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Book Review

Mott's CD review

Movie Review

Book Review: Papaya Salad

by Lang Reid

Make it spicy please

This week’s review is not of a cookbook, but is a collection of snippets written by Canadian doctor Louise de Courval following her many tourist trips to this country. These were collated and published as a slim paperback this year. In her acknowledgments, she thanks Denis Segaller for printing her initial story in “Thai Ways” and for then encouraging her to continue writing. Most of the items have been posted previously as individual pieces on

The back cover promises, “Her little tales and anecdotes reveal unique and unpretentious traits of Thailand and her people - features that enchant foreigners yet remain largely unrealised by the Thais themselves.” The back cover does also say that what keeps a Canadian family doctor coming back year after year is not what is offered by just any tourist itinerary.

While the majority of venues mentioned by Dr. Courval are on the tourist track - Koh Samet, Kanchanaburi, night cruises on the Chao Phraya for example, she takes great delight in observing small items and describes them in a rather schoolgirl style, rather than the venue itself.

With each chapter there is a cartoon illustration depicting of the nub of the tale, but in some it was obvious that the illustrator had some difficulty relating to the anecdote, as they were not all that relevant.

The majority of the snippets were, in my opinion, inconsequential stories of the “oh golly gosh” variety. I must admit I did not count them all, but the number of exclamation points per page must be close to Guinness Book of Records levels. Several pages devoted to hearing former fellow Montreal resident Celine Dion on the PA system while watching a crocodile show in the Chiang Mai Zoo is not really what I would consider riveting stuff. However, there was the (almost apocryphal) story of the farang falling into the same Chao Phraya River and being rescued by the boatman. Author Dr. Courval, after reminding us several times through the book of her first profession as a doctor of medicine, was however, quite happy to leave the unfortunate farang “still dripping profusely and looking somewhat confused.” Advice to seek treatment was not given, or even words of encouragement to the poor man, but at least he can be happy that he got a mention on page 33.

Some chapters were off the beaten and well trod tourist track, such as her attendance at a Lao wedding, but there were no explanations of the customs she witnessed. Rather it was another sugary sweet diatribe on her hoping that her presence brought the couple a happy and fulfilling life. She also visited Cambodia and Malaysia and we are regaled with further snippets from these countries, so it is not purely a collection of Thai anecdotes, as the cover would have you believe.

Available at Bookazine, Corner of Beach Road and Soi Pattayaland 1 for 220 baht, this is not a book I would purchase, but then neither would I buy a Pam Ayres sugary poetry book, but millions of others do!

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Mott’s CD review:

Thin Lizzy - Live and Dangerous

by Mott the Dog

**** 4 Star Rating

The fabulous “Live And Dangerous” album captures the hard rockin’, hard livin’ Thin Lizzy at the pinnacle of their powers.

After early success with a one-off single, “Whisky In The Jar”, in 1972, things had reached a nadir during a tour of Germany. After the guitarists hired in order to replace original guitarist Eric Bell had not worked out, the main songwriter, bass player and showman extraordinaire, Phil Lynott, along with his Irish colleague Brian Downey, considered throwing in the towel. However, the arrival of the ultra cool American Scott Gorham along with Scottish wild man Brian Robertson soon sorted things out and Thin Lizzy started their meteoric rise to the very top of the rock tree.

After five increasingly successful albums, they set out on a world tour (supported by the up and coming Graham Parker & The Rumour) which culminated in three sold out shows at the Hammersmith Odeon, London.

What shows they were too! On ‘Live & Dangerous’ you get the entire set as it was performed. After the release there was a lot of back-biting about the fact that a lot of the bum notes were smoothed over by a production studio and that some of the solos were overdubbed. But let’s face it, if it improves the overall enjoyment of the music, who cares? The way these guys moved on stage, it is hardly surprising if the odd note was missed.

The set starts with the perfect opener in “Jailbreak”, with wailing sirens and the audience impatiently chanting the band’s name. Before the next song Phil Lynott asks the audience, in his thick Irish brogue, “Is there anybody here with any Irish in them? Are there any girls who’d like a little more Irish in them?”

The band rip through five more songs, including “Dancing in the Spotlight”, with the fabulous John Earle on sax. They then slow it down for the heartbreaking love song, “Still In Love With You”. But from that point on, it is Hell-raising Rock ‘n’ Roll all the way. Phil Lynott wrote some classic songs and they are all here.

The next time you have to make a long car journey buy this album and put it on your player. You’ll arrive at your destination in half the time and then stay sitting in the car to listen to just one more song.

By 1983 Thin Lizzy were gone and two years later Phil Lynott was taken from us permanently. However, listen to their legacy, it will never be bettered.

Thin Lizzy’s ‘Live & Dangerous’ stood for what rock music is supposed to be all about - a good night out.

Thin Lizzy
Phil Lynott - bass, vocals
Brian Downey - drums
Scott Gorham - guitar
Brian Robertson - guitar

Track Listing

1. Jailbreak
2. Emerald
3. Southbound
4. Rosalie / Cowgirl’s Song
5. Dancing In The Moonlight (It’s Caught Me In Its Spotlight)
6. Massacre
7. Still In Love With You
8. Johnny The Fox Meets Jimmy The Weed
9. Cowboy Song
10. The Boys Are Back In Town
11. Don’t Believe A Word
12. Warrior
13. Are You Ready
14. Suicide
15. Sha - La - La
16. Baby Drives Me Crazy
17. The Rocker

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Movie Review: Shrek

By Poppy

Once upon a time, in a far away swamp, there lived a miserable ogre named Shrek. He is horrified when the solitude of his swamp is disturbed by a sudden invasion of cartoon creatures, who have been banished from Lord Farquaad’s kingdom. There are fairytale characters like the Three Little Pigs along with the Three Bears, the Three Blind Mice, Tinkerbell, the Big Bad Wolf and Pinocchio.

Determined to save their home - not to mention his own - Shrek cuts a deal with Farquaad and sets out to rescue the beautiful Princess Fiona to be Farquaad’s bride. Accompanying him on his mission is a wisecracking donkey, who will do anything for Shrek... except shut up. When Shrek and the donkey get inside the castle, there are exciting action scenes that whirl madly through the spacious castle, and revelations about the dragon no one could have guessed.

There is a moment in “Shrek” when the despicable Lord Farquaad has the Gingerbread Man tortured by dipping him into milk. This prepares us for another moment when Princess Fiona’s singing voice is so piercing it causes jolly little bluebirds to explode. Making the best of a bad situation, she fries their eggs!

As you can gather this is not your run of the mill cartoon. Shrek is not handsome but he isn’t as ugly as he thinks; he’s a guy we want as our friend, and he doesn’t frighten us but stir our sympathy; in fact he’s quite a loveable character.

Directed by: Andrew Adamson
Cast: Mike Myers as Shrek
Eddie Murphy as The Donkey
Cameron Diaz as Princess Fiona
John Lithgow as Lord Farquaad
Linda Hunt as The Witch
Conrad Vernon as the Gingerbread Man
Chris Miller as Geppetto/the Magic Mirror
Cody Cameron as Pinocchio/one of the Three Little Pigs
Christopher Knights as one of the Three Blind Mice
Tommy Karlsen as Pinocchio

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