Metta Visions, 2010, 156 pages. www.amazon.com
Underneath all the glittering temples, dazzling beaches, shop-‘til-you-drop mega-malls, friendly smiles of the locals who rolled-the-red-carpet-out for you, and always over-the-top entertainment here is a gritty, shadowy and hard-as-nails night life revolving around Bangkok’s pool scene (table not water).
‘Bangkok pool blues’ is a deep dive into this rarely seen colourful world (once you get inside the pool halls) of domestic and foreign pool hustlers, amateur and international green baize table players and those who follow them both gambling for stakes. It is a real insider’s look-behind-the-scenes view of Bangkok’s vibrant night culture including entertainment and gambling. As Bangkok gains in stature as a must-visit venue for international globetrotters, it has attracted all manner of players (in every sense of the word). The book is gripping in its detail of the interplay of all the participants in a well written, riveting series of vignettes. Doused with expert shots by Yoon Ki Kim, a noted Korean photographer based in Bangkok, it is a fascinating look at Thailand’s counter culture. For very hardcore pool players. Five stars.