It all starts when Shinta (Shin), a curator at a private gallery, chances upon an old friend from two decades ago who invites her to co-author a book about notorious deeds he has done. As a guest writer of the book, Shin quickly becomes an internet sensation, while back at home she is plagued with family problems – her mother is schizophrenic; her brother killed himself. On a business trip to Singapore, she is trapped there for years as super natural occurrences keep emerging, preventing her from travelling back. Time goes by as her lover leaves; her search for true self slowly grows insipid. When all the bizarre circumstances come to an end, she is sent home physically and mentally broken – life shattered to pieces; her spirit crushed. Before long, the true self she has sought is dead and gone.
Simple yet dazzling, the narrative of Aomkaew Kanlayanapong is brimmed with vehement vigor. Gone Before Long deals with tangled complexes, matricide, cannibalism, suicide, mental diseases, search for love, and attempts to grasp one’s sense of self. The subject matter, the intense story-telling, the shifts of narrating perspectives, as well as the seamless employment of the supernatural are sure to give readers the refreshing sense of things rarely seen in Thai literary scene. Shinta, the protagonist, is the representation of urban middle class. While she seems to lack nothing, she is infested with gnawing loneliness whose causes she cannot find. The Complexes about love, her mother, brother, as well as her father are direct questions on the ever-changing modern urban society. In blindly climbing the social ladders regardless of the means, her mind gradually warps and sorrow slowly accumulates within. What appears to be but a simple problem on the surface is an entangled mess deep inside her, alienating her from the context of her life.