‘Let’s Give It Up For Gimme Lao’ by Sebastian Sim

Let's Give It Up For Gimme Lao

This book didn’t quite attract me with its cover (the color choice is attention-grabbing but can hardly be considered attractive) but I bought it anyway since it was a finalist in the 2015 Epigram Books Fiction Prize. Halfway through the book, I was amazed that a book of this quality was not the winner, and only a finalist. Towards the end, I was getting a bit tired of the (perhaps) ‘gay agenda’.

I like how the author, Sebastian Sim, drew on his own experiences working as an insurance salesman and a prison officer in a maximum security prison (among other occupations) for this book. For instance, Mary Lao in the book is a shrewd insurance saleswoman who becomes wildly successful in the industry. She reminds me of Dr Mary Chen Ming Li, a legend in Singapore’s insurance industry, and also TV host Quan Yifeng’s great aunt.

This book has a lot of references to people and events in Singapore, from the anti-gay ‘Pastor Kong’ (wow) to Pink Dot and a politician with a gay son { I wonder who 😉 } and who also has an affair with a nurse since said politician is a doctor! 😛 Also, there’s the bit about the SARS episode and how the doctor-politician ended up claiming the credit for things he didn’t do.

Overall, I’d say this book is worth a second read. I’ll certainly come back to it again once I’m done reading a few other books.


You can get a copy at Times bookstore for just $26.64. 🙂