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Book Review

Mott's CD review

Movie Review

Book Review: People of Esarn

This is not a new book, but is one which has endured, along with many others from Pira Sudham, the writer who was born in the poor Esarn region of Thailand and rose to become nominated for the Nobel Peace prize in literature. People of Esarn is now in its 7th edition, attesting to its ongoing popularity. It is also illustrated with some black and white photographs and drawings.

The book is a collection of narratives, apparently spoken by different people from the Esarn region, though it begins with what is undoubtedly Pira Sudham’s own story - that of a young boy sent by his parents in Esarn to be the servant of a Buddhist monk in Bangkok. It begins poignantly, “To give up a child for adoption or to a stranger for money or to those who would buy a child for slavery or prostitution was a common practice among the poor in our area. But to offer one’s son to a monk was merit making, a pious deed which would bring good fortune to parents, if not in this life, at least in the next.” It is within those types of societal mores that the book is set.

Some of the tales are totally heart-wrenching, such as the Food Vendor and the Taxi Driver. The principal characters wrestling with the dilemmas of poverty, opportunity, purity and practicality, in a scenario that does not allow these to all co-exist. The way they come to accept that, “All of us are victims of our own karma, our fate.” And “victims” they no doubt are.

The inner workings of the mind of a katoey are also depicted in this book. The hopelessness of this type of relationship - “...for years I have drifted from one bar to another, from place to place, in search of someone to love and to love me. Night after night I spent in gay bars, in the disco, prancing on dancing floors, in vain. Who would love this ageing queen?”

Another of the Esarn people to “star” in this book is the Pattaya prostitute who is taken to Germany. She has had to live with the stigma of being despised by some - and not as you might expect, the people in Europe - but from the Thais who have poured contempt upon her head. The vignette commences with a dialogue between the ex front office manager of a Pattaya hotel and the now much older woman, who has not forgotten the scene where her amour for the evening was accosted by him, to be charged extra for bringing the woman to his hotel for the night.

The review copy came from the Bookazine store on Beach Road, corner of Soi Pattayaland 1. A slim volume, but one with a wealth of insight into the Esarn area. At B. 280 it is a bargain. Your understanding of the way these people think and live is something you should try to do. This book will assist you in that resolve. Other books written by Pira Sudham include Monsoon Country and Siamese Drama.

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Mott’s CD review:

Jimmy Page - Outrider

by Mott the Dog

***** 5 Stars Rating

For those dogs that like their Led Zeppelin without any frills, this is the bone for you.

Years after the tragic end to Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page released Outrider to very little fanfare, but if guitar rock is your thing, then this is definitely one for you, not a single keyboard used, and don’t let that fool you into thinking the sound isn’t full. Think again; this is Mr. Jimmy Page we’re talking about here.

Jason Bonham occupies the drum stool for seven of the nine tracks, and a more than adequate job he does of it to, you can never compare two musicians fairly, but let us just say that his father would have been more than proud.

To these floppy ears it’s the instrumentals on the album that really take the biscuit, showing the likes of Eric Johnson & Kenny Wayne Shepherd how to play with flash but keep it interesting.

Although all the songs sound as if they have been recorded by a band who’ve known each other for years; actually Jimmy uses 2 drummers, 3 bassists & spread over the 6 vocal tracks 3 vocalists. The very underrated John Miles (he of “music” fame) handles the first brace with his usual aplomb. Chris Farlowe (“Tears Go By”, Atomic Rooster & Colosseum) takes the final curtain calls, when he engagingly stutters his opening delivery of “I’ve been a b-b-b-b-b-bad b-boy and I’ve been a bad boy all night long”. You can actually hear him smirk & wink over Page’s bleeding electric guitar, of course after this the lyrics descend even further into bloke rock, and the guys seem to be having the time of their lives.

The final vocalist used is of course Jimmy Page’s old sparring partner, Percy himself Mr. Robert Plant, and it’s a credit to the other two that this song is not the stand out track of the album. I think that has to go to the 12-bars of “Prison Blues”, if Mott could get his paws round a guitar neck, this is the way he’d play guitar, with legs astride, head thrown back, in front of 250,000 screaming women.

As in the last quote this album may be a little self indulgent, but they sure don’t make albums like this anymore, and to make sure it was just right Jimmy Page even produced the whole thing himself.

If you’re still not convinced, try lending an ear to Jimmy Page’s latest release with the Black Crowes where he revamps his old Led Zeppelin Catalogue as well as bashing through some old chestnuts.

Listen & Believe.

Track Listing

1. Wasting My Time
2. Wanna Make Love
3. Writes Of Winter
4. The Only One
5. Liquid Mercury
6. Hummingbird
7. Emerald Eyes
8. Prison Blues
9. Blues Anthem

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Movie Review: Legally Blonde

By Poppy

Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) has it all. She’s the president of her sorority, a Hawaiian Tropic Girl, Miss June in her campus calendar and she’s beautiful, has a perfect figure and last but not least she’s a natural blonde. She has one determined ambition in life and will go to great lengths to achieve it and that is to become Mrs. Warner Huntington III anyway she can.

The fact that she has grown up in the same street as Aaron Spelling might mean something to many people in LA, but it means nothing to Warner Huntington III’s East-Coast blue blood family. He says that he cannot marry Elle because she is simply too blonde. So, when Warner (Matthew Davis) packs up to go to Harvard and study law and then finds his old sweetheart from prep school, it’s time for Elle to call upon all her resources and get into Harvard to win him back.

Poor Elle manages to achieve her goal and gets into Harvard but soon finds that law school is a far cry from the comforts of her poolside and the shopping mall. Elle finds that she must fight the battle of her life, for her man, for herself and for all the blondes who suffer endless indignities everyday. She manages to surprise herself and everyone else when they discover just how smart she really is.

This is a comedy and a really funny comedy, there’s none of the usual bad language moviemakers seem to think necessary when the movies include youngsters. It’s a bit frothy but fun and easy watching.

Directed by Robert Luketic

Produced by Ric Kidney & Marc E. Platt


Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods
Matthew Davis as Warner Huntington III
Osgood Perkins
Selma Blair
Luke Wilson
Victor Garber
Jessica Cauffiel as Margot
Alanna Ubach as Serena
John Cantwell as Maurice
Tane McClure as Elle’s Mom
Michael B. Silver as Bobby
Jennifer Coolidge
Holland Taylor

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