Writer relives his Sai Gon experiences in new book
Vo Le Hong
Full cycle: John Pullinger hopes his book The Last Cyclo to Thanh Da will be filmed.
(VNS) I met John Pullinger when he came to HCM City with his associate who will write a film script based on his novel The Last Cyclo to Thanh Da.
Pullinger, a former travel writer, English teacher, and hotelier who was born and educated in Australia, describes life in HCM City in his book, which is about love, death, and fate.
It sees Manila hotelier Steve Conway returning to Viet Nam to look for an old wartime friend and falling in love with a local girl.
But the relationship is threatened by cross-cultural differences, family opposition, and a jealous, dangerous ex-suitor.
Conway persuades his employer to allow him to look at expanding their operations in HCM City.
He has found the love of his life and the relationship blossoms, but is unaware that moves are afoot to bring about its destruction.
He also does not realize he is being stalked by a crazed former US Marine intent on killing him. What started out as a short holiday becomes a turning point in Conway’s life leading to a roller coaster ride of love, hate, murder, and, ultimately, tragedy.
The Last Cyclo to Thanh Da is based on actual events that happened to him and was the inspiration for the story, Pullinger says.
“If you read it you will see why.”
He does not know about happiness, he says, but it certainly brings satisfaction and gratification.
“I would like this book to be translated into many languages including Vietnamese but at this point I do not know of a translator or publisher who could do this work.
“The Last Cyclo to Thanh Da is dedicated to the people of Viet Nam and was written with much love.”
Pullinger turned to writing after having lived and worked in the Philippines during the revolution of 1986.
His first book, The Last Jeep to Baclaran, was set in this time. His character Steve Conway became so popular with readers that he decided to continue and write a trilogy.
His next book will be set in China.
“There are people interested in bringing at least one of these books to the screen and all books are being examined at the moment to see which one it will be.
“I prefer The Last Cyclo to Thanh Da but the decision will not be mine. Making a film can be a long process because much is involved. — VNS