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If you are a serious traveller, considering driving through or thinking about living in Thailand you need to read James King’s THAILAND DIARIES including ‘Thailand in perspective’.
Written with insight and humour the author pulls no punches and presents Thailand exactly as seen through his eyes after experiencing spells living in the North, South and North-East since 2008. Although this is not a travel book in the accepted sense it can easily be categorised as such. It is more a critical memoir of the author’s observations of the peoples and culture of Thailand; a Country, monopolised by superstition, ancient cultural values and old religious beliefs, struggling to come to terms with modernity and the 21st century; people who have, as yet, travelled little.
The author presents his views objectively although, in setting out the ‘pros and cons’ of life in and the mysteries of Thailand, some of his arguments may be viewed as polemic, which he says ‘was absolutely intentional’. He believes there should be, and usually is, a balance to be found in every society and that most cultures and religions may have syncretic elements to their beliefs, to a greater or lesser degree. He believes we are all ostensibly the same if we look behind the mask.
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James King is an Englishman who emigrated to South Africa in 1995. His work took him all over the Country, visiting Cities, townships and rural areas, gaining valuable insight into the culture and lives of the people after apartheid was dismantled. He is well travelled, has mixed with politicians, sports stars, creatives, music impresarios, business tycoons, murderers, fraudsters, and even hired assassins. Each of them has provided rare material that adds vivid colour to his writing. In 2008 James moved to Thailand, in semi-retirement where he has built two houses, renovated another, created a tropical garden from waste land, built a successful blog, written books and become an accomplished amateur photographer. James’ niche is in the literary and suspense drama genre although he started by writing non-fiction travel books. His writing emphasises story with a literary bent and character driven suspense with twists, turns, and feeling. His first novel is due to be published in 2017. His poetry drifts from the romantic to a fear for the survival of our world and the darkness of death. Inspired by music, film, and literature, Shakespeare, Dickens, Hesse, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan have all had a profound influence on his writing at some point.