What the heck is the Big Mango? When I agreed to read Down and Out in the Big Mango by Tony McManus, that was the question I was asking myself. That’s what I get for not reading the complete title. I mean, that’s a great title, right? Who can blame me for not seeing the “and Other Thai Stories” part?
Once opening the cover and beginning the adventure I immediately knew the Big Mango had to do with Thailand, and specifically Bangkok, the capital city, the sister city of Washington, D.C., Liverpool, and Brisbane to name a few.
This wasn’t intended to be my book to review on the team but I’m glad I ended up here. As a collection of short stories, it was an easy read. I like shorts because I don’t have to commit a great deal of time at one go because I know I can read one entire entry from beginning to end without losing my spot or having to remember what happened before.
I didn’t know what to expect from tales of Thailand. Many people instantly think of Bangkok and the stereotype things about certain districts there. My mind didn’t drift to those places. I always think of a song from the 1980s about Bangkok and a game of chess.
McManus gives stories that from the beginning start out as black and white stories. People have clear thoughts of issues and beliefs. It’s like a coloring book where lines dictate where to use the crayons. McManus puts his characters into the picture and then blurs those lines with reality.
What would you do if you faced capturing a white-collar criminal, an embezzler of money from the super-rich, the millionaires? I know what my answer was, is, or whatever. I’m still having a difficult time with it. McManus shows the layers of our beliefs and rules and then throws in reality, situations that test how either correct or perhaps needed those beliefs, and rules are.
Down and Out in the Big Mango and Other Thai Stories is a sleeper hit in my opinion. You get the imagery of a beautiful country, an inside look at the people and some of the interesting character that makes it a unique place on earth. I would love to visit a place like this, perhaps even live there.
I think most anyone would enjoy this that likes a bit of intelligent humor, some intrigue at times, relationships, beautiful imagery, and life questions. An enjoyable series of short reads. A great introduction to Tony’s other books you can find on his Author Page at Amazon by clicking HERE for the US or HERE for the UK.
Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 4.5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 4.5
Overall Rate: 4.8
Author: Tony McManus
Title: Down and Out in the Big Mango, and Other Thai Stories
File Size: 454 KB
Print Length: 149 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Ridge-Way Publications; 1 edition (January 14, 2014)
Publication Date: January 14, 2014
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, LLC.
Format: Kindle-US Kindle-UK
Price: 4.99 (US) £3.20 (UK)
About the Author
About the Reviewer
Ronovan Hester is an author, with his debut historical adventure novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling due out in Valentine’s Day of 2016. He shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer through his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge, a Weekly Fiction Prompt Challenge, and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.com.
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