The author, Rattawut Lapcharoensap, Thai American and raised in Bangkok, was 26 when he wrote this great collection of short stories.

Short stories are not my first choice of reads but when I do force myself and I find a master short story writer then I can rave about it and wonder why I do not read this genre more often. It really takes a craftsman to create believable characters and tell a multi-layered story in just a few pages. Lapcharoensap is among the best of these craftsmen. The knowledge of human feelings, all genders and ages, that this young man has shown is just amazing. He delves into the complexities of relationships with a wisdom one does not expect from such a young person. 

Just a confession: I did not read the last story / novella. I can deal with human suffering but not animal suffering so I skipped that and the decision was made purely on account of the title.

Any visitor to Thailand would agree that there are about as many places offering massages as there are places to eat. And like places to eat you find the good, the bad, the wannabe’s, and the I-just-want-your-money-and-for-you-to-vacate-this-space-asap. My first visit to the Sunday market nearly had me running to the airport and as I had some hours to wait for my pick-up back to the hotel I decided to have a foot massage at a place on the sidewalk. The woman was staring out the window watching passersby and all her co-workers moving about the whole time she was working on my feet; she spent 4 minutes on one foot and 26 minutes rubbing my calves. I could do a better job and I don’t claim to be trained in the skill.