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  • LIFESTYLE

    Turning cheeks and pages

    Life, Chris Baker, Published on 06/09/2018

    » Egyptian mummies who come to life as sexy nymphets. Thai princes driving fast cars. A Thai superwoman who casually murders several husbands. Starlets touting breast-enhancement techniques. For a book about "nationalism and identity in modern Thai literature", this volume has a few surprises.

  • LIFESTYLE

    When literature becomes light

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 23/07/2018

    » Haruki Murakami's books exert a strange pull that's earned him a devoted following around the world -- and Thailand is no exception. One foot planted in the reality of the modern world, the other trudging through a surreal dreamland as the ground beneath his characters' feet keeps shifting, Murakami entrances and confuses, lulls and hallucinates. His novels and short stories also occupy that exclusive territory in the literary world: he's a best-selling author who's also every bookmaker's favourite to win the Nobel Prize. He's also one of a few post-war Japanese writers whose style and substance transcend cultural and national boundaries.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Targeted billionaires

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 08/06/2018

    » When a rich man meets his maker, I pause for few moments, not to mourn his life but to wonder what becomes of his wealth. Of no use to him now, is it buried with him? Like the pharaohs, he intends for it to accompany him in his next life? Is it inherited by his son? To do what with?

  • LIFESTYLE

    Overcoming the racial divide

    Life, Sawarin Suwichakornpong, Published on 26/04/2018

    » Shakespeare writes in The Winter's Tale that "there were no age between 10 and three-and-20, or that youth would sleep out the rest". Adolescence, or the marked "teenage years", encompass elements of biological growth and major social transformation, both of which are decidedly products of nature and culture. The time between youth and maturity can be sorrowful, hard, fun, sad and amazing. It never fails to inspire writers of fiction, to attempt to unravel the complexities of this concept of life. Charting into the unknown is always a favourite subject of those who write.

  • LIFESTYLE

    The Shakespeare brothers

    Life, Published on 06/04/2018

    » Unlike many historical fiction writers, Brit Bernard Cornwell doesn't specialise in a particular period. Rather, his interests encompass virtually the lot. And when he chooses a popular age, it's because he finds something in his research that his colleagues have missed.

  • LIFESTYLE

    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.

  • LIFESTYLE

    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.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Encountering the 'other'

    Life, Sawarin Suwichakornpong, Published on 22/09/2017

    » The essayist Tzvetan Todorov writes in The Conquest Of America: The Question Of The Other that the history of the world is made up of conquests and defeats, of colonisations and discoveries of others. He argues that at the beginning of the 16th century, the native Americans of the New World were present but nothing was known about them. The discovery of America was therefore crucial because it brought white European settlers to an encounter with the natives from the onset. And with this encounter, a projection of what the Other would be. Knowledge and images were for the first time being sent "back home" of what the savage might be.

  • LIFESTYLE

    The Dark Ages

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 08/09/2017

    » I was taught that the Roman Empire fell to the barbarians in 476 AD. My next grade teacher was vague. There were the Dark Ages, Medieval times and Middle Ages. I heard the word Byzantine only once, when the Turks captured Constantinople in 1455 AD. The Crusades took place halfway between.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Recognise yourself?

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 20/01/2017

    » In this atomic-digital era, millennia-old mysteries are constantly being solved, but one will never be: How long will each of us live? Life insurance company mathematicians, pharmaceutical company chemists, astrologers, fortune-tellers et al are tackling it from different directions, none agreeing. Barring wars, epidemics and droughts, we are aware that we are living longer than our ancestors, women especially. The old are a "problem". The age of retirement is moving up around the world. How long before it reaches 70? Which lengthens the time for 20-year-olds to advance.

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