Seeing Other Sights

I’ve been looking forward to Rattawut Lapcharoensap’s debut collection of stories, Sightseeing, ever since reading his in Zoetrope: All-Story. But in the NY Times, Darin Strauss reviews it a little harshly, I think, insinuating that the writer is “lucky” because his story is “familiar to him and exotic to his readers.” And that, it seems to me, suggests that Strauss already has an expectation of what to find in the book: exoticism, which he seems to both enjoy (describing Lapcharoensap as “a tour guide”) and dislike (“leans on exotic atmosphere and little else.”) Or is it simply the case that the kind of exoticism Strauss is looking for is not the kind Lapcharoensap offers?