By Alex Garland
The quintessential backpackers’ book for thailand. A, thriller-esque drama that takes place first on Khao San Road, where almost all backpackers will start their Thailand/Southeast Asian journeys, and ends at an idyllic beach in the gulf of Thailand.
It’s a very clever book, from the viewpoint of an English backpacker “open for whatever” gets directed to an untouched, unknown beach paradise by a crazed and suicidal guy named Daffy. He gets sucked into a private commune-type society of lost backpackers with their own complicated politics, which unravel in the story.
It’s an unbelievably dark book scattered with the light of eden. So many elements of the Thailand beach and backpacker scenes are evident in the story, but hopefully your journey won’t be as twisted.
You can visit the heavily touristed (but still beautiful) island of Koh Phi Phi in Thailand, where the movie version was filmed.