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Curse of the Pogo Stick Hardcover – 1885

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 1885
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Soho Crime (1885)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569474850
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569474853
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,798,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was absolutely fascinating. One can learn about a whole region, several different groups of people in the region all while being fabulously entertained. This book completely changed my perspective on so much in the region. Read the book - you'll be marvelously entertained and educated at the same time !
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Format: Kindle Edition
One of the most delightful and whimsical series imaginable.. . Colin Cotterill has created a marvellous cast of characters starting with the inimitable elderly Vietnamese coroner, Dr. Siri. Once you've read the first one, you're bound to be hooked !
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xb3c92390) out of 5 stars 73 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb2e23e64) out of 5 stars solid historical Laos mystery Aug. 7 2008
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In the late 1970s the Laotian National Coroner seventy-three years old Dr. Siri Paiboun is attending some governmental Communist Party function (waste of time if you ask him) in the north. Meanwhile back in the capital Vientiane a corpse of a soldier booby trapped with grenades is anonymously dropped off at the morgue. Only the fast and capable work of Paibourn's assistant Nurse Dtui avoids a tragedy from happening.

Meanwhile Paibourn looks forward to getting home to spend time with his fiancée Madame Daeng and even time in the morgue, which is better than attending these inane officious official officialdoms. Instead the female members of the Hmong tribe abduct Dr. Siri as they need his help; or at least of the millennium old shaman Yeh Ming is to perform an exorcism on the tribal chief's daughter demonically possessed due to an evil pogo stick placed on an alter.

CURSE OF THE POGO STICK is a solid historical mystery that contains two subplots, in which both contain humor inside serious situations that brings to life 1977-78 Laos. The Vientiane investigation is superbly written as Nurse Dtui cleverly leads the inquiry into who would use a dead soldier to kills others. However, Colin Cotterill's insight into the suppressed Hmong people, caught between the violent Communist regime and Nixon's just completed a few years ago secret war, is what makes this a great entry as neither side cares what happened to these expendable mountain pawns. The insight into the Hmong culture and their "collateral damage" plight supersede the whodunit.

Harriet Klausner
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb3005e58) out of 5 stars Another excellent instalment July 11 2008
By Miran Ali - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another much awaited instalment of the series centred around Dr Siri the National Coroner of Laos under the Pathet Lao regime. Unfortunately this would qualify as the weakest of the series so far. This episode mostly concerns itself with mysterious happenings in a Hmong village. While Siri's intrepid assistant nurse Dtui goes off to investigate another crime. A central focus of this book is the price paid by the Hmong during the conflicts in Indochina. Sadly, though the book's set in the late '70's, the Hmong are still being persecuted by the Lao and Vietnamese governments to this day.
If this is your fist encounter with Dr. Siri, then please start with "The Coroner's Lunch", the first instalment of the series.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb30fc2c4) out of 5 stars Written with more passion July 22 2008
By Prof John F. Roddick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
First an admission, I love the Dr Siri Paiboun books. And despite what others have written, I do not think this one is the weakest although it is a little different. The book is far more descriptive of the lives and foibles of the people of Laos and in particular explore the wretched lives and wonderful nature of the Hmong. It's different in this respect. I'm not sure Cotterill can afford to use this difference often but it has added a more human dimension to the series.

However it is also, like the others, very funny. Well written, well edited and very polished. A great read.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb2e1d948) out of 5 stars Paradise Lost Jan. 9 2009
By Gary Griffiths - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Cheers to the talented Colin Cotterill who, like his wily septuagenarian protagonist Dr. Siri Paiboun, gets deeper and savvier with each new installment of this refreshingly unique crime mystery series. In this outing, Cotterill splits his plot, leaving sidekick nurse Dtui and her new policeman husband, Phosy, with Mr. Gueng tagging along, to crack the case of a booby-trapped corpse, while a Hmong tribe in northern Laos waylays Laotian national coroner Siri and his insufferable boss.

Consistent with its predecessors, Cotterill's characters are thoughtfully rendered - this is a guy who has great love and respect for the people he captures so well on paper. His prose is light and easy to read - we're not talking heavy atmospherics or deep psychological drama here - and despite the macabre and gruesome nature of a day in the morgue, the author does not rely on excess violence or gore to substitute for story or setting. With a keen dry wit reflected through Siri, Cotterill's skewering of communism and its incompetent practitioners becomes rapier-sharp, yet plot is never overshadowed by the politics. The mysterious Hmongs, who've dropped in and out of the fringes of previous books in the series, play a pivotal role here (including the background of the bizarre title), lending additional cultural depth and poignancy while opening old Viet Nam-era war wounds. The parallel stories come together with an unusual a very Cotterill-like humorous twist, laying the groundwork for the next entry.

While Colin Cotterill is not the in-your-face, hip, brash and brutal contemporary crime lyricists in the vein of Charlie Huston, Duane Swierczynski, or Ken Bruen, he is nonetheless a maverick in his own right - a sensitive and creative writer who values intelligent plotting and carefully drawn casts, choosing a unique time and unusual setting to practice his magic. Here is an author that deserves much more exposure - do yourself a favor and get acquainted.
HASH(0xb3c92714) out of 5 stars next step in the Coroner series Jan. 4 2014
By Karen Bauman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this whole series of mysteries! The hero is a coroner in 1970's Laos. The communists have won, and the country is trying to stumble along without much real government-just a lot of silly rules. Dr. Siri was a faithful revolutionary and has been "rewarded" with the position of the country's only coroner, although he's really just a regular doctor, with no training for this job. He and his loyal assistants are virtually forced to solve various odd crimes that come attached to the bodies they autopsy, as the police force is nothing to write home about. With Dr. Siri, Nurse Dtui, buxom and smart, and the stolid Mr. Geung, who has Down Syndrome, are up to the task of ferreting out the truth. They have their individual stories, as well, and I love the plot lines that follow these characters.
This episode moves the personal stories of Dr. Siri and the gang forward in a charming way. There are marriages and children involved, but I won't say more.
A surprising element in the series is the association with the spirit world that Dr, Siri finds thrust upon him, in an earlier book. He has become host to a powerful Hmong spirit from the past, who sometimes helps him solve crimes. This aspect could have made the stories ridiculous or annoying, but it does not intrude. Indeed, it provides an interesting sidelight to the goings-on in the "real" world. You learn quite a bit about the customs/beliefs of the Hmong minority in Laos.
The mysteries themselves are always pretty engaging and well resolved. They frequently require the main characters to travel around Laos and Vietnam, allowing us to learn more about the culture of the time and the general area.

These books are always lighthearted and amusing in tone, but not so much as to be goofy or annoying. I consider them to be a pleasant change from heavier, more depressing and serious mysteries, which I also enjoy.

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