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Summary

Thailand 1996. The Year of The Rat. Pete, a young travel writer, wanders into a Bangkok go-go bar and meets the love of his life. Joy is the girl of his dreams, young, stunningly pretty, and one of the Zombie Bar's top-earning pole dancers.

What follows is a roller-coaster ride of sex, drugs, and deception, as Pete discovers that his very own private dancer is not all she claims to be. And that far from being the girl of his dreams, Joy is his own personal nightmare.

©2005 Stephen Leather (P)2015 Isis Publishing Ltd

What listeners say about Private Dancer

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Excellent! Couldn't put it down.

Any additional comments?

I read lots of reviews on this (on Goodreads etc) before purchasing it. Some hated it, those wanting lots of detailed sex, and those for whom the sleazy context and incidents were too much. I was struck by the reviews of many readers who have lived in Bangkok and recognised this as an accurate account. Although the characters were not richly drawn insofar as we learned little about them other than what was happening day-to-day and their views on it. However, this did not detract from the story at all. This was all about exploring the psychosocial relationships in and around the sex industry in Bangkok. I don't Like spoilers and I won't give them here. Suffice to say that Pete was a somewhat sympathetic character early on, but for me, later, not so much. Joy, on the other hand seemed entirely predatory at first, but later I had learned enough to see that her motivation was not malicious. This book is entertaining, gripping, often uncomfortable listening/reading, but more thought provoking and illuminating than anything I have read or listened to before. The ending is not predictable and the narration is perfect.

9 people found this helpful

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great storyline

after living as a expat in Bangkok I could fully relate to the story.
a blast from the past

1 person found this helpful

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Not the usual Stephen Leather brand!

I usually love everything SL writes but this was a real disappointment. Clumsy, weak, overly graphic.
I am no prude, and am a very open minded person, but the detailed descriptions of sexual activity was overly explicit, far too frequent and consequently boring.
Sorry Stephen, but this was not an entertaining read to your average audience, though I can imagine it would appeal to pubescent boys.

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Thailand down to a T

Great story about the seedy world of the Thai bargirl and the sex tourists. A story that is intriguing and very listenable if that's a word!

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Superb

This book is fantastic. I just couldn’t stop listening to it. The stories and characters were brilliant.

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the long haul....

a very long book, the start makes you listen to the very end. a true whodunit in that respect.

I liked the different characters (voices) but felt the book could have been way shorter.

the main character is not likable, he seems naive, I can't understand why he liked to go back for more, especially when the situation he was in was seemingly resolved.

still a good insight into thai bar/expat culture.

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A bit different

I like Stephen Leather's books, this was a bit different. It's unusual for the one in love, who can't see beyond his nose, is a man. Well written and kept me guessing to the end. A good listen.

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good novel giving insight into thai culture

Provides insight into Bangkok nightlife scene, Thai culture and an accurate portrait of relationships between Thai ladies and foreigners. Well written and captivating.

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Thailand’s best book

The best book about Thailand by a mile. Nothing else comes close, it should be compulsory for any first timer going to Thailand to read this, they should really hand a copy out when boarding the plane. If anyone has stayed in Thailand for an extended period they will have met every character in this book. Read it, you won’t be disappointed

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A Break From The Norm From Mr Leather.

Outstanding book that had me both laughing and cringing within a single paragraph. Brilliant narration.

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  • jackrabit
  • 16-05-15

right on the money <br />

I live in thailand ,this story hits home, and will recommend it to all friends.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Richard Armeson
  • 15-07-16

For anyone that's ever been to Thailand...

You'll relive so many experiences... A must read for anyone that is considering the trip!!!

3 people found this helpful

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  • M. Parker
  • 21-09-18

Spot on!

I listened to story while vacationing in Bangkok, a one minute walk from Nana plaza. Yes, Nana plaza has the prettiest girls and if you are not careful, you can lose quite a bit of money and more if not careful.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Bjorn Robertson
  • 27-07-15

Simply fantastic. An utter masterpiece of writing.

An unforgettable story which rings so true it's spooky. Also brilliantly performed by Thorpe and Bond. Highly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-05-22

funtastic

have't read anything from the author before, must say highly impressed 😁written in first person with many characters made it more enjoyable. mindset of thai people from certain background is perfectly captured

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-06-21

too long

good first few chapters but next 4 chapters repeated over and over and over for 6 hours. look for abridged

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  • Michael Dillin
  • 07-12-20

great book definitely top 10

Lloyd Machado recommended this book and I got it on his recommendation I read it listen to it in about 4 to 5 days absolutely fantastic don't know whether it's fiction or nonfiction but I definitely learned a lot and would highly recommend it

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  • Reed Ramlow
  • 08-08-20

Excellent Tale of the Bangkok Night Trade

Excellent tale stemming from the Bangkok night trade. The novel’s protagonist, Pete, an English travel writer, is on a negative character arc. The reader ends up rooting for the source of his troubles, the Nana Plaza bar girl, Joy, whom Pete professes to love. But as his Brit friends in the novel might say, what a wanker he is. I “read” this on Audible. Great narration by David Thorpe and Jilly Bond, both of whom capture the “farang” and Thai voices very well. It was a fantastic read, kudos to the author, Stephen Leather. I am now reading Bangkok Bob and the Missing Mormon by Leather, which is even more fun.

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  • MichaelM
  • 10-01-20

Excellent narration, and very good story

Really enjoyed that they used the two narrators for the male and female parts of the story. I live in Thailand, and while this story was set a couple decades back, it all still rings very true. Any westerner hoping to find love in Thailand, would do well to have a listen. The story itself was good. If you enjoy the setting, you might enjoy the series of books by John Burdett, starting with Bangkok 8.