Now this is one book that I had really been looking forward to, the second novel by David young, author of The Scribe — a book that I thoroughly enjoyed.
The story follows the plight of Mantana, an innocent country girl who goes to Bangkok looking for work…and you can guess what happens.
There is plenty of food for thought and as the story unravels, the author raises a lot of issues about life in Thailand, the existence of country people both in the big city and the lifestyle they lead in the country, along with the way that girls end up in the bars, the things they think about, the decision they have to make and so on. Thought provoking doesn’t even start to describe it. The author must have spent a fair bit of time with bargirls (and that is not meant in a derogatory way) for the portrayal in many parts is very succinct indeed.
What I liked: The author has a very nice writing style that makes the book an easy read. He doesn’t try to be a Grisham or a Clancy and keeps it relatively simple which makes for an light, entertaining read. The author also displays, in parts, a very good understanding of various parts of Thai society.
What I didn’t like: The big jumps in few places and the flow isn’t quite there. Scenes which I thought may have been spread out over a few pages happened quickly whereas other parts were a little drawn out. There are one or two parts also where I was not entirely sure what had just happened and I had to go and re-read.
Overall: I feel that this book will appeal to anyone who is interested in Thailand’s naughty nightlife. There is enough there to keep such people happy but if you are not a fan of the naughty nightlife, then this book probably won’t appeal. it’s sort of like drinking a Mekong Coke. It does the trick, but not in say the same way that a Jack Daniel’s Coke would… Still, if you are interested in naughty nightlife, definitely pick up a copy.