Based on a decade of interviews and archival research, the English translation of this best-selling graphic novel tells the story of Nok, an old blind man who sells lottery tickets in Bangkok, as he decides to leave the urban capital and return to his native village.
The King of Bangkokfollows Nok as he walks the streets of the city for the last time, trying to get rid of his last five lottery tickets. With each ticket he sells, he encounters something that brings him back to a period of his life, from his arrival in Bangkok all the way to the Red Shirt protests of 2010. Through an alternation of reflections on contemporary Bangkok and flashbacks to his past, we reconstruct Nok’s story, the love story with his wife Gai, and the ups and downs of their migrant lives, as well as those of an entire country around them.
This is a story of migration to the city and distant families in the countryside; economic development eroding the land, and of political protest choked in blood. Ultimately, it is a story about contemporary Thailand and how the waves of history lift, engulf, or crash two ordinary people. A perfect entry into the history of contemporary Thailand, this book is essential reading for both students and travelers.
This beautifully illustrated graphic novel tells the history of contemporary Thailand through the life of a blind man who walks on the streets of the capital for the last time.