Overview - A Slate Best Book of the Year From one of this generation's most talked about and enigmatic writers comes a deeply personal, powerful, and moving novel about family, relationships, accelerating drug use, and the lingering possibility of death. Read more...
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More About Taipei by Tao Lin
A Slate Best Book of the Year
From one of this generation's most talked about and enigmatic writers comes a deeply personal, powerful, and moving novel about family, relationships, accelerating drug use, and the lingering possibility of death. Taipei
by Tao Lin is an ode--or lament--to the way we live now. Following Paul from New York, where he comically navigates Manhattan's art and literary scenes, to Taipei, Taiwan, where he confronts his family's roots, we see one relationship fail, while another is born on the internet and blooms into an unexpected wedding in Las Vegas. Along the way--whether on all night drives up the East Coast, shoplifting excursions in the South, book readings on the West Coast, or ill advised grocery runs in Ohio--movies are made with laptop cameras, massive amounts of drugs are ingested, and two young lovers come to learn what it means to share themselves completely. The result is a suspenseful meditation on memory, love, and what it means to be alive, young, and on the fringe in America, or anywhere else for that matter.
- ISBN-13: 9780307950178
- ISBN-10: 0307950174
- Publisher: Vintage
- Publish Date: June 2013
- Page Count: 256
- Dimensions: 7.43 x 7.99 x 0.76 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.57 pounds
Vintage Contemporaries Original
Books > Fiction > Literary
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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For all its straightforwardness, Lin’s previous work—with its flat, Internet-inspired prose issued by small presses—has presented a stumbling stone for readers who fall outside his North Brooklyn contingent, for whom he is the standard bearer. This will change with the breakout Taipei, a novel about disaffection that’s oddly affecting. The story of Paul—with its book tours, Wikipedia binges, and on-again-off-again romances—smacks of autobiography. Similarly, the specificity of the Brooklyn that Paul and his cohort of blithe, pill-popping ironists occupy—the pop-cultural immediacy of the names of bands, books, and bars there—blurs the distinction between fiction and reality. The thin plot follows Paul in and out of parties, drug trips, and relationships from August to December 2010 (“during the filming... of X-Men: First Class”). Everything about Taipei appears to run contrary to the standard idea of what constitutes art. And yet, the documentary precision captures the sleepwalking malaise of Lin’s generation so completely, it’s scary. Trips to Vegas with an Internet crush (they marry on a whim) and the Taiwan residence of his understandably worried parents underscore the profound dislocation of the information-fried urban hipsterati. Yet for all its emotional reality, Taipai is a book without an ounce of self-pity, melodrama, or posturing, making the glacial Lin (Richard Yates) the perfect poster child for a generation facing—and failing to face—maturity. Agent: Bill Clegg, WME Entertainment. (June)