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THE TALE OF KHUN CHANG AND KHUN PHAEN: Siam’s Great Folk Epic of Love and War. Translated and edited by Chris Baker and Pasuk Phongpaichit. Silkworm Books, 2010, 970 pp., $60 (hardcover)

Those who like their novice monks prim and proper, taming desires, meditating and selflessly engaging in good deeds will encounter more than a few uncomfortable moments in this bawdy, sprawling, ribald tale about love and ravishing, leavened by scenes of war and betrayal, set in the early 17th century.

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