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Extended Audio Sample Bangkok 8: A Novel Audiobook, by John Burdett Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,415 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Burdett Narrator: J. Paul Boehmer, Paul Boehmer Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Sonchai Jitpleecheep Mysteries Release Date: March 2003 ISBN: 9780736697996
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A thriller with attitude to spare, Bangkok 8 is a sexy, razor-edged, often darkly hilarious novel set in one of the world’s most exotic cities.

Witnessed by a throng of gaping spectators, a charismatic Marine sergeant is murdered under a Bangkok bridge inside a bolted-shut Mercedes Benz. Among the witnesses are the only two cops in the city not on the take, but within moments one is murdered and his partner, Sonchai Jitpleecheep—a devout Buddhist and the son of a Thai bar girl and a long-gone Vietnam War G.I.—is hell-bent on wreaking revenge. On a vigilante mission to capture his partner’s murderer, Sonchai is begrudgingly paired with a beautiful FBI agent named Jones and captures her heart in the process. In a city fueled by illicit drugs and infinite corruption, prostitution and priceless art, Sonchai’s quest for vengeance takes him into a world much more sinister than he could have ever imagined.

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Quotes & Awards

  • One of the year's most seductive thrillers. . . . Think of Bangkok 8 as a destination spot for any reader with a taste for the exotic and desire for a really good time. New York Daily News
  • Gruesome and memorable. The New York Times
  • Burdett knows how to dole out engagingly gory details and hard-boiled platter. Entertainment Weekly
  • A different kind of mystery, one you’re not likely to have seen before. . . . Bangkok 8 makes you change your perspective. It takes you into another world and exposes you to different ways of thinking. Rocky Mountain News
  • Bangkok 8 is one of the most startling and provocative mysteries that I've read in years. The characters are marvelously unique, the setting is intoxicating and the plot unwinds in dark illusory strands, reminiscent of Gorky Park. Once I started, I didn't want to put it down. Carl Hiaasen
  • Edgy, intricate and atmospheric . . . [Burdett] uses plenty of narrative sleight-of-hand to weave together character development, comic relief and inspired plot twists while steering clear of facile exoticism. Time Out, New York
  • A tour de force. . . . Burdett is purely and simply a wonderful writer. The Washington Post
  • "A stiletto-sharp mystery/thriller . . . brilliantly rendered. The Seattle Times-Post Intelligencer
  • “Like Thai cuisine, Burdett’s comic thriller blends spicy, sour, salty and sweet—and makes for a delicious wake-up for jaded palates. People
  • “Vividly written and even more vividly imagined. . . . This novel is as wild as the city in which it takes place. . . . Read it to blow your mind. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • “A thriller as exotic as it is enthralling, and as provocative as it is obscene. Harper’s
  • The wildest ride in modern crime novel exoticum. A novel so steeped in milieu that it feels as if you’ve blasted to mars in the grip of a demon who won’t let you go. Read this book, savor the language–it’s the last–and the most compelling word in thrillers. James Ellroy
  • Characters are well-developed and the tale is carefully woven and fun to read. Columbus Dispatch

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Matt | 2/14/2014

    " For some reason, I couldn't really get behind this book. There were a number of things that I enjoyed about it, but ultimately, it left a bad taste in my mouth. Not sure I can pinpoint it any better than that. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joan | 2/12/2014

    " three and a half. Interesting story. Good characterization. Different take on prostitution. The East really is different. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sherry | 2/8/2014

    " Good book that gives a good picture of Thailand and cultures. Creepy ending though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 1/29/2014

    " Great read. Great look into Thai culture, Thai cops, American Thai relations, and all the other reasons would love Thailand. I'd read a sequel is a second. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 1/29/2014

    " Excellent, sort of a murder mystery, there IS a murder mystery in it, but it is also about Bangkok, Buddhism, colonialism, gender, prostitution. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth Maliner | 1/16/2014

    " murder and mayhem based in Thailand "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie | 1/16/2014

    " Fun, quick mystery read, with several surprises and twists along the way and at the end. As a bonus, enjoyed reading about/remembering Bangkok, but left me longing for authentic Thai food... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marty | 12/30/2013

    " A good mystery set in Bangkok...a bit on the sensational side, but good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel Jones | 12/20/2013

    " This book had/has a huge buzz. Hmmmm. Sure, compared to most of what is out there, it is well written, unusual, and full of great characters. But I found the plot rather thin, and I don't even know what to make of its weird racial politics. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ozzie Cheek | 12/4/2013

    " Crazy, delightful book. As close to being in Bangkok as you can get. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jasna | 12/3/2013

    " This mystery takes a while before it becomes difficult to put down. A little Buddist philosophy mixed in while the main character, a Thai cop with a gringo (or farang as they say in Thailand) dad solves the mystery. There are some gruesome parts, but I could read it without feeling woozy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 11/25/2013

    " Exotic location and crime with interesting and engaging characters along with some humor thrown in. What's not to like? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alison | 9/13/2013

    " This murder/detective story about a Bangkok cop on a quest to avenge the death of his partner who was killed on the job has a cool Buddhist/Thai vibe and lots of fun plot twists. A great vacation read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Djamila | 9/13/2013

