Read alsoSiamese Dreams
Ready to change the world, two high school friends from America begin a new life in Thailand. They take new names, learn Thai, and experiment with sex, drugs and radical lifestyles – from spectacular poverty to salacious stardom. Set amid economic booms and the epic 2004 tsunami disaster, Siamese Dreams is rich with emotion, wit and insights…
The novel begins with an overworked Japanese woman, living in a rundown "Old World" part of Kobe, hoping a young foreigner will help her overcome the loss of men in her life. She teaches him about Japanese philosophy and erotic culture, while concealing horrors that could ruin his love affair with her and Japan. As she drifts away from him, for reasons he can't understand, he becomes entangled with colleagues on a romp through the classrooms, boardrooms and bedrooms of a metropolis spread across four cities. Then, on a cold winter night, the earth begins to shake, unleashing the worst destruction of a city in recent times.
"Lacking spaces of our own, we hide within the closets of our secrets. For all of Japan's reputation for safety and serenity, people live in fear of being exposed. What if they find out I've been faking it all along? What if they find out my real feeling?"
"There was no changing Aki's feeling. Her version of events was inscribed in kanji on a tombstone in her heart ... She was not impressed when I came home reeking of booze and cigarettes after nights out with the boys. She didn't view Japan as her playground, as we did. It wasn't Fantasy Land for her. It was a castle wall of cold stone reality surrounding her with serious family matters."