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Cross Currents

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ISBN13: 9780451234605
ISBN10: 045123460x
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Thailand's pristine Ko Phi Phi island attracts tourists from around the world. There, struggling to make ends meet, small-resort owners Lek and Sarai are happy to give an American named Patch room and board in exchange for his help. But when Patch's brother, Ryan, arrives, accompanied by his girlfriend, Brooke, Lek learns that Patch is running from the law, and his presence puts Lek's family at risk. Meanwhile, Brooke begins to doubt her love for Ryan while her feelings for Patch blossom.

In a landscape where nature's bounty seems endless, these two families are swept up in an approaching cataclysm that will require all their strength of heart and soul to survive...

Review:

"The fifth novel from Shors (Beneath a Marble Sky) features young Americans so unworldly as to strain credulity, local Thais so saintly and industrious as to be unintentionally patronizing, and a questionable use of the 2004 Asian Tsunami for deus ex machina purposes. After punching a Bangkok policeman during a botched drug deal, Patch (a young American tourist) flees to the beautiful, remote island of Kho Phi Phi, where he plans to hide until he can either sneak out of the country or muster the courage to turn himself in and serve a year in Thai prison. He is soon taken in by Lek and Sarai, the owners of the beachfront Rainbow Resort. Despite the resort's idyllic location, the couple struggles to make ends meet and constantly worry that they will have to look for work in Bangkok. Soon, Patch's older brother Ryan and Ryan's girlfriend Brooke arrive to try and persuade Patch to turn himself in. After a few days, Brooke is unsure which brother is right for her: priggish, well-meaning Ryan or wild, soulful Patch. Unfortunately, the novel doesn't even function as a tropical soap opera — only the morbidly curious will read on to the mildly distasteful finale. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

John Shors traveled extensively throughout Asia after graduating from Colorado College. His novels have been translated into 25 languages.

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Grady Harp, September 6, 2011 (view all comments by Grady Harp)
Nature/Nurture: John Shors Finds the Relationship Again

John Shors has secured his place among popular American novelists of the decade with this his sixth novel that combines a growing respect of the beauties of the globe and the intricacies of the manner in which characters seemingly misplaced in locales seek to find themselves only to discover that their place in the confusion of the world is close at hand, partially shaded by nature's vagaries.

CROSS CURRENTS is Shors reaction to the now almost forgotten massively destructive tsunami that devastated much of Thailand in December 2004. His love of travel to exotic places seems to instill in him an obsession for his readers to visit the places that have meant much to him. In preparation for this particular novel he revisited Thailand several times, gathering information for his plot, but more important, soaking in the cultural differences in this exotic locales so that he might paint it more accurately.

He introduces us to a Thai family of simple means - Lek, Sarai, and their three children who make a living running an island tourist `resort' on the island of Ko Phi Phi. They have given harbor to an American lad by the name of Patch whom we later learn is avoiding the law after a poorly judged run-in with drug dealing. Patch and the children are particularly close and Patch's presence helps the little family survive.

From the United States comes Patches look alike brother Ryan with his girlfriend Brooke: Ryan is there in Thailand to convince Patch to turn himself in to the authorities, take his punishment and get on with his life. The brothers are very close, but different in their values systems. A rife divides not only the brothers but also unstable bond between Ryan and Brooke. After each of the brothers realizes the value of the other and the world begins to make a little sense, the tsunami comes and destroys the island and many of the inhabitants, but the fate of Patch and Ryan and Brooke and Ryan's newly discovered love of a massage girl Dao is altered in a strange way that brings closure to the story.

Shors has the ability to take us to the locations where he places his novels to the point that we can smell the air, feel the water, taste the cuisine, and most important understand the inhabitants of these far off lands' peoples. He has a gift in relating formation of relationships of all kinds and manipulates his characters in such a way that they become close friends of ours, making us feel their joys and sorrows like few other authors can. And a pleasure associated with his writing is the lack of need for exaggerated language or sex: everything happens naturally and while he doesn't concentrate on dwelling with issues that can become tiresome, nor does he deny these exist. It is a matter of taste in his writing that overcomes the need for smarmy writing. He has the gift as is obvious by the accolades from famous authors pasted in the first pages of his book. John Shors will be around for a long time.

Grady Harp
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780451234605
Author:
Shors, John
Publisher:
New American Library
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass Market
Publication Date:
20111031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8.22 x 5.53 x 0.77 in 0.64 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Cross Currents New Trade Paper
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$15.00 In Stock
Product details 352 pages New American Library - English 9780451234605 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The fifth novel from Shors (Beneath a Marble Sky) features young Americans so unworldly as to strain credulity, local Thais so saintly and industrious as to be unintentionally patronizing, and a questionable use of the 2004 Asian Tsunami for deus ex machina purposes. After punching a Bangkok policeman during a botched drug deal, Patch (a young American tourist) flees to the beautiful, remote island of Kho Phi Phi, where he plans to hide until he can either sneak out of the country or muster the courage to turn himself in and serve a year in Thai prison. He is soon taken in by Lek and Sarai, the owners of the beachfront Rainbow Resort. Despite the resort's idyllic location, the couple struggles to make ends meet and constantly worry that they will have to look for work in Bangkok. Soon, Patch's older brother Ryan and Ryan's girlfriend Brooke arrive to try and persuade Patch to turn himself in. After a few days, Brooke is unsure which brother is right for her: priggish, well-meaning Ryan or wild, soulful Patch. Unfortunately, the novel doesn't even function as a tropical soap opera — only the morbidly curious will read on to the mildly distasteful finale. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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