From The Desk of Loy Machedo: Why Private Dancer Is a MUST READ BOOK For Any First Time Tourists Who Plan To Visit Thailand!
I hate fictional books.
They take you into a world of the impossible.
Imaginative stuff that you may never experience in the real world.
That is why I absolutely dislike fictional books.
No real substance here.
No real education here.
No real purpose here.
That is why 6 months ago when I was told
Read Private Dancer
I said Nah…..and I just shrugged it off
Then 2 months ago, when I was told by a friend –
Read Private Dancer
I said Nah…..
and I just shrugged it off again….
Finally, a week ago, I was told by a wise-old-man
To read this book –
Read ‘Private Dancer’
I said Yes Of Course! Right Away…
And I ran to the nearest book store
Asked for the book titled Private Dancer
(Felt uncomfortable for some reason)
Purchased the book and began reading it….
The guy whom I did pay attention to….
Well, his name is… well..for reasons of privacy…
Lets call him something decent & polite
Like his nick name
The Axe Murderer.
Now before I go further into the scandalous book review…..
Let me tell you a few scandalous and shocking things about this man.
The Axe Murderer looks like a cross-breed between
Mr. Kesuke Miyagi of the Karate Kid
The Mexican-American Anti-Hero in Quentin Tarantino’s Movies
WWE’s Stone Cold Steve Austin.
And if you thought this was scary enough – get a hold of this.
The guy has practiced some weird ass martial arts –
you know the stuff where you poke someone with your pinky
and the guy ends up paralyzed?
Or you fight at the speed of light like Jackie Chang
Or do those crazy moves (including the noise & the expressions) of Bruce Lee
Yup…I am not making this stuff up…
He is that kind of a man.
Dressed like Steven Segal with a ice cold expression
You have this man on his facebook with every photograph of his
In some secret forestry ninja training facility
either showing what to do as his students try to attack him or
he throwing some other fighter 10 feet in the air –
while eating a McDonald’s Burger in one hand
and while drying his laundry on the clothing line outside with the other hand
or damaging bullet proof SUV with his
Super Mighty Unbreakably Dangerous…..toe
And yeah, don’t be surprised when you end up hearing him give you
some deep philosophical statement
like that of Master Shifu of the Kungfu Panda
Or at its most romantic…
When you ask him a stupid question
And he looks at your stupid face
with his arms crossed,
legs at a wide stance and with a body language
powerful enough to scare you to make you wonder…
Am I going to die?
So now what has this got to do with my book review of Private Dancer?
Well…. when you have a guy
So dangerous and so fearful as this guy
Explicitly tell you
You better read that book or else….
All of sudden – it becomes the most important book to read.
So I went
Purchased the book infamously titled Private Dancer
And decided to endure the punishment…..
Courtesy of the great The Axe Murderer
expecting this chore to be
As monotonous and spiritless as
Some karate move you practice one million times
With the hope to one day become
The legendary Bruce Lee
To make my life easier….
I decided – I would give myself a target of
10 pages every single day
More like the targets you give yourself
When you have a boring classroom assignment.
So I opened the first page of Private Dancer and…….
As I kept reading more and more….
And more and more
And more and more
And more and more
And more and more
I meant on and on
From one page to the next
To the next
And to the next
And before I knew it….
I finished reading the whole book
In one single sitting!
Yes – One Single Sitting!
The book my friend – was that good!
Seriously….I had to finish it.
I just had to finish it!
I couldn’t put the book down until I had finished it.
And maybe that is why Pattaya Mail described this book as a “Compulsory reading for all first-timers to Thailand”
So…what is Private Dancer all about?
Lets find out….
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Loy Machedo’s Book Review of Private Dancer by Stephen Leather
Private Dancer – THE BOOK IN A NUTSHELL
A love story between an emotionally weak and unstable British journalist – Pete and money focused self-righteous and super-manipulative man-eater – Joy a Pole Dancer.
PLOTLINE for Private Dancer
Pete moves to Thailand from London as part of his work.
