G. Mooreis a Canadian writer who has lived in Thailand for 25
years. He studied law at Oxford University, taught law at University
of British Columbia, and practiced law before becoming a full-time
first book His Lordship’s Arsenal was published in
New York to a critical acclaim in 1985. His has since written
over 20 novels, a book on Thai language, and over 200 essays.
He has also collaborated with other writers and edited three
anthologies of short stories and essays.
is best known for his popular Vincent
Calvino Private Eye series which currently includes 13 novels,
and his cult classics, Land of Smiles Trilogy, a behind-the-smiles
study of his adopted country, Thailand.
his early career Moore was called “complex, moody, rewarding”
(Chicago Sun-Times) and “a real writer and one to watch”?(Publisher’s
Weekly). After Moore has moved to Thailand in search of
materials in the late 1980s his body of work grew with many
novels published that were set largely in Southeast Asia, in
particular Thailand. He was among the first, if not the first,
who wrote detective novels with the western-style protagonist
set in Thailand.
the 1990s and 2000s Moore alternated between literary and crime
fiction. Macleans described his work: “Moore’s noir
thriller and literary fiction—like Graham Greene, he alternates
between ‘entertainment’ and serious novels—are subtle and compelling
evocations of a part of the world rarely seen through our eyes.”
Moore himself was described as a writer “in the great literary
tradition that hasn’t really touched down since Somerset Maugham”
(The Globe and Mail), and “the most important recreator
of Thailand for a western audience” (Vancouver Sun).
has enjoyed a strong readership in Asia and Europe before his
Vincent Calvino novels were published in the United States and
the United Kingdom starting in 2007. He was considered “among
the most important authors who [brought] foreign crime fiction
into Germany” in the mid-1990s (Krimitips). He is also
often praised for his craft. “Moore is a brilliant storyteller
and a masterful character inventor” (CrimiCouch.de), “a marvelous
and inventive writer who is able to combine literary merit with
good old genre fiction” (Georgia Straight).
his writing style, “Moore is a stylist much like the writers
of the early to mid-20th century who kick-started the P.I. genre
in America. He writes with the angry and sad voice of Ross Macdonald
and the flow of and beauty of Raymond Chandler. Penning his
books in the third-person, he uses allegory and symbolism to
great effect. The Calvino series is distinctive and wonderful,
not to be missed, and I’m pleased to see that it is finally
becoming better known in the States” (The Rap Sheet).
Moore has also been described as “The Hemingway of Bangkok”
(The Globe and Mail), “Dashiell Hammett in Bangkok”
(San Francisco Chronicle), and “W. Somerset Maugham
with a bit of Elmore Leonard and Mickey Spillane thrown in for
good measure”?(The Japan Times).
to Douglas Fetherling, a noted Canadian literary critic, “Moore
is a genuine novelist who just happens to employ the conventions
of the thriller genre, that his real interests are believable
human behaviour and way cultures cross-pollinate and sometimes
clash. This is real prose, not Raymond Chandler stuff, and his
motives are as close to art as they are to entertainment” (Ottawa
work is often noted for its rich cultural observations and insights
and his knowledge of Southeast Asia. “Moore’s work doesn’t flinch
from cultural detail or complex social analysis” (International
Herald Tribune). “It’s easy to see why Moore’s books are
popular: While seasoned with a spicy mixture of humor and realism,
they stand out as model studies in East-West encounters, as
satisfying for their cultural insights as they are for their
hardboiled action”?(The Japan Times).
Parisien called him “an idealist and a lone warrior who
doesn't hesitate to get his hands dirty.... Those who have travelled
to Southeast Asia will be captivated by his ability to recreate
the atmosphere,” and Thriller Magazine (Italy) considered
him “a rare writer who is able to meticulously dramatize the
complex wiring of the human condition and simultaneously reveal
the geopolitical undercurrents while maintaining a skillful
control of his stories. Moore is a true connoisseur of Southeast
Asia, a man of experience beyond the narrow bounds of culture.”
Stark wrote in the Quarterly Review: “If there’s a
new book by Christopher G. Moore, the Bangkok-based Canadian
author, I’ll read that, particularly if it’s a Calvino private
eye one. His novels, set among louche expatriates in a semi-criminal
nocturnal demi-monde, managed to put Bangkok into a context
for me when I was spending time in S.E. Asia. He leads you into
hidden establishments and constructs, some palatial, some mean
hovels in hidden side-streets, to which only a cat could find
its way and that by accident.”?
years of writing out of Southeast Asia, Moore started to gain
wider recognition in the early 2000s. The third novel in his
Vincent Calvino series Zero
Hour in Phnom Penh (originally published under the
title Cut Out) won the prestigious German Critics Award
for International Crime Fiction (Deutscher Krimi Preis) in 2004
and the Spanish Premier Special Book Award Sema Negra in 2007.
The second novel in the same series Asia
Hand won the Shamus Award for Best Original Paperback
in 2011. His novella “Reunion” (published as part of
the anthology Phnom Penh Noir) was a finalist for the
2013 Arthur Ellis Award in the category of Best Novella.
novels have been translated into 13 languages and his Vincent
Calvino series has been optioned for film production by
latest novel is
15th in the Vincent Calvino series.
Christopher G. Moore at: