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A budding new talent!
I love this collection of stories! My favorites were "Farangs" and "Sightseeing." In "Farangs", the author describes how a young Thai man's attraction to a female American tourist (a farang or foreigner) materializes despite his mother's unhappiness over the situation. It's a look at how different cultures between a man and a woman can both attract and repel. "Sightseeing" is a story in which a young man takes his mother on a vacation trip after learning a startling fact about her health. The "Cockfighter" is the longest story of the collection and the one I liked the least. It's the story of a young Thai girl's watching her dad's success at cockfighting diminish due to a powerful young adversary. I feel that the author does better work when writing in the male voice.
These stories are colorful narratives of young Thai people in their own country but told in a way in which someone from the West can clearly relate. They exude tension, uncertainty, humor, and a genuine feel for dynamics of interpersonal relationships. All of the stories give the feeling of real people in challenging situations. With his fresh, sharp writing, the author gives everyone a most delightful reading experience. Bravo to this new author on his debut book!