Copyright 2012 Forrest Greenwood
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For Mia whose real name is Plaupplung.
Happiness is working at something you like to do. For me that has always been writing fiction. As one author said, you sit down to write in the morning and when you look up the windows are dark.
This is a novel about rural Thailand as seen through the eyes of Stanley: a brutish, overweight, often drunk, American retiree who is married to a Thai girl half his age. The novel arches up through the chaos of Asian superstition and sexuality, then down through recovered memories of Vietnam, and finally lands Stanley at the end of a runway with no plane in sight.
This is a work of fiction. In no way do I expect the narrative to be taken as cultural information. It is not a journey to a far away country; it is a journey inward, not only for Stanley and me, but for readers of my generation.
Military contractors play a major part in this story. Having worked for military contractors in the Middle East for years, I know that figuratively, at least, overseas contractors get away with murder. Corruption is a crime, but it stops being a crime for some reason at the homeland’s shore. Making money overseas is one thing, doing the work of democracy often seems to be quite another.