Kingdom of Monkeys

Charting the steamy jungles and murky depths of the South Seas, these stories dip into the lives of a Malay boy in 19th-century Singapore, a Dutch painter in wartime Bali and an opium-smoking porter in modern-day Thailand, slipping effortlessly from the tongue of a tourist to the intimate voice of a native. In a brilliant reworking of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, the closing novella tracks a martyr to his lair and reveals Kurtz alive and well and living among us. Cunningly exposing the tattered vestiges of colonial power in Asia, Schroeder reinvents the exotic, the exquisite and the exiled. Weaving from the surreal to the sublime, his cast of gypsies taxies from port to port, sinking ever deeper into a culture luxurious with both irony and intrigue.