A lady named Anna Chalk sent the following email to the editor of the Pattaya Trader magazine: ‘I am writing as I would like you, please, to pass on a message to Duncan Stearn. I have only just discovered Pattaya, Patpong on Steroids and I love his writing style. I belong to a book club and put forward a Bill Bryson for last month. With his facts and funnies Duncan reminds me of Bill’s writing and I like his balanced view.’
Quite a recommendation; and yes, my chest did puff up a few notches when it was passed on to me. And no money changed hands.
Pattaya, Patpong on Steroids received good reviews from foreign males and females alike since being first published in March 2002.
American author Jesse Gump (Even Thai Girls Cry) wrote, ‘Very entertaining and informative. It confirmed many of my beliefs and opened my eyes to things Thai that I had often wondered about…it is one of those books that demands multiple readings.’
The aforementioned Pattaya Trader magazine ran a book review in April 2002. The review was by Scott Miller, an American expat who also became a close friend of mine. Sadly, he died suddenly just seven months later, aged only 49.
Scott wrote, ‘Many have come before and many will come after, but Duncan shoots from the hip and he is more than a confident shooter. His stories demonstrate his knowledge of the ways of Pattaya and Thailand…Upon completion of most chapters I subconsciously thought, “Yep, been there, done that.” Again, the strength and appeal of the book is the conveyance of familiarity. Each chapter is complete in its own right and it’s easy to pick up from your last reading. If you’ve walked Beach Road or any of the adjacent sois each chapter jogs your memory like a friendly tour guide. Duncan is more than a competent tour guide and his words read easy.’
I was pleasantly surprised when I logged into Amazon and saw the following review by a K. Tucker of the Kindle Edition. ‘I’ve been reading a number of Kindle books of late on Thailand and Pattaya. This is the best one I’ve come across. He presents a lot of interesting material, and character study, making it a hard book to put down and I wish I could have read even more material by the author. He avoids bias and judgement, presenting what I believe to be an accurate portrayal of the characters involved. Seems like the best way to deal with and “understand” the Thai people is to first throw Western common sense, morals, and rationale out the window…When you are there, you are not in Kansas anymore and you need to be prepared. If you are, everything will be much more enjoyable. This book will help a lot.’
The book is now out of print, but available as an e-book for US$6.99 (about 200 baht) from Amazon, Smashwords, or Thailand’s leading on-line bookseller DCO (http://ebooks.dco.co.th)