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Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir by Eddie Huang

Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir

by Eddie Huang

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This was okay. For a book about someone who's a chef, I expected more food stuff, but it's more about getting high, getting in fights, fashion, shoes, and hiphop than it is about food. I tend to mostly like autobiographies when they're funny and for all Eddie apparently was a comedian for some time, the book really isn't that funny.

It's also nothing like the show, which I did know going in. If you like the show and are looking to read this for more of that, just don't. :p The Huangs on TV are a typical sitcom family who have typical sitcom problems that get solved in an episode and although they have fights and misunderstandings, everyone really loves each other. In real life, Eddie's parents' marriage was unhappy, his dad (and sometimes his mom) beat the kids, and Eddie was a troubled child who got in fights and one time beat another kid so bad he was sent to juvie. That would have been a pretty interesting show, too, but it would have been a gritty drama. I have no idea why they decided to make it a sitcom... ( )
  kyuuketsukirui | Jan 15, 2016 |
Freaking funny!! You will learn a bit about Chinese food and a lot about Eddie Huang. A very entertaining read. ( )
  untitled841 | Aug 20, 2015 |
Good to hear another Chinese voice in the American wild, though there are some differences between the author's and my experiences.

But there are similarities, too. The author was teased and bullied in school, like I was, and the school/teachers were no help, same with my case. So that definitely struck a chord in me.

I enjoyed all the talk about food and cooking, and although I can't cook, I definitely know how to eat.

I don't go crazy for rap and hip-hop, but I do like some of it, and grew up during the same era. I was aware of the feud between Tupac and Biggie, and was pretty shocked when Tupac died.

Our luck with parents were the same, and both my parents believe in corporal punishment, though I never went as far as he did (obviously; was not convicted of anything), and my parents never struck it rich (my parents were solidly middle-class).

Anyway, I understood his identity crisis because I felt and experienced the same thing. But he must have worked a lot harder than I did during college, despite being wild and crazy, 'cause he got into law school and I don't dare show my transcript to anyone.

All in all, good, solid book, and I do recommend it, especially to anyone who wants to understand the Chinese-American experience a little better. ( )
  litalex | Aug 17, 2015 |
The story of a first generation Asian boy growing up in an atmosphere of racism. Rebelling against a culture that wants to put him in box, he turns to a life of drugs and petty crime. In the end, food is what brings him back to himself. This is the story of his coming of age. ( )
  Juva | May 31, 2015 |
I don't believe Eddie Huang and I would get along in real life. He seems too steeped in drugs, too self-righteous, too violent, way too quick to take offense. And not terribly clear sighted: Orlando, back in the 1990s and now, is not, by any stretch, "the South." Granted maybe some of his uber-Christian private schools had more of a Confederate vibe, but other schools he mentioned, no way, and definitely not neighborhoods like Idylwild either. (As he might phrase it, cot damn, son, sometimes you find what you looking for even when it's not really there.)

That said, I found the book to be worth reading, and not just because he named places and people I knew. Huang has interesting observations about racism, about food, about the value of a liberal education. I see where some of his rage comes from, and I now "get" why a rich Asian suburban kid would identify so strongly with Tupac. The writing varies dramatically from street lingo to rhapsodical food descriptions to academic allusions, and the tale leaps from Washington DC to Orlando to Pittsburgh to NYC without much warning. But one thing this memoir isn't is boring. ( )
1 vote iBeth | Mar 5, 2015 |
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"Can't get paid in a earth this big? You worthless kid." - Cam'ron "Yeah Yeah, I design these things and you know I'm in the hood like chinese wings." - Jadakiss "Don't be afraid, fight for it." - Dad
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679644881, Hardcover)

“Long before I met him, I was a fan of his writing, and his merciless wit. He’s bigger than food.”—Anthony Bourdain

Eddie Huang is the thirty-year-old proprietor of Baohaus—the hot East Village hangout where foodies, stoners, and students come to stuff their faces with delicious Taiwanese street food late into the night—and one of the food world’s brightest and most controversial young stars. But before he created the perfect home for himself in a small patch of downtown New York, Eddie wandered the American wilderness looking for a place to call his own.  

Eddie grew up in theme-park America, on a could-be-anywhere cul-de-sac in suburban Orlando, raised by a wild family of FOB (“fresh off the boat”) hustlers and hysterics from Taiwan. While his father improbably launched a series of successful seafood and steak restaurants, Eddie burned his way through American culture, defying every “model minority” stereotype along the way. He obsessed over football, fought the all-American boys who called him a chink, partied like a gremlin, sold drugs with his crew, and idolized Tupac. His anchor through it all was food—from making Southern ribs with the Haitian cooks in his dad’s restaurant to preparing traditional meals in his mother’s kitchen to haunting the midnight markets of Taipei when he was shipped off to the homeland. After misadventures as an unlikely lawyer, street fashion renegade, and stand-up comic, Eddie finally threw everything he loved—past and present, family and food—into his own restaurant, bringing together a legacy stretching back to China and the shards of global culture he’d melded into his own identity.

Funny, raw, and moving, and told in an irrepressibly alive and original voice, Fresh Off the Boat recasts the immigrant’s story for the twenty-first century. It’s a story of food, family, and the forging of a new notion of what it means to be American.

Praise for Fresh Off the Boat
“Mercilessly funny and provocative, Fresh Off the Boat is also a serious piece of work—and an important one. Eddie Huang is hunting nothing less than Big Game here—a question, a conversation, an argument: Who are we? If somebody’s going to put a thumb in your eye, it should probably be Eddie Huang. He does everything with style.”—Anthony Bourdain
“Brash, leading-edge, and unapologetically hip, Huang reconfigures the popular foodie memoir into something worthwhile and very memorable.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:49 -0400)

A Taiwanese-American rebel restaurateur chronicles his rise to success from his difficult childhood in the American South to his decision to embrace all he had learned about food in his father's restaurants and his mother's kitchen to create his own culinary identity.… (more)

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