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the butterfly trap

dennis jon

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ISBN 10: 163323004X / ISBN 13: 9781633230040
Published by BooksMango, 2014
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: the butterfly trap

Publisher: BooksMango

Publication Date: 2014

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: Good

About this title


In hindsight, maybe fluttering off the tour guide's red line wasn't such a good idea. But Jon has neither hindsight nor foresight as his vacation unfolds in real time. Acting without consequence, he discovers that real life is funnier, crazier, and more interesting than fiction, as he encouters crooked tour guides, transvestite karaoke stars, restroom massage gangs, and angels - not with wings and halos, but g-strings and high heels.

From the Author:

Q: Why did you write The Butterfly Trap?
A: It started as a book I wanted to read. A friend of mine had talked me into going on a trip to Thailand, so I went to the bookstore to find out what it was all about. All the travel guides mentioned the legendary nightlife but none of them actually said what the legend was. I figured that every legend starts with a story, I just wanted the story. I couldn't find it, so I wrote it.
Q: What kind of story were you looking for?
A: I wanted a first person account of actual events; I wanted the truth. I was really hoping that Paul Theroux had written something about it, and indeed he had, a whole six pages in The Great Railway Bazaar.
Q: What else did you find?
A: There was a handicapped guy who took a river raft journey. There was a collection of short stories about various travelers recalling their experiences: staying in a monastery, cycling through the jungle, going to cooking school, and other spine-tingling adventures. I pretty much combed the travel section.
Q: What about fiction or erotica?
A: The Butterfly Trap is not "made up" and its not about tittilation, it's about examining human nature under unusal circumstances, and what the consequences of that behavior might be. 
Q: Why did you want to write about this subject?
A: Well, first of all because it didn't seem as if anyone else had, and I just couldn't believe I was the only person who found it interesting. Then it seemed to me there were a lot of misperceptions based on the little bits of information out there. Everyone was passing judgment but no one was presenting evidence. I think before anything, or anyone, should be judged, an effort ought to be made to understand them.
Q: I understand that The Butterfly Trap has already come under fire, any comment?
A: I'm not surprised that people are willing to attack a book that they've never read. It's sort of standard operating procedure these days, isn't it? Anything that doesn't support the consensus view of reality, the accepted view of the accepted norms, is sure to meet resistance.
Q: What do you mean by consensus reality?
A: Well, there are certain myths that get perpetuated, well, myths might be a little strong, I'm sure the things represented do happen, somewhere, to someone, but I didn't see any of it, so I didn't write it. I wrote what I actually saw. I didn't go in with a political agenda, only a curiosity to find the truth. I guess some people don't want the truth, they want something that confirms what they already believe.
Q: And what truth is that?
A: The truth is that behind every statistic, every piece of so called news, is a person, a real person with a real story, that is often not represented completely, or even truthfully. That in the real world, the difference between villians and victims isn't so clear, and that at times the popular perception is absolutely wrong.
Q: I noticed that The Butterfly Trap is written in the first person present tense, that's an unusual viewpoint. Can you tell me why you chose it?
A: An external viewpoint would have introduced opinion, interpretation, and or judgment. I didn't want to tell the reader what to think. I wanted them to see the world 'through' someone else's eyes, and then make up their own mind.  The reality of the present is different than the recollection of the past. Events that take place in the present have little or no meaning, that meaning is an interpretation applied after the fact. Besides, its a Buddhist principle to live in the now.
Q: How so?
A: Events happen as your eyes move over the words, the words you've already read are in the past, and the words you have yet to read are in the future, the reader is always at now. The story only happens while it is being read, if the reader stops, the story stops. A book on a shelf is just a pile of paper, it's only a story while it is being read, and that story exists only in the mind of the reader.
Q: That's pretty ambitious...
A: Everyone's gotta have a dream (laughs)
Q: But isn't the main character really you?
A: Of course his experience is based on my experience, and his thoughts are based on my thoughts, and aspects of the story are autobiographical, but I still think of him, as him, and not me.
Q: So what is The Butterfly Trap? Is it a travel book, a confession, or a novel?
A: It started as a travelogue, but the story started picking up meaning and plot as I progressed, so I didn't fight it. It became my quest for meaning, much like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was for Robert Pirsig. They call that book a novel, so if people want to call The Butterfly Trap a novel, that's fine with me.
Q: Was that transformation intentional?
A: Well, somewhere along the way, the people, places, and events started to take on meaning, started turning into a story, and the funny thing is, this was all happening while I was writing. When the real events were occurring I had no idea that they had meaning, that they fit into some kind of story, the meaning didn't happen until after. I intentionally tried to highlight the meaning in events, but didn't construct them intentionally.
Q: What category will The Butterfly Trap be shelved under in the bookstore?
A: I have no idea.
Q: Who is the audience for The Butterfly Trap?
A: It'll probably be mostly men as the subject matter promises some sort of titillation factor, but I hope that women will read it too. This book empowers a group of women that have largely been scorned, and gives a larger understanding of a much maligned sub-culture.
Q: Why do you think women will like The Butterfly Trap?
A: Several reasons, for one, it exposes men's frivolous carnal desires for what they are, secondly, the women characters in the book are not the victims some might suppose, though the story is driven by a man, he is very much an anti-hero, it is the women that he encounters along the way who the reader roots for. And finally, women are driven to find deeper understanding. I'm glad they are. Gaining understanding is always a good thing.
Q: Understanding of what?
A: That people are people, individuals worthy of respect, that labels often don't fit actual circumstances.
Q: What kind of labels?
A: Not to be vague, but the kind of labels that the sort of people in this book might get, if there were no understanding.
Q: What makes The Butterfly Trap different?
A: I hope it's the honesty, the deeper look at human nature. Books of this type seem to turn into either a macho pissing match or a political correct judgment; The Butterfly Trap is neither. The Butterfly Trap is a journey, a kind of virtual vacation for anyone who wants to go along for the ride.
Q: I noticed you are credited with taking the cover photo. Is that one of the women in the story?
A: Yes.
Q: Which one?
A: I'm not telling.

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