HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Breathing Water: A Bangkok Thriller (Poke…
Loading...

Breathing Water: A Bangkok Thriller (Poke Rafferty Thrillers) (edition 2009)

by Timothy Hallinan

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
693173,491 (4.22)2
Member:bfister
Title:Breathing Water: A Bangkok Thriller (Poke Rafferty Thrillers)
Authors:Timothy Hallinan
Info:William Morrow (2009), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:Bangkok, Thailand, crime fiction, writers, corruption, gambling, families, Poke Rafferty

Work details

Breathing Water by Timothy Hallinan

None

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 2 mentions

Showing 3 of 3
In the third Poke Rafferty story, Rafferty finds himself in a strange bind. He's won the right to write a biography of Khun Pan, a populist but immensely wealthy and corrupt power broker. Other power brokers won't let Rafferty out of his deal, but want to ensure the book paints Pan in a bad light. What's at stake? control of the country - and the lives of Rafferty and his family. The contradictions of Thailand and the effects of corruption and the gap between rich and poor are well-illustrated here, but the best part is the story of Da, a child who is given a baby as a prop for begging. Also a highlight - the street kid Boo, known as Superman in A Nail Through the Heart, returns. These are very tender-hearted books, but so well-written they never fall into sentimentality.
  bfister | Jul 2, 2010 |
BREATHING WATER is set amid the honky-tonk, flash and squalor of Bangkok. Told from multiple points of view, the main character is an American ex-pat writer named Poke Rafferty, who gets stuck between a rock and a hard place after winning a poker bet. Rafferty has a family consisting of – of course – a drop-dead gorgeous wife, Rose, who used to work as a stripper (but never a prostitute!) and an adopted street child named Miaow (precocious, naturally).

Other characters include a girl working for "the man" begging for money on the streets of Bangkok, because her village was destroyed after a dam diverted water from it. The girl – named Da – is given a baby, because people will give more money to a girl with a kid. She eventually falls in with a group of street urchins led by Boo (also known as Superman, for reasons best understood by reading earlier books in the series).

Rafferty is, for lack of a better description, a man's man. As such, he likes to play poker, which is what he's doing when the story opens. Rafferty is winning big against a weighty (both physically and politically) and famously jealous-of-his-privacy opponent named Khun Pan. When Rafferty wins Pan's permission to write his biography, this seems like a major coup, at first.

However, Rafferty starts getting threats from mysterious sources who tell him not to write the book, on pain of death or perhaps worse to himself and his family. At the same time, Rafferty is pressured by other forces to write the book – a negative one – or else. (Or else what? Well, bad things. To himself, his family, etc.) Events spiral out of control as Rafferty is kidnapped, threatened, beaten and struggles to protect himself and his loved ones from both sides.

Part of what makes this book enjoyable is not only Timothy Hallinan's intimate knowledge of the place he's writing about and the way he makes Bangkok both a colorful backdrop and a character in the story, but his depiction of Rafferty, who's streetwise and funny – but not perfect. Watching Rafferty muddle his way through his "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation keeps one turning the pages to find out how he'll deal with the next problem.

For more: http://thriller-fiction.suite101.com/article.cfm/review_of_breathing_water ( )
  infogirl2k | Dec 8, 2009 |
In the third installment of Timothy Hallinan's Bangkok Thriller series, BREATHING WATER finds Poke Rafferty trapped in a peculiar predicament. During a poker game, he won the right to author Khun Pan's biography. People have clamored for this biography because Pan has done what virtually no one else has in Thailand, risen from the ranks of dirt poor to grotesquely wealthy. Despite demand, this biography has not been written, and Poke quickly discerns the probable reason why. Poke has been threatened: if he writes the biography, one side has threatened to kill his family; if he doesn't write the biography, another side has threatened to kill his family. And both sides will be watching him to see that he's doing exactly what they dictate. He's literally stuck in a catch-22. Poke needs to hold off both sides until he can figure out just exactly what it is he WILL do.

BREATHING WATER is the quintessential story of the haves versus the have nots. The most obvious level of this theme is found in the rich versus the poor. But Hallinan takes the theme to multiple levels with Poke's family, his friend Arthit's family, and the illegal baby trade, illustrating to the reader that money is not the only factor creating divisions between the haves and have nots.

Hallinan never fails to ignite his plots with plenty of twists and turns; BREATHING WATER is no exception. One of his strongest plot building devices is unquestionably character development. He builds strong, rich characters whose depth and interactions with each other work to intensify the plot.

Hallinan makes use of every word, every sentence, every paragraph. BREATHING WATER is definitely a tight, fluff-less plot that rewards its readers with an adventurous ride through the darkness of Bangkok. ( )
  jenforbus | Oct 2, 2009 |
Showing 3 of 3
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
This book is dedicated to the memory of Raleigh Philip, who left behind an ever-widening wake of inspiration, and to Alicia Aguayo from her hijito.
First words
The man behind the desk is a dim shape framed in blinding light, a god emerging from the brilliance of infinity.
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061672238, Hardcover)

For American expat travel-writer Poke Rafferty, a late-night poker game delivers an unexpected prize: the chance to write the biography of a controversial, vulgar, self-made billionaire with a shady past and far-reaching political ambitions. The win seems at first like a stroke of luck, but within twelve hours of folding his cards, Poke and his family--his wife, Rose, and their adopted daughter, Miaow--have become pawns in a political struggle among some of Thailand’s richest, most powerful, and most ruthless people. The trouble multiplies when Boo, Miaow’s missing friend from the streets, reappears with an impoverished young girl trapped in a baby-selling ring. Trying to save them and his family, Poke finds himself at the collision point of powerful forces --forces that have shaped (and distorted) Thai life for decades. Set in the Thailand of today’s headlines, amidst massive political upheaval, BREATHING WATER is the most compelling Poke Rafferty thriller yet. It takes the reader beyond the illusion of order and stability and into a world in which the stakes are enormous and life is cheap--a world where love and courage may not be enough to hold back the darkness.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:22:19 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When Poke Rafferty is given the chance to write the biography of Khun Pan, a Thai billionaire, he discovers that there are powerful political figures who do not want Pan portrayed as a hero to the poor, while others want to expose his dark side for theirown advantage.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

LibraryThing Author

Timothy Hallinan is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

profile page | author page

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
27 wanted2 pay1 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.22)
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5 2
3
3.5
4 7
4.5 1
5 6

Audible.com

An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,969,203 books! | Top bar: Always visible