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  • News & article

    Tongue-in-cheek

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 19/01/2018

    » It has been a while a since I smiled while reading a book. My sense of humour is good and I don't hold back my laughter at something that tickles my funny bone. I find Thai double-entendres most amusing. This reviewer wishes books were funny. Those called hilarious by critics simply aren't.

  • News & article

    Report from the far South

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 15/01/2018

    » The first issue of The Melayu Review has the clean sophistication of a respectable literary journal. The layout is unfussy, the photographs black-and-white, and the text in Thai, in shipshape blocks. An editor's note on the first page quotes Dostoyevsky: "But how could you live and have no story to tell?"

  • News & article

    A writer of versatility and promise

    Muse, Melalin Mahavongtrakul, Published on 13/01/2018

    » When Jidanun Lueangpiansamut sat down in front of me, we had a purple book rested between us on a glass table. On its cover, a green silhouette of a timid lion stood out from a roaring crowd -- quite an appropriate design considering its title: Singto Nok Kok. The lion doesn't fit in or conform with the rest of the pack.

  • News & article

    Artificial intelligence

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 12/01/2018

    » There are Vatican scholars. Then there are novelists who research the Vatican library to give the plots of their imaginative religious stories the aura of authenticity. It turns out that the lay writers usually pen more interesting books. Less authentic, yet more believable.

  • News & article

    Food for thought

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 05/01/2018

    » A corporal motorcycle courier on the Western Front during World War I, Hitler fancied himself the German Napoleon Bonaparte. While he had good political instincts, a military genius he was not. Still, he had several first-rate strategists and tacticians on his staff.

  • News & article

    The 18-year itch

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 21/12/2017

    » Contrary to poems and films, love isn't the only reason for marriage. Nor is it the strongest. Arranged marriage takes precedence. So does making the girl pregnant and doing the right thing. Indeed there's a list of reasons, not least lust -- the sap running in both the male and female.

  • News & article

    Seasons readings

    Life, Published on 15/12/2017

    » Present ideas for the bookworm in your life as recommended by movers and shakers in the Asean publishing industry

  • News & article

    A hoax in Rome

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 15/12/2017

    » When, after suffering horrendous losses, the 3 million-strong Red Army liberated Eastern Europe, Stalin was feeling his oats. Who couldn't they defeat if he gave the order? The Catholic Church was the reply. How many men does the Pope have, he chuckled? One billion, was the reply. The supreme dictator stopped chuckling.

  • News & article

    Choosing sides

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 08/12/2017

    » Not long ago a historian calculated that throughout human history there has been a total of fewer than 25 years of peace. There were wars somewhere on the planet the rest of the time. The clear meaning is that homo sapiens are a violent, bloodthirsty lot.

  • News & article

    A geopolitical pivot

    Life, Published on 01/12/2017

    » During the Indochina War years from the 1950s through to the 1970s, America's seven military bases in Thailand symbolised the extraordinary extent of US influence over the politics and development of the Kingdom. In the subsequent 30 years, American influence in Thailand has slowly but steadily waned, largely supplanted by a rising China. Thailand, which had been a linchpin of America's Asian strategy, is now instead a linchpin of China's Asian strategy. American soldiers on R&R have been replaced by Chinese tourists, American airbases by plans for Chinese high-speed rail links. China, not the US, is now Thailand's largest trading partner.

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