Dispatches from a restless Floridian ... food, travel, books, rum, peninsular insanity.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Bangkok Me Dead
As amusing as it has been to read all the entries in the "Guess Where the Book Is" Contest (rim shots included everywhere from Bermuda and England to Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Malaysia), it's time to announce: We have a winner!
Thom Delcomyn, of St. Augustine, correctly guessed that the photo in the previous post was taken in Bangkok, with one of its many canals in the background. Thom admits he had a distinct advantage. He has twice visited Bangkok and will return in April.
While there, perhaps Thom can find his way to Dasa Book Cafe, which is owned by Don Gilliland. Or at least check out Don's blog Bangkok Dazed, which offers a thoughtful/funny/poignant ex-pat look at all things Southeast Asian.
Back in the 1980-90s Don owned the late, lamented Murmur Records in Orlando and has been living/working in Thailand for the past several years. He was walking around in Bangkok not long ago when he popped into Kinokuniya, a Japanese chain store that sells English language books in Thailand (this is one great world, isn't it?) and JAMAICA ME DEAD jumped off the shelf at him.
This is one of the many, many things that puzzles me about the book biz. I walked into a local independent bookstore last week to pick up a copy of Cormac McCarthy's THE ROAD, a store where I have done a couple of signings in the past, a store that I try to support whenever possible. As usual, I looked to see if they had copies of my books on the shelves. Nope. And yet, clear on the other side of the world, in Bangkok, you can buy 'em at a Japanese book store. Beats hell out of me.
But enough pissing and moaning. Because there have beeen some great victories on the book front lately. The folks at St. Martin's have been doing a helluva job foisting my words onto an unsuspecting world. I mean, the JAMAICA ME DEAD p-back is in Publix for gosh sakes. Publix! Right between laundry detergent and bottled water. It's been popping up at lots of the airport bookstores, too. And last week my mom called to say that she was shopping at the Winn-Dixie in Leesburg and saw it on the rack. Winn-Dixie! OK, it ain't Publix, but still. My mom, bless her, also said she walked around the store for ten minutes hoping to spot someone she knew so she could drag 'em to the book aisle and show 'em her son's book. But no such luck. You gotta love moms.
Anyway, congrats to Thom for winning a copy of BERMUDA SCHWARTZ. Thanks to Don for finding me in Bangkok, taking photos of JAMAICA ME DEAD on location (including the one of his pal with the grinning elephant above.) And more thanks to all of you who made valiant guesses but came up a little short.
And stay tuned. There will be more chances to win free stuff in the very near future.
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I look forward to receiving the book and visiting your friend's book store when I'm in Bangkok next year.
I do need to clarify that I had a little more advantage than having "visited there twice". I actually lived there two different times for a total of about four and a half years.
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