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
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
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
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 14 languages and his Vincent
Calvino series has been optioned for film production by FilmNation.
His latest novel is Crackdown,
15th in the Vincent Calvino series. His fiction and essays have
appeared in Evergreen Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Arena, CULturMAG,
The Phnom Penh Post, and Mala Literary Journal.
more on what critics say about the author.
G. Moore Literary Festivals
Vancouver: I was invited to participate at International
Writers & Readers Festival and I was a speaker on a couple
of panels. I was in Canada promoting my novel Waiting for
The Lady, which had been published by a small press in British
Gijon, Spain: I was an invited international guest to
the 2007 Semana Negra Literary Festival in Gijon, Spain. The Spanish
edition of my novel Zero Hour in Phnom Penh won Premier
Book Award for Samana Negra 2007.
of the 2007 Semana Negra Literary Festival may be found here.
Indianapolis Boucheron: I attended the Bouchercon2009
World Mystery Convention in Indianapolis 15th through 18th October.
I participated on a panel: "MURDER AT THE EDGE OF THE MAP"
The moderator was Leighton Gage and the other panelists are Tamar
Myers, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, and Michael Stanley.
San Franciso Booucheron: In 2010 I attended Bouchercon
in San Francisco and participated on the panel: “Crime Fiction
from Overseas.” Led by Peter Rozovsky, and featuring Icelandic
author Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Christopher G. Moore (a
Canadian who lives in Southeast Asia and spins out the Vincent
Calvino private-eye series), and the charming Stanley Trollip
and Michael Sears (who together write Africa-set mysteries under
the joint byline “Michael Stanley”), this exchange
highlighted terrific tales of criminality originating from beyond
the U.S. and UK mainlands--works that teach readers about foreign
cultures at the same time as they entertain.
Bangkok Literary Festival. I was a feature speaker at
the first Bangkok Literary Festival. The Bangkok Literary festival
was organized by the Neilson Hays library, the day provided a
chance to mingle with fellow writers and readers and to hear a
range of informative talks about all aspects of writing and participate
in writing workshops.
Buenos Aires, Argentina BAN! I was the featured International
guest at BAN! Buenos Aires Negra. I Festival Internacional de
Novela Policial. 2012 was the start of what has become a highly
successful crime/noir festival in Argentina. I participated on
several panels and gave talks at local universities. Link: http://vimeo.com/49078447
2016 Bangkok Edge Festival: I was a featured speaker along side John Burdett on a panel where we discussed crime fiction and noir at the first Bangkok Edge Festival. The Festival drew over 20,000 people in February 2016. Jim Algie interviewed us and you can find our full discussion on YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwA14pijIko
BY CHRISTOPHER G. MOORE