- The Bridge over the River Kwai by Pierre Boulle
- A Woman of Bangkok by Jack Reynold
- “The Beach” by Alex Garland: This famous novel follows the story of a young traveller who discovers an isolated beach in Thailand. It explores themes of adventure, isolation, and the impact of tourism on local communities.
- “The Windup Girl” by Paolo Bacigalupi: Set in a future Thailand, this science fiction novel presents a dystopian world where biotechnology and political unrest intersect. It delves into environmental issues, corporate power, and the clash between tradition and progress.
- “Bangkok 8” by John Burdett: This crime novel introduces readers to Sonchai Jitpleecheep, a detective in the Royal Thai Police. It combines elements of mystery, Thai culture, and Buddhist philosophy as Sonchai investigates the murder of a U.S. Marine in Bangkok.
- “The Sightseeing” by Rattawut Lapcharoensap: This collection of short stories offers glimpses into the lives of ordinary Thais, exploring themes of love, loss, family, and social change. The stories are set in various locations across Thailand.
- “The Executioner’s Son” by Jeremy Duns: This historical novel takes place during the mid-19th century in Bangkok. It follows the story of Sonchai, the son of a Chinese father and a Thai mother, who becomes involved in a plot against the king.
- “Private Dancer” by Stephen Leather: This thriller tells the story of Pete, a British expatriate in Bangkok who becomes infatuated with a bargirl named Joy. It explores the darker side of the city’s nightlife and the complexities of relationships.
- “Fieldwork” by Mischa Berlinski: Set in northern Thailand, this novel follows the protagonist, a journalist named Mischa, as he investigates the mysterious death of a missionary. It delves into the collision of cultures, religious beliefs, and the complexities of truth.
- “Anna and the King of Siam” by Margaret Landon: Although not entirely set in Thailand, this novel is based on the real-life experiences of Anna Leonowens, a British governess in the court of King Mongkut (Rama IV), in the 1860s. It offers insights into Thai customs, court intrigue, and the challenges of cross-cultural communication.
- These are just a few examples, and many more novels explore the rich tapestry of Thai culture and society.
What great novels do you know have been set in Thailand?
Try some of Colin Devonshire’s novels, set in Thailand, or his short stories, most are set in Thailand.
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