Monday, July 5, 2010

Book Review: Good Medicine for Thailand Fever

Given that my last book review was so well received by my readers, I thought I would have another crack at this type of post.

The book that I have chosen to comment upon is entitled "Good Medicine for Thailand Fever".

When I first picked up this book with it's unusual title and garish yellow cover, I must admit that I was intrigued and as soon as I'd read the first few pages, I was hooked.

A lot of books which deal wth the topic of Thai-Western relationships, are written by Westerners, for Westerners and tend to be full of hubris and pathos, focusing on how gullible farangs lose their hearts and life savings to devious bar girls.

"Good Medicine for Thailand Fever" is a refreshing change from this staid format and far from being a skewed, one-dimensional and one-sided portrait of Thai-Western relationships, the book is bilingual guide, dealing with all aspects of cross-cultural relationships and offering advice and help to both parties.

Written by an Amercian man, Chris Pirazzi and a Thai lady Vitida Vasant, the book describes itself as "a road map for Thai-Western relationships". It is thoughtfully designed and laid out, being printed both in English and Thai, with the English sections found on the even-numbered pages and the Thai sections found directly opposite, on the odd-numbered pages. It is also made abundantly clear who is narrating the chapters, whether it's Chris, Vitida or the both of them.

The topics that are covered are varied and include many common issues faced by Thai-Western couples such as sex, money, meeting the parents, the dowry, independence and saving face.

The book attempts to break down the cultural and social boundaries that exisit and to challenge the pre-conceptions and misconceptions among both foreigners and Thais. It is written in a very light-hearted and informal style which is particularly helpful when broaching sensitive topics. Although, with such a familiar writting style, I don't think it will win the Nobel Prize for Literature any time soon.

One criticism that has been levelled at the book, is that it fails to offer much practical problem solving advice. However, I would like to offer a rebuttal, by saying that the book is merely a guide, highlighting the potential stumbling blocks and encouraging you to develop a better understanding of each others values and culture. It is up to you to find your own solutions to your own relationship problems, as although most Thai-Farang couples will face similar difficulties, every relationship is different and there is no"one-size-fits-all" solution.

Overall, I think that "Good Medicine for Thailand Fever" is an excellent read and an invaluable tool for anyone who is considering a relationship with, or, already in a relationship with a Thai person. The book has even been translated into German and Dutch.

If you would like to know more about the book, its authors or to order a copy please visit the website.......

http://thailandfever.com/book_intro.html

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