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Moonshine in the Morning
How can Mother Nong and Mother Pensri save their menfolk from terrifying visions of widow ghosts when Uncle Lai's moonshine stall does such brisk business? What possessed Mother Suree to cut off her husband’s proudest appendage and attach it to a high-flying balloon during the festival of Loy Krathong? And is the sacred banyan tree dying because the men are taking bets on ...more
Paperback, 252 pages
Published May 1st 2009 by Alma Books
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I loved this book - it captivated my imagination and really brought Thailand to life. I've been there on holiday and this book let me glimpse below the surface to what as a tourist you don't always see. I've read other novels set in Thailand but they were all macho stuff and detective stories whereas this modest little novel is really up there in a class of its own. It's no wonder to me that it won a first novel award!
Sadly I think the author constructed a village in her head gave out a number of roles and the plot went into autopilot. I am afraid this book was full of clichéd characters such as the corrupt womanising police chief, boozy husbands and quirky stallholders. I did not learn much about rural Thailand, what I encountered was a book that was so flat in its style it felt as though it had been written by a word processor. I want to be enlightened, surprised, have my soul stirred, but all I felt that I ...more
To begin with I presume this story was set in 1970s rural Chiangmai during the making of 'Apocalypse Now' or at least a similar movie was being produced in the story. I enjoyed parts of this book as it brought back memories of Thailand when I lived there during that time. I think the problem with this book is there are too many characters and I couldn't get to know any of them individually, they all seemed a bit dull and uninspiring, just a lot of Aunties and Uncles. Some of the descriptions of ...more
My girlfriend is from northern Thailand so I've spent some time there. This is a little gem of a novel - understated and beautifully constructed. I think it's as authentic as they come and would highly recommend it to readers who want more than the usual stereotyped characters found in so much of the fiction written by westerners who think they know Southeast Asia.