Book Reviews

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Beyond The Pancake Trench:

Road Tales from the Wild East

Tom Vater

2004. 192 pp., 16 colour plates, 215 x 152, Softcover

ISBN-10: 974-524-047-8 $23.00
ISBN-13: 978-974-524-047-6

Beyond the Pancake Trench

Book review by Peter Meyers

(Lifestyle & Travel Magazine 12 November 2004)

‘(A) fast-paced, adventure-laden exploration of South and Southeast Asia. German-born Tom Vater writes in his second language incredibly well; his unique style adding dramatic effect in many places. Telling it, refreshingly, as it is, Vater is a traveller who interacts with his environment, empathising with the impoverished and downtrodden Thais, Laotians, Cambodians, Vietnamese and Indians he meets along the way (with asides regarding the political circumstances that have led to their current problems); and deriding those more fortunate, especially the jaded expatriates of Bangkok - a city he crisscrosses back through time and again between his more far-flung trips. The chapters devoted to them are some of the more amusing in this book. Astutely, for a short-term Bangkok resident, Vater manages to uncover many of the city’s murkier secrets; uncovering little-known dives, exposing the minor-wife scene, and profiling intriguing underworld characters.’

[Read a review from the South China Morning Post] [Read a review from Farang Untamed Travel Magazine] [Read a review from The Fortean Times] [More Orchid Press Reviews]