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There are pitifully few fiction books available in English that function as Thai examinations of Thai identity, but this is one of the more famous. Sompong Palasoon (under his pen name Khammaan Khonkhai) began it as a film script, filmed as Khru Ban-Nork (‘Rural Teachers’), and the book came later with its more colourful title being used for the English translation. Set in a jungle village in Thailand’s far north-east, it has to be said this isn’t a gripping read so much as an ethnographically i ...more