Lapcharoensap is able to sensitively and deftly render the perspective of three different characters in the stories which makes up this collection. The first story, ‘Farangs’ explores the relationship between the Thai people and its many foreign visitors from the perspective from a mixed race Thai man. Like many Eastern countries, Thailand is ripe for being fetishised under the Western gaze, however this problem is exacerbated in the case of Thailand and so it is fascinating to look at foreigners from the perspective of somebody who is Thai. The primary focus of the story is on the romantic relationships between Thai people and tourists; firstly its the narrator’s mother, who remains heartbroken and disconsolate after being abandoned by the narrator’s American father and this feeling is echoed in the narrator’s relationships with tourists, who just see him and his feelings as being non-existent and dispensable. This culminates in a battle between the narrator and a friend and a loutish group of Americans whose aggrieved ringleader is exacting his revenge of the narrator’s pig after he finds out that the narrator slept with his girlfriend.
Other highlights include ‘Sightseeing’, which examines the relationship between a mother and her son as she begins to lose her sight and the final story ‘Cockfighter’ which tells the story of an eccentric and proud cockfighter and his tragic run in with a local gangster. The common thread which runs through all of these stories however is a deep sense of humanism as Lapcharoensap is able to paint a sympathetic and well-rounded portrait of his characters, all of whom are, in their own unique ways, struggling to find their identity is a world which too often claims it from them.