Published on September 24, 2007
Inspired by the cats he raised when he was young, illustrator Songsin Tiewsomboon has made felines the main characters of his latest comic book.
There are four chapters that at first seem unrelated, but the linkage gradually falls into place.
We begin at Crescent Moon Bay, where a desperate black cat is about to commit suicide after being told that here it could leave this world peacefully and painlessly. But underwater he quickly discovers the truth and manages to return to the beach. His mission henceforth is to warn people on the shore to ignore such a ridiculous story.
Then there's a story about a cat that sells its soul to the devil in exchange for eternal life. But it also means he must live without knowing love, even as he watches a couple of young cats being faithful in love to one another and unwilling to trade their hearts for anything.
Young people will find the stories fun to read and the cat characters cute to watch. More serious readers may find themselves imposing various interpretations. It may take only 20 minutes to finish the book, but it could take days to divine the meaning hidden between the lines.
Songsin maintains the dark illustrative style he used in "Tua-ngork Kab Hua-fai" ("Bean Sprout and Fire"). These cats are very human, living for power, eternity or love. They don't have names - they're identified by character or colour - so they could be anyone. And you may find yourself among them.
Far Talay Nam-muek (Struggling Through the Sea of Ink)
(Struggling Through the Sea of Ink)
By Thaworn Suwan
Published by Matichon Books
Bt300 at all bookstores
This compilation of articles from the weekly Matichon could be an autobiography of Thaworn Suwan, who boasts 52 years of experience in journalism, though it is in fact a far more general history.
His career began unexpectedly, when the boy from Chonburi was offered a job as a reporter in Bangkok. He swiftly got to know his editor and editor-in-chief and started making the rounds of the police stations to befriend the cops.
"It's the gateway to information," he was told, though he was confused at the lack of useable facts he was gathering for his articles.
His first assignment was to perch at Central General Hospital and find out who was brought in and why.
Local history is retold and career tips shared. Thaworn notes that reporters only started getting bylines in 1950, a feather in their cap, you might think, but with the credit came death threats, and the ones he received after a big story broke sometimes forced him to stay away from his own residence.
There are tricks to getting interviews with politicians. You don't make an appointment through their secretaries, you find out where they're going from their drivers.
Reporters didn't have specific beats in the old days, so the book ranges widely. There are perspectives on politics, city events and show business, and Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsongkhram is in here right alongside popular crooner Payong Mukda.