• The novel begins with a scene from the Vietnam war zone and ends with the introduction of the main character, Richard, who was born in 1974 after the close of the Vietnam war
• As 'Bangkok" begins, Richard is in Bangkok Thailand and he remembers when he first heard of the beach, the subject of the novel
• Richard begins his memories of a trip to Thailand where he traveled as a backpacker and finds a guest-house recommended to him by an aging hippie at the eating area next to it
• He notices an attractive French couple nearby and other backpackers
• When he checks in to the guest-house he finds it to be very sparse with flimsy walls that connect to other rooms and a wire mesh that allows no privacy from conversations or sounds in the other rooms
• While Richard is trying to sleep, he can hear...
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