The Guys of Rangoon 1930 by Khett Zaw

The Guys of Rangoon 1930

Based on the true events, The Guys of Rangoon 1930 by Khett Zaw tells the story of infamous gangster Lanmadaw Pho Tote and his rivalries in late colonial era of Rangoon. From Pho Tote’s youth to how he came to be known as the mob boss. His story intertwined with several characters from rival gangs, his followers, the officers as well as some other social elites. The importance of his involvements in Burmese economy and political scenes in those years was told vibrantly, as well.

Personally, I want a narration with better fluidity, not in grace and elegant way of writing but in an engrossing way of storytelling. I get it, it is a story about gangsters and thugs however the narrative is too monotonous. If it is not for the background events, this book won’t be a page turner. Plus points for the thorough research and reference by the writer though. Truly impressed with that. Nonetheless, I still believe the writer could do better to mimic the life and essence of these gangsters.

This book is the current hype in Myanmar book industry.  But who the hell is responsible for the book’s layout? There’s not editor of the book, I believe or the writer doesn’t know how to break the paragraphs? Breaking after every single line except in dialogues? Please. The writer or the editor should know that ruins the reader’s pace and interest or did s/he just Ctr+C and Ctrl+V the Facebook posts then send to the printing house?


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