Thailand Footprint: The People, Things, Literature, and Music of Thailand and the Region

A good interview by Mark Bibby Jackson of Tom Vater on the state of publishing in the region and some clarity regarding what is hard boiled vs noir fiction …

mark bibby jackson


Everyone has a good book in them so they say, Asia’s first English-language crime publishing house looks set to put that adage to the test. Words by Mark Bibby Jackson.

The setting is hardly classic noir. A Bangkok sports bar just before noon, my source has a bottle of water in front of him, I a cup of black coffee. Our conversation flows naturally rather than being weighted down with unspoken innuendo. Then again we are here to talk about crime fiction rather than create it.

“Most of the books are terrible,” writer Tom Vater says of the spate of books he calls ‘bargirl genre’ on sale in book shops in Bangkok and across the region. “They are badly printed, the fonts are awful and the stories are just these endless sob stories about the bargirl scene here.

As a great reader of crime fiction himself, Vater felt there…

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2 Responses to “Riding the Crime Wave – Mark Bibby Jackson interviews Tom Vater ..”

  1. schn00dles

    Just finished “Bangkok Express”. His writing is loosely woven, but it held me right through to the end. I liked his main character, though I wished he had a wee better fighting skills. He takes a lot of bumps and bruises.

    • Kevin Cummings

      Thanks, Carl. I think that is a fair assessment. As I state in my book review, The White Flamingo is his best of the three. Mr. Newman is only in his 30s, so I think the best is yet to come. I will email you privately about a request. thanks for the comment.


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