by Tom Crowley
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 nightlife 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 globe-trotters, 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 Yim, a noted Korean photographer based in Bangkok, it is a fascinating look at Thailand’s counter -culture. For very hardcore pool players. 5 stars.