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Danny and Frankie Canyon were brought up in the housing schemes of Glasgow, from which Danny had to escape hastily in his late teens, having committed a regrettable act of embezzlement to pay for his compulsive gambling habit. Arriving in Melbourne he finds employment in a meat works, where he falls for and marries Mai, a strong-minded, atypical Vietnamese girl. Homesick for her own country, Mai persuades Danny to try living there and they are soon owners of a flourishing bar in Saigon. But unfortunately Danny's gambling problem persists, the local mafia run tough protection rackets, and soon Danny is deep in debt and being threatened at knife-point. The deadpan humour of the cheerful Scottish contingent contrasts marvellously with the unpredictable moves of the Vietnamese police and gangsters. A remarkable mixture of nature documentaries, Mexican beer, bar girls who aren't quite what they seem and arcane knowledge of old movies makes this a highly entertaining novel.

Saigon Tea

  • Graham Reilly
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