A sure-handed fiction debut takes a darkly comic and unsettling look at the quest for adventure in exotic lands
In a last-ditch effort to save their marriage, Conrad and Lucy Shermer embark on a second honeymoon in the fashionably exotic--and politically volatile--Southeast Asian nation of Tambralinga. They soon separate, Lucy (guidebook in hand) in quest of authentic cultural experience on the mainland while Conrad searches a tourist island for an infamous brothel. From the outset, both expeditions are in danger of devolving into farce. Conrad, torn between his staid, paternal nature and his desire to play the libertine in this tropical setting, finds himself caught in a strange vortex of sexual and power politics, stumbling upon "authentic" experiences he'd sought to avoid. At the same time, Lucy's internal compass sends her on adventures quite beyond the parameters of her carefully plotted itinerary, forcing her to confront realities at odds with the romantic portrait promoted by her guidebook.
In this utterly unpredictable first novel, Scott Landers exposes with wry wit our cherished illusions about journeys of self-discovery and explores the changes that really do happen when we venture into the unknown.