4.5 out of 5 Stars
In this hilarious clash of cultures on steroids, conservative NYC Jewish banker Sam Lowe, falls head over heels for Linda Liu, a stunning Chinese immigrant. His desire to marry her requires a trip to Taiwan to get her mother’s approval. Sam’s travels are rife with awkward and embarrassing situations as he struggles like a buffoon with the language barrier, a horde of potential in-laws, bizarre foods and befuddling Asian customs.
Upon their return to New York, tensions ratchet up to an explosive level as Linda’s large family begins their mass migration from Asia to the couple’s tiny upper west side apartment.
Well, since this book is somewhat based off real instances… I don’t know how much is safe to say! Ha ha! But, I’ll be honest…. When I first started reading this book, I thought that the narrator, Sam Lowe… was a dick. There was a lot of talk about the women he had dated before, and all I could wonder was, “if this is even SLIGHTLY close to reality, I wonder if any of these people have read this book! YIKES!”
He talks about his excuses for getting out of second dates,
“Business trip, project deadline, friend in from out of town….etc”
And, how it meant, “Sorry, but I just can’t be your golden ticket to the Jewish American Dream.” It’s okay, though. He would always say “No offense” after these sentences! Because, that ALWAYS makes things better!
But, then Sam meets Linda Liu, and life changes forever. This is a hilarious comedy of errors as Sam tries to win over his possible new inlaws and family while immersing himself in a whole new world. You can’t help but like Sam (and feel a little sorry for him), and the lengths he’s willing to go through to impress the family and win the woman he loves. From taking the chinese cure for jet lag “Tomorrow’s headline would read ‘Funny American commit suicide by self-asphyxiation-Chinese have last laugh!'”, to learning why you don’t drink cold water in the heat (what do we North Americans know??), to taking up the challenge of a drinking contest against his future Mother-in-Law and always being referred to as a “ben4 dan4” (stupid egg).
I loved the descriptions of Taipei! The living quarters, the heat, the markets…. THE FOOD!! I could never take this book on a desert island with me because is would make me SO HUNGRY! But, Ross did an amazing job of making me feel like I was right there with him, Linda and the whole family.
Then Sam and Linda return to the United States to start their lives with each other… AND, EVERYONE ELSE! And, the laughs continue with finding living quarters, family vacations, and dealing with Ma (lovingly referred to as “The Little General”).
This is a fun summer read! Perfect for sitting back and relaxing in the sun for an entertaining afternoon.
PICK UP YOUR COPY, NOW!
ROSS NODELL was born and raised in Chicago. He relocated to New York City in the late 80s to marry a Chinese woman. He draws material from a wealth of life experience as a world traveler. He’s a true adventure-seeker having climbed Mount Rainer in Washington State, and The Grand Teton in Wyoming; scuba dived with hammerhead sharks off the North Wall in Grand Cayman; walked Kruger National Park searching for water buffalo; biked through the South of France; and windsurfed the Maldives. Ross has a love affair with food and wine, always seeking out new and exotic cuisines, no matter how peculiar or offensive. He brings all these adventures to his readers through the lens of a comical microscope.
Learn more about the author and his book: www.stinkytofubook.com
Stinky Tofu is Best Served with Guniang Tehui Kuan Yantai
Ok…. So, I don’t even know what this is that I’m pairing the book with. Ha ha!! It’s from China and one website describes it as wine, one website describes it as liquor. I had to special order it and, sadly, it has not yet arrived. So, be sure to circle back soon or keep an eye on my instagram or Facebook page to find out the results of my Quest!!!