The Big Mango
Jake Needham's first novel burst on to the shelves of Asia Books and with its distinctive bright yellow cover and sharp, engaging prose became a top seller in quick time.
great novel starts off in San Francisco before heading across the Pacific and in to Thailand where some wonderfully crafted characters descend into our fair city, including parts of the nightlife all of which is described better than any other author.
It features many of the city's favourite nightspots and even one of the city's favourite characters – Bar Philips is more than just a passing resembling to a certain Mr. Trink.
For a long time this was the top selling locally written English language novel (I believe it has since been displaced by Private Dancer), this was the novel that catapulted Jake Needham into the position he held for quite some time as the most popular locally based novelist. It is now available in Thai so pick up a copy for your wife / girlfriend or both!!
Extremely well written – Jake Needham leaves all but Moore and Leather in his dust – this guy can REALLY WRITE and thus Big Mango remains my favourite Bangkok nightlife novel.
What I liked: This book captures the essence of Bangkok as I see it – and many expert friends have said the same to me. The story is captivating, a real page turner. The characters are great, the descriptions of Bangkok are as good as it gets – even Steve Leather admitted to me that Needham describes Bangkok better than he does. You just can't help but be hauled into this book.
What I didn't like: Nothing springs to mind.
Overall: An excellent novel, and along with Private Dancer, the only other Bangkok novel that I have read more than once.