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Taipei (Vintage Contemporaries Original)

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Taipei (Vintage Contemporaries Original) Cover

ISBN13: 9780307950178
ISBN10: 0307950174
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"[A] deadpan literary trickster." The New York Times

Review:

"Tao Lin writes from moods that less radical writers would let pass — from laziness, from vacancy, from boredom. And it turns out that his report from these places is moving and necessary, not to mention frequently hilarious." Miranda July

Review:

"Lin captures certain qualities of contemporary life better than many writers in part because he dispenses with so much that is expected of current fiction." London Review of Books

Review:

"[D]eeply smart, funny, and heads-over-heels dedicated." New York magazine

Review:

"Do you read Tao Lin and think 'I love this! What is it?' Perhaps it is the curious effect of a radically talented, fecund and tender mind setting down a world sans sense or consequence." Lore Segal, author of Shakespeare's Kitchen

Review:

"Tao Lin is the most distinctive young writer I've come upon in a long time: the most intrepid, the funniest, the strangest. He's a new voice, and the pleasure of reading his work is a new kind of pleasure." Brian Morton, author of Starting Out in the Evening

Review:

"[Tao Lin's] relentless, near-autistic focus on the surfaces of social interaction belongs to a literary lineage that includes not just the frequently cited Bret Easton Ellis but also Alain Robbe-Grillet, Rudy Wurlitzer, and Dennis Cooper." The Village Voice

Review:

"Tao Lin [is] an excellent writer of avant-garde fiction. His new novel is his most mature work, and follows a young New York writer to Taipei, where he must reconcile his family’s roots with the haze of MDMA, texts and tweets that he’s been living in. Mr. Lin has refined his deadpan prose style here into an icy, cynical, but ultimately thrilling and unique literary voice." New York Observer

About the Author

Tao Lin is the author of the novels Richard Yates and Eeeee Eee Eeee, the novella Shoplifting from American Apparel, the story collection Bed, and the poetry collections cognitive-behavioral therapy and you are a little bit happier than i am. He is the founder and editor of the literary press Muumuu House. His work has been translated to twelve languages and he lives in Manhattan.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

lukas, May 17, 2014 (view all comments by lukas)
Is Tao Lin the most obnoxious writer working today? Here's a sample sentence from his latest novel: "Around 4:30 a.m., after deciding to use all their cocanine before leaving for the airport, they recorded Erin licking cocaine off Paul's testicles and serving cocaine off an iPhone to Paul reading a purple-covered Siddhartha. . ." This nicely sums up what the book is about: a boring couple hanging out, doing drugs, having sex and using Apple technology. Lin is skillful at capturing the zeigeist of the post-literary era and in that sense, he is perhaps the quintessential contemporary writer, eschewing old values like plot, character or good writing in favor of almost blog-like posts about the minutiae of 21st century life, which involves a lot of proper nouns, from Raymond Carver to McDonald's to Kurt Cobain to Whole Foods. Bret Easton Ellis, who knows a thing or two about shallow writing, calls him "the most interesting prose stylist of his generation." Substitute "irritating" or "insufferable" and Ellis, who is name checked in the book, is right on the money. Lin's style has less affect than Steven Wright on downers and his irony is so deep and pervasive that it becomes strangely sincere. If literature is dead, Lin is the one-eyed king of whatever is left.
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Voli, July 10, 2013 (view all comments by Voli)
I took me approximately 2 months to read it but I don't know why. I felt often "moved" by this book but not in a way that you feel "moved" by seeing an indie movie or [another contextual possibly personal applicable comparison]. I feel like this book was written by a human not knowing that they were writing any book, rather that they were omnipresently narrating a period of their life objectionably, but still empathetically. Tao Lin seems to reach a peak (but maybe not plateauing or without upward motion - that all remains to be seen) of humanism in this novel not seen in his earlier books (which I enjoyed for different reasons). I felt a series of concrete and relatable important emotions in characters, and related to characters, while still being able to see the story from a third perspective, which seems important to mention. I thought I'd feel sad after I finished the novel, as one would after completing some "life-altering journey" but I feel only a quiet happiness. This novel seems important, in a way that novels are important staples that one must read in order to learn something critical about being human.
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Emily Otis, July 2, 2013 (view all comments by Emily Otis)
Aside from all the drug use, sadly, this is a book I really identified with. One of my favorite parts is when Paul is at a restaurant with a group of people, and is thinking back on all the opportunities he had to go home during the evening.

I often feel anti-social, and yes, I too have experienced the, sometimes inexplicable, abrupt and complete ending of relationships. Taipei leaves me pondering these things. Are they so bad? Am I doomed to a lifetime of secluded misery? Is this the direction that our society, with the increasing use of digital communication, is heading? Or, is Paul and Erin's (and my) story just the modern iteration of socially awkward people that have always been part of society?

To me, the fact that I'm thinking about these things makes Taipei a great book. When a book touches a nerve, and gets me asking questions, I know the author has accomplished his task beautifully.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307950178
Author:
Lin, Tao
Publisher:
Vintage Books
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage Contemporaries Original
Publication Date:
20130631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
256

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Taipei (Vintage Contemporaries Original) New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.95 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Vintage Books - English 9780307950178 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[A] deadpan literary trickster."
"Review" by , "Tao Lin writes from moods that less radical writers would let pass — from laziness, from vacancy, from boredom. And it turns out that his report from these places is moving and necessary, not to mention frequently hilarious."
"Review" by , "Lin captures certain qualities of contemporary life better than many writers in part because he dispenses with so much that is expected of current fiction."
"Review" by , "[D]eeply smart, funny, and heads-over-heels dedicated."
"Review" by , "Do you read Tao Lin and think 'I love this! What is it?' Perhaps it is the curious effect of a radically talented, fecund and tender mind setting down a world sans sense or consequence."
"Review" by , "Tao Lin is the most distinctive young writer I've come upon in a long time: the most intrepid, the funniest, the strangest. He's a new voice, and the pleasure of reading his work is a new kind of pleasure."
"Review" by , "[Tao Lin's] relentless, near-autistic focus on the surfaces of social interaction belongs to a literary lineage that includes not just the frequently cited Bret Easton Ellis but also Alain Robbe-Grillet, Rudy Wurlitzer, and Dennis Cooper."
"Review" by , "Tao Lin [is] an excellent writer of avant-garde fiction. His new novel is his most mature work, and follows a young New York writer to Taipei, where he must reconcile his family’s roots with the haze of MDMA, texts and tweets that he’s been living in. Mr. Lin has refined his deadpan prose style here into an icy, cynical, but ultimately thrilling and unique literary voice."
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