Gordon MacRae begins MY LITTLE CHINA GIRL by introducing the reader to a long-winded explanation of how another writer he knows has always crafted his own book introductions in a basically surly, take-it-or-leave-it-middle-finger-held-high manner, an action MacRae now proudly emulates. Just as MacRae apparently also admires this other author’s penchant for no longer bedding a woman stone cold sober.
MacRae’s book is categorized as semi-autobiographical fiction, loosely based on the author’s life as a Canadian, once employed in Thailand to concoct reports meant to ensure that oodles of funding continued to flow through creative ‘infrastructure development’ by both governments. In other words he wrote reports to offer plans for potential ‘viability assessments’ that might in the future provide ‘feasibility studies’ towards possibly training Thai people to work with, for example, fiber optics in one quarter’s account, only to then change the tense next quarter in order to indicate all this potential had become a done deal. Had MacRae stuck to focusing on a deep dive into the underbelly of international commercial/governmental relations and/or individual responsibility, MY LITTLE CHINA GIRL could have been a fascinating book, one that might give bestsellers in the vein of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man a run for their money. Unfortunately he did not.
Instead MY LITTLE CHINA GIRL mainly and repetitively explores the vicissitudes of a certain type of man rambling from Thailand to South Korea to China, hopping from girl to girl and bottle to bottle. This is an ode to the kind of person who, while theoretically thinking about settling down with one True Love (if he can find such a thing), keeps himself busy sleeping around and interfering in the relationships of others, including driving a wedge between a lesbian couple he meets along the way, just for sport. The hero of this tale gives frequent updates about the state of his penis, which is exhibiting symptoms of a potentially contagious venereal disease that he’s reluctant to get checked out, while admitting he has no idea how to interact with new women except by acting sexually towards them, even if he doesn’t actually find them attractive. In summarizing a life philosophy, the protagonist states, “Choosing to be a drunk, and believing that drinking is the way of truth: this kind of resolution is what passes for a positive attitude to me.”
MY LITTLE CHINA GIRL by Gordon MacRae is an obsessively honest book that playfully juggles puns and interesting word juxtapositions, making it almost seem like brash poetry. But the central character is a ‘skirt chaser’ who doesn’t much respect women and this semi-autobiographical work seems to be an homage to sex tourism and dysfunctional male-female relationships.
~C.S. Holmes for IndieReader