Christopher G. Moore, originally from Vancouver, has been in Thailand since 1989.
He has written 19 novels, as well as Heart Talk, now in its 3rd edition, a book indispensable for discerning Thai concepts and phrases relating the word ‘heart’.
The characters in his novels “include foreign correspondents covering border fights, coups, revolutions, diplomats, business executives, English language teachers, and those living on the margins of Bangkok's night life--the hardcore, the dreamers, adventurers, drunks and con artists who travel the Patpong, Nana Plaza, Soi Cowboy and Thermae circuit.”
He has chronicled the lives of Western men who do most, if not all, of their social interactions with Thai women as constituting an under-reported modern-day “underground railroad,” contributing to the ongoing process of restructuring of gender relationships in the Western world.
Moore’s books are resplendent with informative bits on the “little things,” particular to Thai culture that can vex a visitor:
“[she] knows the drill and heads straight for the bathroom.
She pulls back the shower curtain.
Two white towels are carefully folded and hang side by side on the wall rack.
No Thai girl would have left the room without first having taken a shower.
Not only would one Coke be missing from the fridge, there would be a damp, used towel left on the floor.
Coming out of the bathroom, the disappointed face is gone.” --- God of Darkness
Moore’s signature character is Vincent Calvino, a cynical, New York-born, downmarket private detective plying his trade in the back-alleys of Bangkok.
International recognition has come with Moore winning a 2004 German Critics Award for Crime Fiction (Deutsche Krimi Preis) for Stunde Null in Phnom Penh (Cut-Out).
His novels have been or are being translated into Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Thai, and Turkish.
Moore’s Thailand-situated books include:
A Killing Smile (1991, ISBN 974-92335-7-3)
Asia Hand (Calvino, 1992, ISBN 974-87171-2-7)
A Bewitching Smile (1992, ISBN 974-85787-0-4)
Spirit House (Calvino, 1992, ISBN 974-92389-3-1)
A Haunting Smile (1993, ISBN 974-92214-8-6)
The Big Weird (Calvino, 1996, ISBN 974-87171-3-5)
God of Darkness (1998, ISBN 974-92281-7-0)
Cold Hit (Calvino, 1999, ISBN 974-92104-1-7)
Chairs (collection of short stories set in Thailand and Burma, 2000, ISBN 974-87691-9-4)
Minor Wife (Calvino, 2002, ISBN 974-92126-5-7)
Pattaya 24/7 (Calvino, 2004, ISBN 974-92066-6-5)
Gambling on Magic (2005, ISBN 974-92942-5-4)
The Risk of Infidelity Index (Calvino, 2007, ISBN 974-94840-0-2)
Moore has written several other novels, set in Asia and North America. They include:
His Lordship's Arsenal (1985, ISBN 974-86694-7-5)
Tokyo Joe (set in New York City and Tokyo, formerly published under the title Enemies of Memory, reprinted in 2003, ISBN 974-91152-8-7)
Cut-Out (a Calvino novel, primarily set in Cambodia, partly in Bangkok, 1994, reprinted as Zero Hour in Phnom Penh, 2005 ISBN 974-93035-9-8)
Saint Anne (set in New York City, 1994, ISBN 974-8907-68-6; this book was re-released in 2004 under the title Red Sky Falling, ISBN 974-92385-7-5)
Comfort Zone (a Calvino novel, set primarily in Viet Nam, partly in Bangkok: 1995, ISBN 974-87754-9-6)
Waiting for the Lady (set primarily in Burma, partly in Bangkok: 2003, ISBN 974-90755-6-0)
Non-Fiction by Moore:
Heart Talk (1992, third edition was released in 2006, ISBN 974-94118-9-7, 370 pages with illustrations) Highly recommended, this book opens up secrets to Thai language and culture that are essential to those wishing to know Thai people on more than a superficial level.
Moore’s books (like those of all the authors discussed in this story) can be found or ordered at virtually any Bangkok bookstore carrying books in English.
In North America, we invite you to support Moore’s work by buying directly from his site: www.cgmoore.com.
A copy of Spirit House, the first in the Vincent Calvino series, is downloadable from Moore’s official web site.
And be sure to check out Christopher Moore's blog at: http://www.cgmoore.com/blog/index.asp.
Christopher G. Moore’s The Risk of Infidelity Index (2007 ISBN 974-94840-0-2) is the strongest Calvino novel to date.
This tale of drug piracy is mixed with a heady broth of legal malfeasance and the political manipulations of an influential family on the Thai justice system.
Moore, an ex-lawyer, is an astute observer of the behind-the-scenes workings of Thai society, and spices the story with subtleties relating to kreng jai, a Thai construct that dictates how individuals relate to those in a superior social or political position.
The author’s invention of a book (the ‘Index’) used by expat Farang wives as a motivator to spy on the amorous peccadilloes of their husbands is funny, sad, and chilling at the same time.
Moore’s descriptions of Bangkok institutions are wonderful, and his documentation of the nighttime activities in the Nana parking lot (p. 103) should be a boon for future historians and scholars.