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Phuket Books: An English literary institution

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Books: An English literary institution | The Thaiger

PHUKET: The Man Booker Prize is a big thing for the Brits. The Americans used to have the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction till that turned insufferably stodgy and was eclipsed by the National Book Award. But it still does not compare to the Man Booker.

A great deal of fanfare goes into announcing the long list of candidates, then the short list, then the winner itself. There’s also the prize money of 50,000 pounds (1.5mn Thai baht), a boon to many an impoverished novelist.

The prize will also make your name for life. I’ve read half the 44 prize-winning novels and all but a few deserved it.

One of these few is the 2011 winner, The Sense of an Ending (Vintage Books, London, 2011, 150pp) by Julian Barnes.

I’m no authority on Julian Barnes. Previously I’d only read one of his 13 works of fiction. Barnes was shortlisted three times but failed to win.

A contemporary of previous winners Martin Amis and Ian McEwan, perhaps he became a sentimental favorite the fourth time around for his slight novella.

The tale revolves around an epistemological question: how do I know what I know? How can I trust my memory, especially if there are no documents to support it? The text is liberally peppered with related questions and this becomes tiresome. The narrator disputes the idea that memory equals events plus time:

“But it’s all much odder than that. Who was it that said that memory is what we thought we’d forgotten? And it ought to be obvious to us that time doesn’t act like a fixative, rather as a solvent. But it’s not convenient – it’s not useful – to believe this; it doesn’t help to get on with our lives; so we ignore it.”

The story is a common enough one for the author’s generation and starts in a secondary school in London in the early 1960s. The narrator, Tony Webster, and his two friends Alex and Colin, yearn to escape their grubby middle class lives for the real, true, important things that:

“Literature [is] all about: love, sex, morality, friendship, happiness, suffering, betrayal, adultery, good and evil, heroes and villains, guilt and innocence, ambition, power, justice, revolution, war, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, the individual against society, success and failure, murder, suicide, death [and] God.”

The trio are joined by a fourth, a newcomer named Adrian Finn who greatly outshines them.

He leaves his history teacher dumbfounded by observing, “History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.”

At Bristol College, Tony has his heart broken by his first love Veronica Ford who is ambitious and conniving enough to leave him for Adrian Finn who has won a scholarship to Cambridge.

After graduation, he goes off to the US to wander about for six months on his first real adventure and his second romance with an American girl named Annie.

Then, he decides to return to England and lead an absolutely normal life: job, marriage, daughter, divorce and retirement into weary and whimsical reflections like this nugget:

“Just as all political and historical change sooner or later disappoints, so does adulthood. So does life.

“Sometimes I think the purpose of life is to reconcile us to its eventual loss by wearing us down, by proving, however long it takes, that life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.”

The only drama after his return from America is that he learns that Adrian Finn has committed suicide. Thus ends part one and you think: This won the Man Booker Prize?

There are surprises in part two. Tony receives a 500 pound inheritance from Sarah Ford, Veronica’s mother, whom he only met once at their stifling home in Kent. She also leaves him Adrian Finn’s diary, but Veronica has stolen it, so Tony must track down his old love and unravel the mystery of Adrian’s history that ended in suicide.

More surprises are in store. So the shock of his life in the end springs from the dead horse that Tony has a history of beating. But the novella still doesn’t deserve the Man Booker.

The book is available from amazon.com or by ordering through the main bookshops in Phuket.

— James Eckardt

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Bangkok

Experience the creative vibe during Bangkok Design Week with Airbnb

The Thaiger

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Experience the creative vibe during Bangkok Design Week with Airbnb | The Thaiger

Thailand is a hub of creativity; a country filled with artisanal culinary gems and art galleries that boasts creativity and innovation allowing cultural tradition to sit comfortably alongside the embrace of new ideas. Thailand never tires, and Bangkok remains popular, with Airbnb seeing an influx of guests during festivals and events such as Bangkok Design Week, which returns for its second year from January 26 – February 3.

The creative economy is thriving worldwide and in Thailand Airbnb have seen a clear synergy between the creative and sharing economies with recent Airbnb data showing there are 2,000 passionate Airbnb Hosts in Thailand who work in the creative industry.

Airbnb’s global digital platform helps creative entrepreneurs to support themselves, fund their passions and in many cases, showcase their creative work, in turn promoting local culture and authentic travel experiences to international and domestic travellers alike.

Held in the Bang Rak district of Bangkok – known for its creativity and centering around Charoen Kung Road, Bangkok’s oldest road – the second edition of Bangkok Design Week is held under the theme “Fusing Forward” and looks to build on its first year of success.
With almost 10,000 Airbnb travellers expected in Bangkok each day of design week, and almost a quarter of all creative Airbnb hosts in Thailand being based in Bangkok, we share some unique Homes across the city, ideal for those looking to enjoy Bangkok’s creative vibe.Between waking up from the comforts of a creatively designed home to attending hosted talks, travellers and locals alike are finding inspiration in this ever evolving golden city. Airbnb has also recently launched Airbnb Plus, which are a selection of homes intended for guests looking for one-of-a-kind, thoughtfully designed, beautiful homes with exceptional hosts.

Experience the creative vibe during Bangkok Design Week with Airbnb | News by The Thaiger1) Anonymous Heritage Home

This rare and unique Thai house built at the turn of the 20th century, is made from golden teak wood and features antique objects, artworks, and high ceilings. Located in Silom area, the creative district is a short stroll away and the river boat for the old town and temples are minutes away.

