Bangkok Wakes to Rain: A Novel
In his inventive debut novel Bangkok Wakes to Rain, Pitchaya Sudbanthad follows the story of a single building, an old colonial-style mansion that was converted into a condominium, in Bangkok, Thailand. In the nineteenth century, Phineas Stevens serves as a missionary doctor from America who, to his displeasure, works to treat the people in Bangkok. During the Vietnam War, Crazy Legs Clyde plays his music for natives and expats alike, but a strange request from Khun Pehn brings him to her home where he plays, per her request, to the house’s spirits. Nee, a former nursing student who now works as an assistant in the apartment building, refuses to forgive her sister Nok, a Thai restaurant manager living in Japan, because of Nok’s generosity to a regular customer who played a key role in a deadly student protest that took place in 1970s Bangkok.
This is a book that should be read with care as Sudbanthad plays with structure, presenting a mosaic of fascinating stories that may or may not be obviously connected with one another. Despite the novel’s untidy storyline, readers will enjoy getting lost in the language, detail, and emotion that emerge from its pages. The original concept, as well as the beautiful writing itself, proves that Sudbanthad is a strong literary voice to keep an eye on.
After editing at City Book Review for a few years, I took up the duties of editorial assistant, which include assigning books for review, posting reviews to our various sites, and nagging reviewers for things. In my non-nagging time, I’m a gamer, artist, writer, and notorious black thumb/bane of plants. My answer to every book-related question: read Octavia Butler.
|Page Count||368 pages|
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