"Mixed Massages (I)": Pattaya Voices And Vices

"Mixed Massages (I)": Pattaya Voices And Vices by Jonathan Finch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Finally, a tour guide from somebody who has been there and done that!

MIXED MASSAGES by Jonathan Finch is an interesting collection of stories, essays and articles about Pattaya, Thailand, and the Expat Life. As the book is dedicated to the ‘deceived and the unwary’ it automatically becomes a must-read for all those contemplating visiting or living in Thailand, particularly Pattaya where the author resides.

As the author states in his introduction: ‘read one of these short sketches and you’ll start to understand why Pattaya is inspirational. Read them all and you’ll realize that Fun City has so many tragi-comic characters it can put to shame all of William Shakespeare’s collected works! There’s a lot to smile about here but under the underbelly or pouch or stomach is a seething cesspit of social ills - from unmarried mothers to alcoholics to suicidal farangs to gender-changing changelings to debt-ridden conmen to motorbike-taxi maniacs to Muay Thai die-hards to bored-out-of-their-minds tourists to snooker-damned eternities to thieving whores to ladyboy beat-’em-uppers to resentful strippers to uneducated mamasans to compromised agogo owners to stumbling-just-don’t-get-it holiday-makers.’

The book description gives a sneak preview when it states that this ‘is the first in a collection of essays, articles and stories about Pattaya, the punters, the girls, the ladyboys, the events and the dangers. It is funny and serious. It paints a picture of Pattaya, Thailand, and expat life without romanticizing the notorious and famous seaside resort. Fun City with its appeal, its danger, its drunkenness, its endless partying, is here to entertain the reader but Finch's message is not a massage. The extreme city of Pattaya can become monstrous. Moderation, common sense and thought are needed if disasters are to be avoided.’ Indeed, wise words from somebody who has been there and done that as they say.

"Mixed Massages (I)": Pattaya Voices And Vices is a fine collection of short stories. Its’ a wonderfully written and richly descriptive book with brilliantly drawn characters and settings. The author paint a series of engaging, witty and down-to-earth moments in a very vivid and convincing way.

I’ll be looking forward to reading more from this author in the future. Highly recommended reading and a well-deserved five stars from me.

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