Experience the creative vibe during Bangkok Design Week with Airbnb | News by The Thaiger

2) Bā hào

A renovated 40-year old shophouse in the vibrant China Town area of Bangkok, Bā hào offers  Thai-contemporary inspired accommodation on the third and fourth floors with a shared living space on the second and an eclectic Oriental-style bar on the first floor.

Experience the creative vibe during Bangkok Design Week with Airbnb | News by The Thaiger

3) Retro Chic Retreat

Minimalist and zen-like, this townhouse is located in the heart of the city yet offers a laid back feel away from the hustle. With five bedrooms, it’s ideal for a group looking to explore the city’s creative nooks and crannies.

Experience the creative vibe during Bangkok Design Week with Airbnb | News by The Thaiger

4) Design house near Chatuchak Market and Ari

This architect-designed house is in a lovely neighborhood with many local street foods nearby, and easy access to Bangkok’s most popular creative hotspot Chatuchak Market, tourist spots and shopping malls.

Experience the creative vibe during Bangkok Design Week with Airbnb | News by The Thaiger

5) J. No 14

This family-owned, antique design B&B is located between the old city and the new, and offers a truly unique accommodation experience located just 300m from the nearest BTS station and 600m from the nearest Chao Phraya River pier.

Airbnb is also supporting a new wave of creative entrepreneurs, where we see more creatives becoming Airbnb hosts. Meet local artists and spend the afternoon with them through Airbnb Experiences.

Experience the creative vibe during Bangkok Design Week with Airbnb | News by The Thaiger

6) Lai Rod Num: Thai crafts gold workshop

Lai Rod Num is an ancient Thai craft using gold leaf and black lacquer painting which is often used in the decoration of temples or palaces pillars, window and door panels, ceremonial bowls, jewelry boxes, and much more. You will learn more about the craft and in the workshop using an adapted modern technique have the chance to create your own craft piece which you can take home.

Experience the creative vibe during Bangkok Design Week with Airbnb | News by The Thaiger

7) 1970’s photo shooting with blogger

Blogger and photographer Tommy will show three completely different faces of Bangkok, in three different neighborhoods, highlighting Bangkok’s diversity and the most beautiful points of the city. Guests will experience classic Bangkok architecture as well as the ‘hipster’ side of Bangkok with its hidden graffiti, street art and how local people live, and amazing Bangkok views.

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Bangkok

Bangkok Airways celebrates the arrival of its 40th aircraft

The Thaiger

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Bangkok Airways celebrates the arrival of its 40th aircraft | The Thaiger

Bangkok Airways has welcome the latest Airbus A319 as the local airline’s 40th aircraft when it arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

The event was led by Dechit Chareonwong, vice president of Flight Operations and joined by Nijjapat Piyapant, vice president of Ground Operations.

This aircraft type, the latest incarnation of the short-haul A320, consists of 144 economy class seats and will serve popular domestic and international routes such as Chiang Mai, Phuket, Samui, Krabi, Myanmar (Yangon, Mandalay), Cambodia (Siem Reap, Phnom Penh), India (Mumbai) and Vietnam (Danang).

The airline is adding Vietnaese city of Cam Ranh as a new route starting January 25.

Currently, Bangkok Airways’ fleet consists of 4 ATR 72-500s, 11 ATR 72-600s, 16 Airbus A319s and 9 Airbus A320s.

Bangkok Airways celebrates the arrival of its 40th aircraft | News by The Thaiger

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Entertainment

International Hip Hop sensation at Sugar Club Phuket

The Thaiger

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International Hip Hop sensation at Sugar Club Phuket | The Thaiger

Sugar Club Phuket is hyped to host the Thailand premier of US Hip Hop sensation Rae Sremmurd, live on Tuesday, January 22.

Ever since Rae Sremmurd exploded onto the scene with SremmLife bangers “No Flex Zone”, “Unlock the Swag” & “No Type”, Hip Hop parties just haven’t been the same. Brothers Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi may be relative new-kids on the block, but they’ve already build massive success, notably since their Gucci Mane-featuring SremmLife 2 single “Black Beatles,” and the accompanying online Mannequin Challenge rocketed them onto the international circuit.

More recently, their viral fanbase was gifted a fist-full of freshness when the trio of LPs on SR3MM arrived last year. A stand-out album with guest features from the likes of The Weeknd, Travis Scott and Future was always expected. But the inclusion of a strong pair of solo albums from Swae (the smooth ride of ‘Swaecation’) and Jxmmi (the trappier ‘Jxmtro’ with a stunning rap from Zoë Kravitz) proved the duo’s star quality beyond question.

To quote Swae Lee: “We gonna be in one of the Hall of Fames; it doesn’t matter if it’s the hip-hop, the opera, or whatever, we’re going down in history for something. There’s gonna be statues of us. We gonna go hard while we’re here. We’re going to make classic, timeless music and make a mark on these motherfuckers.”

Witness the rise of a legend at Rae Sremmurd’s first show ever in Thailand, only at Sugar Club Phuket – live on Tuesday, January 22.

Facebook Event​ HERE

Email​: ​[email protected]

Phone​: +66 98 889 8590

International Hip Hop sensation at Sugar Club Phuket | News by The Thaiger International Hip Hop sensation at Sugar Club Phuket | News by The Thaiger

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