at what they're like on the inside. :D

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I know what you mean about John Irving. A bit too much the slick lawyer. One book of his I loved though and that's 'The Painted House'. Well up with 'The Grapes of Wrath'... and Steinbeck wrote some awful books too.

Andrew

I believe the book you are referring to is called "A painted house", and is written by John Grisham. He has a very different style from John Irving. I like both, but for different reasons.

Good luck!

My own thought on his confusing John Iriving and John Grisham is that perhaps Mr Hicks writes more than he reads :o Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, as long as you don't plan to discuss recognised literature.

I would never pick up a book entitled either 'Thai Girl' or 'My Thai and I', and thus I haven't read either of Hick's books I'm afraid. Am I the only one who finds the wording of the latter title somewhat degrading?

That aside, the next time I come across one of the other of these titles, I'll overcome those presumptions and have a look at what they're like on the inside. :D

Thanks for those few kind words, Sabaijai. I think I must now be allowed the right of reply.

Yes, I'll come clean. Steinbeck, Irving, Grisham... I've read them all, but I guess I got my Johns in a twist. What's that word that means declining memory in later years?

As to your second barb, it too hits home. Speaking as a lifelong practicing feminist I am thoroughly ashamed to be associated with books called THAI GIRL and MY THAIGIRL AND I.

Having written it I had a big problem thinking of a title for THAI GIRL. As it's the story of a British lad who falls in love with and in Thailand I was going to call it "English Boy". But they told me they wouldn't publish it if I persisted with that title.

Frankly I think it's disgraceful calling mature woman 'Thai girls' just as I hate it when people talk about "bar girls". I give them respect and call them "bar ladies" every time.

The publishers said that the title of my new book should link back to the novel and suggested MY THAI GIRL AND I. They said it had the same ring as the title of some movie about Thailand with Yul Brynner and Jodie Foster in it. (Have I got this right Sabaijai?)

But no, the possessive implications in the title of 'my thai girl' are offensive and sexist and there's even an error of grammar. It should be "My Thai Girl and Me". So again it seems that my sly critic and I are in full agreement.

Actually both books are feminist works, a point that is expressly made on the back cover of the new one. So you'd better read them, Sabaijai and if you're embarassed about your friends seeing what you're reading you can cover them with brown paper.

You might even enjoy them.

Choke dee khrap!

Andrew Hicks

PS When someone posts something negative about my books I think I should be permitted to post a rebuttal. After all Thaivisa geezers love discussing literature and especially having the author commenting. It's been good clean fun and at one point the thread had five stars!

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