Blending theory & practice to build PNG
Every no has a better yes

Where Poltergeist meets Wall Street



Pacific Odyssey: The Curious Journey of Lew 2.0 by Chet Nairene, Banana Leaf Books, March 2024, paperback, 392 pages. ASIN‎ B0CYLXCGW7. Available here as ebook or paperback from Amazon Books

NOOSA – After five years of what he admits has been especially hard work, Chet Nairene (a nom de plume) has published his second novel, Pacific Odyssey - The Curious Journey of Lew 2.0, which I hope will soon be reviewed in PNG Attitude.

Chet tells me that Pacific Odyssey is “a quirky mashup, something like Poltergeist meets Wall Street in rural Asia.

“The mood and themes are similar to the predecessor novel, Pacific Dash - Westerners muddling about in Asia experiencing amusing culture clashes with funny results.”

Chet’s first book, Pacific Dash: From Asia Vagabond to Casino King, was reviewed for the blog by Phil Fitzpatrick in October 2021. You can read that review here

“The central story in Pacific Dash begins in the late 1960s, innocent days when money and ambition were respectable attributes for fictional heroes, before neoliberalism spoiled it all,” Phil wrote.

In Pacific Odyssey, Lew Clarke is a 30-something New York tech business wiz who hooks up with a mysterious supplier, a tiny company hidden away in a quirky little Southeast Asian country.

After a number of Lew's customers start experiencing horrible accidents, he is forced to travel to the mini hermit kingdom of Amazia to unwind the mess.

But once there, he finds his modern Western knowledge all but useless and things unravel.

Lew makes great friends and falls in love but, once he learns the dark secret haunting the kingdom, his mission becomes more than just saving himself and his company.

Phil Fitzpatrick wrote of Chet's first book back in 2021:

The author lived in Southeast Asia for nearly 30 years working on barges and tankers along the Malaysian coast before getting involved in retail businesses in the Philippines, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Thailand.

He uses this experience to populate his novel with a wide range of colourful characters and events.

Although there is a pointed disclaimer in an author’s note that the book is entirely a work of fiction, it is not hard to see that his writing has been influenced by his real life experiences.

Pacific Dash has a corny and dated plot line but offers very useful insights for anyone living in the Indo-Pacific region, particularly if they are dealing with Southeast Asian business people.

Given his 30-odd years working in the Asian business world, the author could be regarded as something of an expert. An old Asia hand as it were.

I’ve no doubt that in the narrative there are factual and useful insights into the inscrutable Asian make-up.


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