When his girlfriend takes a job in Thailand, journalist Mischa goes along for the ride, planning only to enjoy himself as much as possible. But when he hears about the suicide of a young woman, Martiya van der Leun, in the Thai prison where she was serving a life sentence for murder, what begins as mild curiosity becomes an obsession. It is clear that Martiya was guilty, but what was it that led her to kill?
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Perfect title for a great novel
There is a lot to love about Fieldwork. I would certainly listen again to pick up on the many intriguing details I undoubtedly missed during my first listen. It's a book that is not merely interesting; it has a tale to tell about what it means to be human and how humans in different worlds all manage to live in an often unpredictable and sometimes hostile world; and how we all misunderstand each other. And it was funny, too.
The revelation at the end was well worth the wait. It wasn't a revelation in the traditional sense; hearing what Martiya finally learnt about the Diyalo and how she coped with that knowledge made her character, and her circumstances, much clearer. All peoples, and some people, do very peculiar things in the name of spirituality and culture. It is our way.
I read this book because I recalled a review by Stephen King. He said it was good book with an ill conceived title and a bad cover. Pfffft! to that! (She said in her usual articulate manner). The title was a perfect match for the narrative; and having been to northern Thailand many times, the original cover was also perfect.