If you’re looking for a Fiction novel on Muay Thai, there’s not much to choose from. The Boxer’s Soliloquy is a great start.
A soliloquy (from Latin solo “to oneself” + loquor “I talk”) is a device often used in drama when a character speaks to himself or herself, relating thoughts and feelings, thereby also sharing them with the audience.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, onto the book review….
The book, written by Matt Lucas, fighter and author from the Bay Area, describes the journey of young American fighters making their way between America and Thailand on their journeys into Muay Thai from various stages in their career. Through the book, Matt takes his reader on a journey through the mindset of a Muay Thai fighter… divine aggression balanced by a primal vulnerability. Through the book, there appears to balance between an excitingly violent storyline mixed with a brief crash course ‘education’ in what it’s really like out there in Thailand.
The major selling point of this book is how true it stays to the Thailand journey / experience for Muay Thai training. When it comes to describing life, getting around, and training in Thailand, Matt book absolutely nails it. By far, out of all of the Muay Thai books currently out there which try to capture the feeling of actually being there, none have emotionalized it as well as this ‘soliloquy’. Everything from getting around, to common Thai phrases and mannerisms, to training in Thailand.
This book is highly recommended for anyone thinking about getting over there to Thailand for Muay Thai training. It’s short enough to read in a couple of hours….you can read it with a couple hours of airtime and still have plenty of time for in-flight movies on your way over there.
Storyline: This is where I felt it started strong but kind of wavered of toward the end of the book. I would have liked to have seen more relationship development between the main character and his relationships with women. While I understand this is a book about Muay Thai, and there should be a good portion of the book devoted to depicting the fight experience, I felt that the strongest emotional hook had been about his devotion to Muay Thai over his relationships and how it had created conflict. By that notion, the story is a high testosterone rush, so much so that at times the characters are hard to believe. A bit more of the human side of things would have balanced things out a bit.
Matt’s basic premise of the book (based on my understanding) is to depict the sacrifice of several fighters….the financial challenges, the strains in relationship with the opposite sex and relationships, finding legitimate places to fight and train….all of this aside from the physical and mental hurdles of transforming ones mind and body into a human weapon.
Time to read: 2 hours
The book in a few words: Authentic depiction of living the life of a Muay Thai fighter in US…The Story…testosterone for your e-reader
Rating: 8.5 / 10 stars
If you have a couple hours to spare (and you know you do) go check out the book and educate yourself on an authentic depiction of a Muay Thai fighter.