He becomes involved with a prostitute named Joy
He falls in love
(Yup…falls in love)
And then dedicates his whole life to keeping her happy
She asks money.
He give her money.
She asks more money.
He gives her more money.
She keeps asking money.
He keeps giving her money.
She keeps asking him money.
He assumes he is giving her money to change her life.
She assumes he is doing his job of being ‘a man’ who is rich.
What Pete doesn’t know is that
She is already married to a Thai man
and uses the money she receives from him to keep her husband happy.
The book then takes the reader deeper and deeper into this obsessive love story – where one absolutely idiotic emotional nut-job seeks to win the heart of an ungrateful, manipulative, sinister and cold-hearted woman.
And finally towards the end – the author takes you to a rather anti-climatic finish – where the reader is made to be at peace with himself knowing – there is no ‘happily ever after’….at least in the real world.
THE CONTENT for Private Dancer
The novel is divided into small segments – each narrated by its respective character along the way. And it is absolutely intriguing to see how each person feels and thinks about the exact same situation as the story unfolds.
What is amazing is the manner in which the writer has managed to capture the essence of each character. He really hits a homerun in trying to decipher the cultural influence and thinking of each character.
WHAT DID I LOVE MOST ABOUT Private Dancer?
I loved the manner in which this book, the dialogues and the storyline was written. The manner in which the story unfolded and the view point of each character, Neither one being in the right or wrong – was in itself a thought-provoking treat.
Even though the book is written keeping in mind only those 4 or 5 characters – the book as a whole acts as a manuscript in understanding how different people from different cultures and different environments think and communicate ideas, feelings and thoughts.
LOY MACHEDO’S Thoughts on Private Dancer
Just as meeting The Axe Murderer was game changer for me,
(understanding the intricacies of protecting one’s self from everything starting with a Knife attack, to understanding how to protect oneself from a group attack)
this book in a strange way does educates you in the same manner – from such unpredictable & dangerous attacks (i.e. emotional traps).
It kind of makes you understand how different people from different cultures think.
Try this….If you have ever visited Pattaya, Bangkok, Chiang Mai or any other tourist places in Thailand, the most common sight you’d see is an old white man with a very young Thai girl. You’d wonder what’s up with that before you realize that they are actually bar girls or prostitutes and the white men are mostly sex tourists.
But it is not the perverted old white man hangs out with the Asian young girl that you should look at. Rather how the girl plays her cards right, how she thinks and why she does what she does that is total revelation & education in itself. And this is a reality which – once you expose yourself to – will make you appreciate the sad, bad and ugly realities of life.
Don’t get me wrong – I am not trying to say that the poor white man is a ‘angel’ and the bad bar girl is ‘evil’. Absolutely not. It always takes 2 hands to clap. So if the white man travelled hundreds of thousands of miles just to do everything hidden and in total secrecy – he too has his dirty little secrets and dirty little intentions. So the book – in a way, it’s the kind of book any and every man should read before coming to Thailand and getting involved with these bar girls.
These women by no means should be under-estimated or disrespected. They are in their own right powerful creatures of desire – who main purpose – is to survive this evil world. So in as much as I would like to point fingers – I have to say, I myself personally do not have a stellar record to do so.
Private Dancer – THE CONCLUSION
So as a conclusion…..
Thailand’s sex tourism industry is a very small part of the entire culture – however, it is a very powerful and prominent part of the system. That is why understanding this tiny component is very essential for anyone.
Thailand has a lot more to offer and so much more to learn. But this one small aspect is what drives the industry ablaze.
So even if you are a potential or existing sex tourist or you are someone who would never get into this dark world – the experience and the manner in which the author has shared this world – is nothing short of spectacular.
So if I had to summarize my entire book review in one sentence….this is what I would say… Private Dancer by Stephen Leather is…..
A COMPULSORY POWERFUL MUST READ BOOK FOR ANY TOURIST PLANNING TO VISIT THAILAND!
LOYMACHEDO’S OVERALL RATING
9.5 OUT OF 10
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