You might think you've heard that story before, and you have, many times, but not like you'll read it in "Beatdown in Bangkok: A Stetson Jeff Adventure," the new book from Justin Fike and Adam G. Fleming.
Their lighthearted story follows Stetson Jeff Stetson, a Texan from Arkansas who travels to Bangkok on a mission for his father's company, which makes Stetsons and is looking to get in on the cheap Asian jeans market. The book doesn't get any less absurd from there.
I don't know how you collaborate on writing a book, and I'm usually not a fan of such works, but Fike and Fleming have come up with a humor writing winner. It reminded me of noir fiction, if noir fiction was good and featured a character with a drawl, and didn't take itself too seriously. The authors have dressed up solid storytelling in pulp fiction flair.
The book masquerades as light fluff, but lands some sneaky punches on unfair labor and trade practices. It also manages to poke fun at two serious cultures and the clash between the two while showing an underlying respect for both. That's the opposite of what you'll usually find in such books and a real accomplishment.
"Beatdown in Bangkok" is the first in a planned series, and it's a good start.