Thirty-Three Teeth

Cotterill, Colin. Thirty-Three Teeth. New York: SoHo Press, 2005.

Reason read: to continue the series started in April in honor of Rocket Day in Laos.

Thirty-Three Teeth takes up exactly where The Coroner’s Lunch left off. It is now March 1977 and an Asian black bear has just escaped from somewhere. Is this the terrible beast that has been mauling unsuspecting victims to death?

Adding to Dr. Siri’s title of reluctant coroner is confused psychic – “for reasons he was still trying to fathom he’d been delegated Lao’s honorary consul to the spirit world” (p 13).

Siri still has his sidekicks, Nurse Dtui, Mr. Geung and even Saloop, the dog who hated him in the beginning of Coroner’s Lunch. Nurse Dtui and Saloop have bigger roles this time around.

As an aside, the title of the book comes from the belief that if someone has 33 teeth it is a sign they were born as a bridge to the spirit world. You guessed it, Dr. Siri has 33 teeth. One of the best scenes is when he is trying to run his tongue along his teeth to count them.

Spoiler alert: Revenge is a powerful thing. I was very sad by what happened to Saloop.

Lines that made me laugh, “Diarrhea, in it’s most vindictive state, can erase even thoughts of terror” (p 20), “Siri was impressed that the department of information could provide so little of it” (p 31), “Honesty can be a dirty gift” (p 65), and one more, “When you befriend a man whose mind lives on a distant star, you deserve whatever you get” (p 159).

Author fact: at the time of publication of Thirty-Three Teeth Cotterill was living in Thailand.

Book trivia: Thirty-Three Teeth is short; easily read in one day.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “Laos” (p 128).

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