FRESH OFF THE BOAT by Eddie Huang Book Review
Publication Date: January 29th 2013 by Spiegel & Grau
Rating: – Exceeds Expectations |
Book Summary: 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 (and scoring drugs) 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.
Book Review Overview:
- Laugh-out-loud funny
- I couldn’t relate to his ramblings on hip-hop and basketball, but his story-telling was far too amusing
- Eddie Huang knows his food; this will make you have lots of cravings
Ever since I started my new job a few months ago, I’ve been listening to a lot more audiobooks. Lucky for me, I can work and listen to audiobooks at the same time. My work day on the computer goes by a lot faster when I have an interesting book to listen to.
Memoirs usually aren’t my thing, but I thought I would give Fresh Off the Boat by Eddie Huang a try. Aside from being a total book nerd, I’m also a huge foodie. Baohaus, the restaurant owned by Eddie Huang, is one of my favorite places to eat.
In Fresh Off the Boat, Eddie Huang combines his experience in growing up as an Asian-American with his love of food. What makes this audiobook so fun to listen to is the fact that he narrates it himself and he talks as if he is talking to one of his very good friends. His casual prose makes for entertaining story-telling. There were a handful of times that I wanted to laugh out loud, and I had to remind myself that it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to do that at work.
There were times where I found myself unable to relate to Eddie’s story. Eddie Huang loves to talk about hip-hop and basketball – two things that I’m not very familiar with. But his anecdotes are always mixed with humor, so even if I cannot relate 100%, I can still find his stories entertaining.
Furthermore, don’t let his love of hip-hop and street-talk fool you. Eddie Huang is quite smart and thoughtful. His thoughts on growing up as an Asian-American are quite provoking. Plus, there is no doubt that he knows his food. Fresh Off the Boat by Eddie Huang will make you hungry. I craved all kinds of food while listening to his audiobook. I couldn’t get the thought of eating a bao out of my mind until I made my way downtown to Baohaus.
I’m so glad I went out of my comfort zone and picked up Fresh Off the Boat by Eddie Huang. Fresh Off the Boat is eight hours of non-stop laughter and food cravings.