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Curse of the Pogo Stick by Colin Cotterill
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Curse of the Pogo Stick (2008)

by Colin Cotterill

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3873441,386 (3.9)170
  1. 10
    The Chinese Gold Murders by Robert van Gulik (nandadevi)
    nandadevi: Although set 1300 years apart, van Gulik has done for T'ang Dynasty China what Cotterill has done for Laos of the 1990's, distilled the essence of a time and place in a vastly entertaining series of novels of detection.
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English (32)  Norwegian (1)  German (1)  All languages (34)
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
I'm not sure what I think of this novel. It's interesting. I need to think about it more.

It would be difficult to better this review

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/458943095?book_show_action=true&from_r... ( )
  yhgail | Feb 20, 2019 |
...and another half star. Feeling a bit browbeaten by the anti-communist stance. Take his point but feels like he is getting a bit lazy and over-playing it. Quite a short book this one, entertaining but not much meat to it so I might go straight on to the next which I've picked up somewhere. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | May 27, 2018 |
murder-investigation, Laos, history-and-culture, historical-places-events, historical-fiction, magic, humor

The truest statement about this one is that there is little that cannot be explained by using logic and thinking outside the box. As usual, there are two converging plots to drive the reader nuts. But it is sooo worth it! See publisher's blurb for hints and clues, no spoilers here. Just enjoy the mystery and the humor, and don't let grim reality get you down.
Clive Chafer continues to be excellent as narrator. He really adds to the personalities and the humor, both dry and overt. ( )
  jetangen4571 | Jul 8, 2017 |
Love this series! ( )
  Shelda17 | Jun 24, 2017 |
Here's what we know about Dr. Siri Paiboun. He is a 73 year old coroner in the village of Vientiane, Laos. He has two loyal sidekicks, Nurse Dtui (now three months pregnant) and helper Mr. Geung. When we last left Dr. Siri he had proposed to Madame Daeng and she accepted so now he has a girlfriend to add to the mix. He is still plagued by the spirit of a thousand-year-old shaman, Yeh Ming and it's this spirit that gets Siri into his trouble this time. He is kidnapped by a group of women Hmong villagers thinking Yeh Ming can exorcise the head tribesman's daughter. She appears to be pregnant with twins by a demon.
Meanwhile Nurse Dtui and Phosy search for the Lizard, a woman hellbent on killing Dr. Siri.
One of the best things about Cotterill's writing (besides the humor) is that way he subtly reminds the readers where they are at in the saga. Like a television series voice over recap "previously on Badge of Justice..." before the new episode. In this case, Siri's best friend was found to be a traitor in the last installment. When Madame Daeng & Nurse Dtui pay him a visit in Curse his new role in the story makes sense. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Sep 12, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
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Dedication
This book is dedicated to the Hmong and other hill tribespeople of Laos who fought reluctantly on both sides of the political battlefield. I am sad for the betrayals they've suffered in their lives. I hope I haven't represented them inaccurately in this book, and I thank all those who helped with my research. I apologize for any liberties I may have taken to give my book more cheer and hope than real life has afforded the Hmong. Apologies also to missionaries Dr. G. Lynwood Barney and William A. Smalley for using my own transcription and trashing their fine Hmong phonetic system—but it gave me a headache.
First words
As there were no longer any records, the Hmong could not even tell when they actually misplaced their history.
Quotations
“Did you think it would end up like this? When you were fighting the French? Did you think the alternative to colonialism would be so . . . so claustrophobic? Did you think we’d be looking over our shoulders all the time worrying we might be doing or saying something to offend the Party?”
“We’re in transition, Dtui. Things will get better. At least we Lao are in control of our own destiny now.”
“If you don’t count the Vietnamese ‘advisers.’”
My biggest problem as a practicing cynic, however, is that I’m aligned, against my will and better judgment, to another world. I’m connected to a world of spirits and souls and gods and no matter how hard I try to disprove this world, I know it exists. I don’t know how it’s possible, but, damn it, it’s there.
Although the Lao wouldn’t have their own new year for another three months, the West was calling this 1978 and hailing it as the dawning of the age of computers. Half a million were already in use around the world and predictions were that this number might double by the end of the century. Like the news of Charlie Chaplin’s death and the decision by Sweden to ban aerosol cans, the revelation passed Vientiane by without even staring in the window.
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Dr. Siri Paiboun, the national coroner of Laos, escapes injury or even death when a booby-trapped corpse turns up in the morgue while he is away at a Communist party meeting, only to be kidnapped by a group of Hmong women who want the shaman with whom Paiboun shares a body to exorcise their headman's demon-possessed daughter.… (more)

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