Picture of author.

Pitchaya Sudbanthad

Author of Bangkok Wakes to Rain

1 Work 277 Members 13 Reviews

About the Author

Image credit: Photo: Christine Suewon Lee pulled from the author's website, http://psudbanthad.com

Works by Pitchaya Sudbanthad

Bangkok Wakes to Rain (2019) 277 copies


Common Knowledge

Places of residence
Bangkok, Thailand
Saudi Arabia
Southern USA
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Short biography
Pitchaya Sudbanthad grew up in Thailand, Saudi Arabia, and the American South.  He's a contributing writer at The Morning News and has received fellowships in fiction writing from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and the MacDowell Colony. He currently splits time between Bangkok and Brooklyn. [from Bangkok Wakes to Rain (2019) and Amazon.com (retrieved 7/7/19)]



This novel is a kaleidoscope of the city of Bangkok, across time and the city's places, featuring many characters and stories. The earliest stories are set in the 19th century, while some take place in the future when what we know as Bangkok today is under water and people have adapted to a new life above the flooded ruins. In-between these points of time, we travel across the decades, meeting people who are flawed, insecure and real, and all tied to the city in one way or the other.
At first the novel seems to be just a collection of short stories, but then, chapter after chapter, the connections between the stories become apparent. Reading this feels like being a detective or archaeologist, uncovering layers upon layers of threads and events.
While I am fascinated by this approach and the novel is well-written, I found it hard to connect to many of the characters and it did not have the kind of emotional resonance that would make it a five star read to me. Still, it is well worth a read and it sucked me in the further I got into it.
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MissBrangwen | 12 other reviews | Jun 1, 2024 |
Extremely creative, but disjointed, book about time, memory, transformation, and alienation. This book consists of a series of interconnected stories. The reader may be surprised by the sudden shifts from one set of characters to another, and one time period to another, with no warning. I wish I had known beforehand, since I had just become invested in one storyline when it shifts to a completely different scene.

Though portions take place in Japan, the UK, and the US, the central location of the novel is Bangkok. There are recurring themes involving civil unrest, weather (especially flooding), and birds. It ranges in time from the 19th century to the future. It will appeal to those who enjoy experimental fiction. I do not normally select books based on the cover, but this cover is a piece of art – absolutely gorgeous.

I enjoyed the writing style, such as this description of the impact of rain: “The parts of the city that used to be marshes and rice fields are sinking the fastest. With clear weather, she can see the unnerving tilt of distant towers, perceptibly angled toward and away from each other like wild shoots of bamboo. People still live there. If she looked through Woon’s old binoculars, she would be able to make out bedsheets and towels drying on balcony clotheslines and, at night, the flickering white of screens. It’s all perfectly safe, a minor lifestyle adjustment, the officials declared.” I liked it enough to read another book by this author.
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Castlelass | 12 other reviews | Oct 30, 2022 |
Interconnected stories set in Bangkok, a house in Bangkok. The different people all have some connections to the house or each other. Debut novel with a bit of science fiction and referred to as ecofiction.
Kristelh | 12 other reviews | Oct 14, 2022 |
Manages to capture slivers of what the great city is like and the stories that intertwine there. However, I felt as though I missed something - was it the wide-ranging stories that never really seemed to come together? Perhaps my addled/aging brain lost track of how things were supposed to have coalesce (?). An authentic rendering, but one that left me confused...
dbsovereign | 12 other reviews | Sep 23, 2022 |



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