The secrets hidden in an overgrown plot of land in the centre of Bangkok reveal the politics, society and culture of contemporary Thailand; in an authentic and luminous debut novel for readers of Jennifer Egan and Jonathan Coe.
In Bangkok, a plot of land behind a city slum resonates with the hopes, dreams and fears of the local community. For Comrade Aeon, a homeless insurgent who fled to the jungle after a military crackdown on student protestors in 1976, it’s a verdant refuge and the place from which he documents the underbelly of the city. For Ida Barnes, an ex-pat whose husband may be cheating on her, it’s an inviting retreat. For Witty, an urbane property developer married to one of the city’s most famous movie stars, it’s a ‘Bangkok Unicorn’ – that rare chance to make his mark on the Bangkok skyline. But the slum-dwelling spirits who guard its secrets know that it holds a much darker history, that it masks the silent politics at the heart of Thai culture.
Written with a tender compassion for Bangkok’s people and customs, Comrade Aeon’s Field Guide to Bangkok is a masterful, propulsive debut which introduces a fresh new talent in fiction.