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For Monks Only: Your Journey from Brooklyn, NY to Manila, Bangkok, Seoul, and Kuala Lumpur Kindle Edition
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
I do wish there was a little more detail about the relationship between the main characters because I don't get a sense of accuracy in the description. And if things really are that way, the reader needs some more evidence. In this telling the smuttiness seems to be projected onto the girlfriend by the man's own behaviors and doubts. And he is searching, but not in the way that is implied.
This story is definitely worth the read, and I think I would enjoy a full-length novel by this author even more.
Chiala's writing is so unique that to understand the flavor of what is in store, allow the introduction of his opening: 'One night when you lived in Brooklyn and she lived in Kuala Lumpur, Liana Kim picked up her phone and then hung up on you before you could say a word. Her cell phone had caller ID. It could identify, from Malaysia, your phone. You dialed again. This time there was no answer. You called again. Everything stupid and scared inside you--all the jealousy like a line of dirty, lipstick-smeared shot glasses on a bar needing to be washed and all the paranoia like a brick bludgeoning the eye--grew a mushroom plant, a year-old yogurt, your mind was mold on a forgotten potato deep in the recesses of a refrigerator, the one that you smell even after you close the fridgedoor, a horrible, ugly muck that clogged your veins and lay you face down in the covers of the bed: Where was she? Who was she with? What was she doing? Why do you care so much? She picked up. The moldy potato was found! Ready to be thrown into the trash--you absolutely yearned to hear her voice, to be soothed--but, no, the phone froze! Was that possible? It wouldn't dial or change screens or anything. No volume. No keypad response. No Liana. Nothing. etc'
What Chiala offers here is a raucous, at times steamy, at times dissociative ramblings of a love affair between the narrator and the elusive yet sexually charged Liana. It skips through terse descriptions of Manila, Bangkok, Thailand, and Korea pausing only long enough at each location to catch you breath, avert your eyes, spy on odd sexual encounters and then move on to another bizarre situation.
It would be interesting to see how Chiala handles a full-length book - much of what he displays here begs further explanation, but then that is not the point of the book. This is a kickback and chuckle little tome. Grady Harp, June 14
In this vividly detailed journey of love, lust, jealousy, and self-exploration, injected with a full dose of witty insights and authenticity, you’ll take in the sights and sounds of some of Southeast Asia’s most exotic destinations, while being kept on the edge of your seat wondering what’s going to happen to this uncertain long-distance relationship between a young, adventurous New Yorker and his Korean girlfriend.
If you’ve ever dreamed of taking a stroll along the pristine, white sandy beaches of Malapascua Island in the Philippines, exploring the crystal clear emerald waters of Phi Phi Island in Thailand, or getting a taste of the bustling floating markets of Bangkok, you no longer have to make flight reservations. This book will take you there!
I highly recommend this book and I know that whoever reads it will not be disappointed.