Book Reviews

Lady Of Isan

  • Author: Michael Schemmann
  • Review by Stick
Book cover Lady Of Isan by Michael Schemmann

Michael Schemmann is a former German, now turned Canadian, who after two failed marriages moves to Thailand where he secures a job as a lecturer at ABAC. Shortly after arriving he finds himself on an orientation trip and seminar down in Pattaya where he falls in love with a lady of the night. This book, non-fiction funnily enough, follows his mercurial relationship with an Isaan native.

It's an odd read, the subject material is always a draw, and some of what happens isn't quite what you expect, but all of the mistakes in it – and there are hundreds and hundreds – make its 150 odd pages a bit of work to get through. The author is brutally honest but at times his glaring weaknesses become horribly annoying and you wonder what the hell h must have been thinking to get himself into such bother.

What I liked: The fact that it is non-fiction i.e. the story is real. There is not a lot of non-fiction in print on this subject. The author is obviously a very clever man who makes a lot of interesting observations about life in Isaan, and life married to a lady from the lower classes of Thailand's poorest region.

What I didn't Like: It is quite amazing that the book made it into print with so many errors in it. There are hundreds and hundreds of mistakes from typos, to grammar completely screwed up to entire pages repeating themselves! This is without a doubt the most poorly edited book I have ever read, and in a country where a lot of the English language material in print is average, that is really saying something.

Overall: I couldn't say this book is a flawed jewel, because even if all of the mistakes were cleaned up, it would still require a lot of work to make it really good. And stories like this are all over the internet, many of them much better written. Still, if you are fascinated by Farang / Thai relationships, then it is worth a read.

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