The Pattaya City Expats Club prefers Beer over wisdom. This was evident when the Club’s speaker, well known author Christopher G. Moore asked for a show of hands. First, he asked, how many like beer? There were many hands raised (a few were observed to hold up both hands in response). Then he asked who likes wisdom? There were only a few hands raised in answer; so it was obvious that beer won hands up.
Christopher was speaking at the Club’s Sunday, March 25, meeting about his latest book, The Wisdom of Beer. He said Pattaya folks will find many things familiar as the story unfolds in Pattaya. It includes the annual Cobra Gold visit by US Navy personnel whose shore patrol is being escorted around Walking Street by the main character Duvel, a Pattaya foreign volunteer policeman.
Christopher Moore, author of the Vincent Calvino series of private eye novels, describes researching his new novel ‘The Wisdom of Beer’, combining beer, mafia, gun running and Chinese Hell customs, amongst other things, to an enthusiastic PCEC audience.
Duvel is a retired American, a caretaker for his aged Thai stepmother and looks over the well-being of foreign expats as a part of his volunteer police duties. Leading the shore patrol, he becomes entangled in the lives of criminals planning to heist a warehouse full of munitions. Meanwhile, Duvel’s step mother, with the assistance of a macaw that curses in Scottish and a Moscow escort worker, slowly unravels the ancient secret formula of Chinese hell beer. The formula is held by a Thai Chinese man whose family has passed it down for generations; but the man has a problem to overcome if he wants the formula to continue for generations to come. It seems his only son is in love with a katoey, which does not bode well for passing on the family secret. As the double-crosses multiply, the fate of the heist and hell beer formula is in the hands of the winner of a Pattaya katoey beauty pageant. Christopher also mentioned that the book is interspersed with quotes about beer including these: I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer (Homer Simpson) or, Give my people plenty of beer, good beer, and cheap beer, and you will have no revolution among them (Queen Victoria).
Scarlet Macaw “Kanani” (feathers) reviews Christopher Moore’s new book ‘The Wisdom of Beer’ at Pattaya City Expats Club. The verdict? I’m no owl, said Kanani.
Christopher said that when he starts to write a book, he likes to visit the area and get a feel for it and the people that live there as he will pattern his characters from the different folks he meets. In the case of The Wisdom of Beer, he came to Pattaya during the annual Cobra Gold exercises that inundate Pattaya with 5 to 6 thousand young sailors. He described how the US Navy shore patrol operates to keep the sailors in line including his experience in accompanying them on their patrols of Walking Street.
It was also during the time that Victor Bout, the Russian arms dealer was in the news having been arrested in Thailand for trafficking in weapons and later extradited to the USA. So, this gave Christopher the idea that in such a case it would be a reasonable story premise for someone like Bout to have stored arms in a warehouse in Thailand. Further, that it would follow that Russian mafia and Thai gangster types would be after the arms. Christopher joked that he knows there are more than two mafias operating in Pattaya, but he had to limit it to two as it needed to be a short book.
Open Forum host John Lyneham, a PCEC old timer just back in town for a short time, shows off a gift of a T-shirt to Hawaii Bob which could be a Pattaya motto; ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happy Hour’.
He spoke about the history of beer, which goes back several thousand years. He also gathered a few laughs by going over some words that are hard to say when drunk and some more that were even harder. But, he said the following cannot be said when you are drunk: no, I don’t want sex; I don’t want more beer; and hello officer, isn’t it nice out tonight.
Christopher concluded by noting that he is currently writing another novel in the Vincent Calvino series, which will take place in Burma (Myanmar). As with his other books, he went to Burma in search of a plausible story idea. Now that Burma is opening up more, he wanted to see what the people are like – local inhabitants and those that are starting to visit. However, unlike a tourist, he spent his time visiting the universities to see what the next generation is going to be like. He also visited the prison to see who is there and why and the courts to get an idea of how the system of justice works. Christopher’s wit and humor were thoroughly enjoyed as usual by all. For more information on his books, you can visit his website at http://www.cgmoore.com/.
After Christopher answered several questions, Master of Ceremonies Richard Silverberg called on John Lynham to conduct the always informative and sometime humorous Open Forum where questions are asked and answered about expat living in Thailand, Pattaya in particular.
The Pattaya City Expats Club meets every Sunday at the Amari Orchid’s Tavern by the Sea Restaurant. Read more about the Club’s activities on their website at www.pattayacityexpatsclub.com.