    " great murder thriller.. after you have read this book, you feel like you know a what it feels like to live, or at least visit, bangkok. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 7/2/2013

    " I love Burdett's Buddhist mystic-cop Detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep. The book is brutal, but fascinating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Seisen | 5/6/2013

    " I love John Burdett's stuff. I love his take on Buddhism. See other reviews. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robb | 4/3/2013

    " am venturing into the second book to figure whether the writing and story is quality or just several interesting musings on how the West and East differ. this just felt like an introduction, for better for worse. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Crystal C | 3/6/2013

    " This book reminded me a lot of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Interesting premise, good characters, but just sort of odd and not particularly fulfilling. I will probably read the second book in the series and see whether that one is more pleasing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 1/12/2013

    " A really unusual, interesting narrative voice. you kind of want to take him home and feed him chicken soup til he gets better. ending stumbles a bit but it's a wild ride getting there. This book stayed with me for days afterwards. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristin | 12/19/2012

    " Interesting and disturbing look inside the gritty underbelly of prostitution and corruption in Bangkok. The author's style was not one that I easily meshed with and hindered me from appreciating a good whodunnit story. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Caroline | 10/26/2012

    " Colourful, interesting characters, great sense of place, but too many rambling plotlines and (for me) the ending did not make sense. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeanne | 10/6/2012

    " A wild ride through a wild city....... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julian Friend | 9/12/2012

    " A fun, if stretched, adventure through the streets, and sub-cultures, of Bangkok. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susannah | 7/5/2012

    " Very entertaining. Great in-flight reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sioux-z | 6/20/2012

    " Really enjoyed this book - very graphic detective story set in Bangkok - I craved Thai food the entire time I read the book and would eat it three to four times a week - No one describes Bangkok's traffic better than this author - Not for everyone - Detective investigates sex crimes - "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eleanor | 4/7/2012

    " While I liked the Buddhist overlay to the traditional whodunnit perhaps a little unnecessarily sexsational. Still good plane/travel reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marketingguy | 2/25/2012

    " Burdett has a sly way of showing how bizarre American society is by showing us how naturally strange Thai society can be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 12/9/2011

    " great crime tale and makes you really want to head over there. Great commentary on the sex trade as well Thailand in general. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Helki | 12/5/2011

    " This book (and the rest of the series) are just plain fun. If you love mystery novels and/or Bangkok, this is a great beach or plane read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mskarla | 11/4/2011

    " I adore every book in this series. Weird, witty and original. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Clementine | 9/19/2011

    " Read on the way to and in Bangkok. A GREAT travel companion. Perhaps not everyone wants to learn the details of transsexual surgery, but I found it fascinating. And the Buddhist detectivwe whose mother owns a brothel - funny and well drawn characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ed | 9/19/2011

    " Common structure, uncommon setting. I enjoyed it immensely and have to agree with Publisher's Weekly: "Readers expecting a traditional mystery structure would be advised to look elsewhere, but those who want something new will find Burdett's novel an intriguing, fresh take on noir."
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ray | 9/7/2011

    " This book creates an enveloping world of Bangkok. The narrator has one of those voices that would stick in my head for a half hour after a reading session. Excellent! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Apatt | 8/30/2011

    " Couldn't finish this because the author's portrayal of Thai people, language and culture seems off to me. I would be interested to hear from another Thai speaking person who have read this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Ellen | 8/26/2011

    " This was an interesting read. The main character is a Thai police man. The novel starts with the death of a US marine, killed by cobras in his car. What makes this novel different is the setting in Thailand and the emphasis on Budhism. I now ant the read the other books in the series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marty | 8/17/2011

    " Excellent and well written book about Bangkok and it's main industry.
    The story a murder mystery, but is informative and I am looking forward to reading the next book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 8/10/2011

    " This book makes me want to visit Bangkok. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marty | 8/4/2011

    " This book was a lot of fun, a lot of twists and turns. I read it a few years ago, and now I'm reading the sequel to it. "

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About the Author
Author John Burdett

John Burdett is a former lawyer who worked in London and Hong Kong for fourteen years. He is the author of the bestselling Bangkok 8 and its sequels, Bangkok Tattoo, Bangkok Haunts, and The Godfather of Kathmandu. His other works include Freedom Angel, The Last 6 Million Seconds, and Vulture Peak, the latest installment in the Bangkok series. Burdett splits his time between France and Bangkok. 

About the Narrators

Paul Boehmer is an American actor best known for his numerous appearances in the Star Trek universe. He began his audiobook work in 2000 and has since lent his voice to many fiction and nonfiction titles. He has won nine AudioFile Earphones Awards as well as the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration in 2009 and 2014. Between books, he is active in regional theaters across the country. His television appearances include guest spots on Nip/Tuck and Numb3rs.

Paul Boehmer is an American actor best known for his numerous appearances in the Star Trek universe. He began his audiobook work in 2000 and has since lent his voice to many fiction and nonfiction titles. He has won nine AudioFile Earphones Awards as well as the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration in 2009 and 2014. Between books, he is active in regional theaters across the country. His television appearances include guest spots on Nip/Tuck and Numb3rs.