Bangkok 8 by John Burdett [Read extract]
Publication by Knopf, June 2003
Reprint by Vintage, July 2004
There are several inches of slack within which every car can shunt, and our colleagues show considerable skill and cunning in making a space. In no time at all I am able to drive up onto the sidewalk, where the siren terrorizes the pedestrians. Pichai grins. I am skilled at very dangerous driving from the days when we used to take drugs and steal cars together, a golden age which came to an end when Pichai murdered our yaa baa dealer and we had to seek refuge in the Three Jewels of the Buddha, the dharma, and the sangha. There will be time in this chronicle to explain yaa baa.
We are very happy. Sabai means feeling good and sanuk means having fun. We are both as we race toward the bridge in demonic haste, with Pichai chanting in Pali, the ancient language of the Gautama Buddha, for protection from accidents. He asks also of the Buddhist saints that we do not accidentally kill anyone who does not deserve it, a touchy point with Pichai.
Krung Thep means City of Angels, but we are happy to call it Bangkok if it helps to separate a farang from his money.
(Full text review here.)
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