“I read to get lost for a while and I rarely read non-fiction. Denis Horgan’s, “The Bangkok World,” offers the chance to travel to an exotic land during a chaotic and ugly period in our country’s history and this journey does not disappoint. His prose falls on the ear so beautifully as he tells the amazing tales of his work as editor and publisher of one of two english-language newspapers in Bangkok when he was in his mid-twenties. The people he encounters are funny, quirky, down-right weird, impressive, intriguing, beautiful, ugly, mysterious, misguided, brilliant, and memorable. His respect for the Thai people, the land, and their history is eloquently told. There were laugh-out-loud moments (it’s a rare occasion that I laugh out loud when reading but Horgan got me more than a few times). He offers up vignettes that neatly tie together by the time we reach the compelling and memorable final few chapters. In fact, his views on love and life and the military and the war in those last few thousand words should be read by everyone in this fractured, all-too partisan, seemingly callous nation of ours. But reader beware: He pulls no punches. In fact, he throws more than a few and he lands every one of ’em.

What struck me most was his ability to write about the military in a way that made clear how he loathes war and how all too often we stick our noses into places at an unspeakable cost, while expressing heartfelt and obviously earned respect for so many of the men and women who serve or have served in the military. But please don’t read that as the cliche it’s sadly become. He pulls it off in a way that made me begrudgingly turn that last page, close the book, and simply utter – out loud – “Damn!”

But that’s the fun thing about books: I’ve re-read the closing chapters twice and will re-visit them again. The trip I took to those final short chapters was a reading joy. The payoff, well worth the investment. C’mon folks, ya gotta read “The Bangkok World.” This guy can write.”

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