Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Opium Sparrows


The title refers to those little birds in cages, Not a reference to the women who ply their trade in some seedy SM joint, Cages. The feathered birds be housed in wooden cages, that, for a price a tourist can release from the cage. Just open the door and watch them fly away....But dear readers, be aware these birds are addicted to smack, junk, horse, opium. They are on the gear. These little birds return to the cage for the next fix. As do the tourists. Although the tourists often return for a non-chemical bang. A drug all the same.



A better metaphor of the conditional expat or sexpat there cannot be. An invisible bungee cord springs them back to the country regardless of coups and  impossible immigration polices. The tourists keep returning to Thailand. For them it is a drug, a shot of freedom. Flying without wings.

They must come back for the world that they left behind is full of misery and pain. They come back for the food and the temples. They may come back to write a book, record an album. They may return to the Kingdom to escape a messy divorce, to pursue a dull time drinking career. To take time to pile the blocks of their lives and take a look at it. They may try to insert the wrong wooden block inside the wrong dry wooden crack,

Let's not be cynical.

That strange game we call life it all comes tumbling down. In Bangkok. In Patpong, Heaven turns to hell.They, those that do this sort of thing, may rent an apartment on the 13th floor. They may jump from the balcony leaving nothing behind but a gruesome history.

This novel has it all, death, pain, Sexual quirks and alcoholism. This novel explains why most men stay in Thailand and why many of us die here,

The author, Kevin Wood has been a nightclub owner, he is a regular musician at the Checkiin bar, He has done radio, he has acted in stage plays to much great response. He has also written a novel. A great one. He knows this city. He is qualified to write this novel

A great dirty one. A book that includes a woman addicted to drinking. The protagonist keeps it cooled in the refrigerator. Yes, this is a brave novel.

A novel that I challenge anybody to not find entertaining  Perhaps a little sickening at times but entertainment must turn the stomach as well as the mind.

We are lucky to have Kevin in Bangkok. We are lucky to have his art.

If Miller met Bukowski spoke about life in Bangkok at the corner bar near the kebab joint. 'Opium Sparrows' may have been born over that doner. Henry would have said "Write it." Kevin would had sad "Well, but,,,"

Miller would have said, "Give me a mention."

But there are no buts, This is a book that while being a serious study on the expat condition is also full of sexual content.

I won't spoil the plot. That would be silly. Somebody once told me it was banned. That was silly too.

I suggest you find the book and read it. I read it in a day.

A wonderful Day. A day the lizards bathed in glory and Newman ordered a pizza. Sparrows and a sprinkling of O. Black bread, no olives. That would be decadent. And as my readers know- Newman doesn't do decadence. I'll leave that to the sparrows.



The Beat Goes On..

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