On Easter Day, 1967, American businessman and founder of the modern Thai silk industry James H.W. Thompson disappeared while supposedly on a stroll in the jungle-clad Cameron Highlands, central Malaysia. The circumstances were unusual, and led to a massive search and investigation. Neither Jim Thompson nor his remains has ever been found . . .
Jim Thompson was already a legend in Southeast Asia. Some twenty years earlier, in middle age, he had abandoned his former life to embark on an exotic business career, establishing Jim Thompson Thai Silk Company. With his fortune he built a house and art collection which are among Bangkok’s top tourist attractions today.
After he vanished, Jim Thompson became the subject of a second legend, a mystery that has never been solved. The facts were first recounted by William Warren in 1970 in his book The Legendary American. Today, many people in Thompson’s circle are no longer living. Now the author, who knew Thompson well, is able to write more freely.
William Warren is an authority on Jim Thompson, and has also written Jim Thompson: House on the Klong, an illustrated book which brings readers on a tour through the uniquely furnished and decorated house which Jim Thompson left behind in Bangkok. Warren succumbed to the allure of Thailand on his first visit and has lived here for over 40 years. His writings on Asia, and Thailand in particular, have entertained and informed readers all over the world.
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