Behind the Smile, the story of Lek, a bargirl in Pattaya

The Story of Lek, a Bar Girl in Pattaya
'Daddy's Hobby'

Unsolicited Reviews of
'Behind The Smile'

~ The Story of Lek, a Thai Bar Girl in Pattaya, Thailand ~

Reviews of Behind The SmileThese pages list further unsolicited testimonials or reviews for Behind The Smile that I have received permission to publish.

If you have read 'Behind The Smile' and would like to leave an unsolicited testimonial below, please send it to me and I will publish it whether it is favourable or not.

Please do write me an unsolicited testimonial or review to print on this page because it will help others decide whether they would like the book or not.

by Owen Jones

unsolicited testimonials



Another Excellent Book from Owen Jones

by: Phil Crozier
for: Stepping Stones
on: Amazon UK
at: September 17, 2015

Another excellent book in the ' Behind The Smile ' series. I have read the 5 books and enjoyed every one.



Behind the Smile draws the reader into the setting so effectively that it seems like you're actually there.

by: roscoe l
for: Daddy's Hobby
on: Amazon UK
at: September 02, 2015

A realistic portrayal of a Pattaya bar girl's trials, tribulations, concerns and psyche. This novel does not portray the nightmare scenario commonly written about Thai-farang relationships but does have it's ups and downs and tense moments that keep you guessing how it will turn out. Written in extensive detail, Behind the Smile draws the reader into the setting so effectively that it seems like you're actually there, a part of it, walking step by step with the characters. A job well done.



An Exciting Future5.0 out of 5 stars An Exciting Future, February 4, 2015
This review is from: An Exciting Future (Behind The Smile - The Story of Lek, a Bar Girl in Pattaya Series Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
"Quote) "As the wheels of the aircraft touched down on the runway at the new Bangkok International Airport called Suvarnabhumi, Craig knew that he was going to have his hands full with Lek." (end of quote) This is the opening line of the book. It foreshadows what is to come, in a sublime, subtle, yet profound manner. It is full of psychological meaning, that if not intentional, must surely be considered a "Freudian slip of the pen" by Author Owen Jones. Regardless of whether conscious or subconsciously, we have been afforded a very revealing look into the thought processes of this talented author. The reader is prepared for difficulties ahead, obstacles that must be overcome, and challenges that must be dealt with.

There are cultural gems related to food, clothing, greetings, language, customs and traditions liberally sprinkled throughout the book. Author Owen Jones has a deep grasp of his unique landscape which he presents masterfully to the uninitiated reader. Let me give you one which I found particularly interesting: (quote) "Every Thai village has a Buddhist temple, called a Wat, in the same way that every European village has a church. Similar to their European counterparts, many traditional villages have more than one Wat, although there is only one real denomination of Buddhism in Thailand. In Europe, there might be a Catholic Church, a Protestant Church and a Methodist Church, but in Thailand there are only two active forms of the Buddhist religion." (end of quote)

Here is another cultural gem related to marriage. The conversation is exquisite in the way it reveals the clash of two cultures with different norms: (quote)

“What and deny my friends and family a wedding and a party? What about face? What will people think?.” She paused as she remembered Goong’s words. “Well, no and yes. We must talk about this. Have you thought about how much you will give me to marry you?”

“What? You expect me to pay you to marry me?”

“It is normal in Thailand, but not pay to marry. Sin sod. I don’t know the English. You must give me and my mother money. It is traditional. You don’t have in the UK?”

“I’ll pay you the same as you pay me. Nothing. Oh, wait a moment... You mean ‘dowry’. In the UK the father of the wife used to pay the man to marry his daughter and he would also pay for the wedding party.”

“Oh, no! In Thailand the future husband must give the girl gold and the girl’s mother money. How much will you give for me? I am beautiful, not too old and will take care of you all my life. 250,000 Baht is cheap, neh?” (end of quote)

Fabulous dialogue, deliciously delightful, as the two people discuss what can only be rightfully called, at this point, "An Exciting Future". I draw particular attention to the latter dialogue between Lek and Craig because it brings back fond memories of my own marriage, in which my beautiful Chilean wife "jumped the broom", and I danced the Chilean national dance, "La Cueca".

