Sightseeing by Rattawut Lapchaeroensap - Book Review


Sightseeing by Rattawut Lapchaeroensap - Book Review

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what Sightseeing is about. As a whole, this book is about the Kingdom of Thailand. It’s a collection of stories of local people, far-removed from the glamorous full moon parties and drunk tourist capitals of Chiang Mai and Koh San Road.

We get a look at this mystical and ancient nation through the eyes of real people. Expats, young boys in love with foreign girls, the story of a boy and his mother, and the brutality of small village life when we are introduced to a young girl and her cock-fighting father.

It’s a showcase of real life and real people, and the very real struggle of a nation still very much impoverished.

Sightseeing, in a word, is spectacular. We go from story to story getting a firsthand glimpse (as farangs) into the behind the scenes work of the number one tourist destination in the world. The stories are not only compelling, but incredibly sad and will often have a solitary tear running down your face as you try to read it.

If you read this book and don’t feel a little shaken by the emptiness and futile reality so many people suffer through, you might not be human. These lives are captured with brilliant writing, short and thoughtful sentences, and a staggering ability to capture scenery in brief descriptions.

The only story that was a little dull was the last one because it went on for so long. It felt like maybe he needed to fill out a page count or something. Either way, I highly recommend this book to anyone who’s visited Thailand, as maybe it will give you people a better look at where you stand compared to the people you’re bartering with over ten cents.

Book Details

Title: Sightseeing
Format: Paperback
Author: Rattawut Lapchaeroensap
Language : English
Publisher : Grove Press
ISBN: 0802142346

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