4 out of 4 stars
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Selected Short Stories of Thailand by William Peskett is an incredibly diverse collection of short stories, all set in Thailand. From the everyday to the extraordinary, this collection has a story for everyone. Starting out with a piece describing stall-holders in a street market, the collection then quickly moves the reader on to a story of a young woman travelling to Thailand for the first time. Then the collection moves to a story about a tea farm owner being interviewed by Western journalists. At this point the collection takes a turn from the ordinary and begins to explore the slightly more unusual walks of life within Thailand’s streets. This starts off with a story describing a man who repeatedly cheats on his wife with transsexual women while on business in Thailand. Next is a story of a man who falls in love with his own genitalia. Then the collection moves on to extraordinary stories of mermaids and talking monkeys. From there the collection moves back to more unusual stories and then finally back to stories of everyday life. The tales described here, along with others, work together to create an overall image of both the magic and realism found within Thailand.
The variety of stories contained within this collection is absolutely astounding, especially considering that they were all written by the same author. On the other hand, it was quite a shock when the rather tame stories of everyday life suddenly turned into stories of a much more sexual nature. There should be some kind of hint in the description of the book that some of the stories are on the strange side. While they are all extremely well written, some people might be made uncomfortable by the content of a few of the stories, and should be made aware of what is actually contained within the collection.
It is incredible how easy it was to connect with the characters in each of the stories. Not only are there so many characters within the collection, but there is such a short amount of time to get to know each of them within the confines of their individual story. Despite these restrictions, Peskett has done an excellent job of getting the reader to understand the characters and to become immersed in their stories.
Each of the stories within this collection was expertly written. They are easy to follow, and for the most part the themes of love and loss are easy to relate to. Within a few short sentences of each story, the reader is fully immersed in the new setting, and is quickly swept up with the plot and characters. As well, each was written to completion in a way that leaves the reader wanting more.
I rate this collection 4 out of 4 stars. Each individual story was expertly written in a way that makes the reader connect with both the plot and characters. As well, the wide range of stories means that the collection contains something for everyone, and also explores many different aspects of life within Thailand.
Selected Short Stories of Thailand
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