Let me sum up this book in three words: An Exciting Future. This story is all about a moment, frozen in time, in which the future is full of promise, full of possibility, and it stretches out its hand and whispers your name softly and gently under a moonlit night. Grab a copy of this beautiful book. You are in for an enormously exquisite treat of unimaginable ecstasy. I recommend this delightful book to young and old most enthusiastically.


5.0 out of 5 stars Exemplary, May 16, 2014

ChristophFischerBooks ""diebus""

This review is from: Daddy's Hobby (Behind The Smile - The Story of Lek, a Bar Girl in Pattaya) (Kindle Edition)

"Daddy's Hobby (Behind The Smile - The Story of Lek, a Bar Girl in Pattaya)" by Owen Jones is an insightful look into the life of a Thai bar girl. It is a moving story that shines through its exemplary realism. Jones shows real life drama as I imagine it much more likely than stories on the subject that I have read. It tells a tale of tragedy and hope, of love, prostitution and the grey area between without drifting into thriller and political territory, which makes ir so much more powerful.
Well worth reading.


Behind The Smile
The Trilogy

Behind The Smile5/5Behind The Smile5/5Behind The Smile


  Hello Owen,

  I have just finished your third and last book of the trilogy Behind the smile Maya Illusion. As I have said before, I have read the number one and the number two. Like the firsts I will say that I have liked very much this book
 Graig (Oh sorry Owen Emoji).
  We can see the evolution of these characters during their life. We can see how they live and the life in these littles village, far from Bangkok or Pattaya.

  I have been very surprised by the end of your book, and I would say that was a very good surprise.
  10-15 pages before the end I said to myself, only 15-10 pages and the book finish like that, there is no end.
  But Ayr is at the hospital and we see a end, a good end that we couldn't have imagined 30 pages before.

  The story between Ron and Som is a story that many farang have lived, it was not a surprise to read something like that in a book about life in Thailand and life with a farang and a thai girl.
  But another story in your book surprised me, it was when Lek and Ayr created their company and more especialy when they hire many people from a village nearby.
  In 2011 I was in Thailand during the flood that has stricken a large part of the country. Did people saved their rice like that? On the TV they spoke about deads people (Of course we could understand that), the flood that reach Don Muang, north of Bangkok and some big city like Ayutthaya but they never spoke about this problem of rice in little villages.

  Now I would have others questions?

  Will you write a Behind the smile number 4?
  I have seen that you have write another book where the story is in Thailand: Tigger lily, I think I will buy it.
  And last question, today do you live always in Thailand?

  Best regards.



Behind The Smile
The Trilogy

Behind The Smile5/5Behind The Smile5/5Behind The Smile


  "I thoroughly enjoyed reading all 1/2/3 BTS books
even though I was getting annoyed in book 2 with
Lek's selfish and self-centred attitude regarding
the house and her image and standing in the village, but
fell over laughing with the image of Craig staying in the
old timber shack he'd bought, and trying to get some
sleep by wearing a sack over his head to evade the
mosquitos bites. Sorry O but that image brings a smile
every time, mainly because I can picture it happened
to you in real life.
  "Book 3 was a relief in many ways, not only was Lek finally
in control of her life financially as well as socially, but
also with Ayr her old friend coming back to the village
and backing Lek in their joint venture together, meant I could
finally sleep easy knowing that Craig would be happy and
confident in their so far very one sided life together.

  "I'm sorry that the series is over for now, but, I suppose it will give me a chance to read some of your other 20-odd books!"

Best Wishes,

Rhys Jones




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BTS 1: Daddy's Hobby

BTS2: An Exciting Future

BTS3: Maya - Illusion
BTS4: The Lady in the Tree

BTS5: Stepping Stones

BTS6 - The Dream