Synopses & Reviews
As China's economy booms, so does its corporations, but none are as successful as the Bashful Goose Snack Company. Founded by Papa Hui, the company is a national treasure, as is his beloved pet goose who steadfastly remains at his side. Papa Hui's daughter, Kelly, is desperate to prove herself, and jealous of that wretched goose. Kelly heads up the corporate responsibility department where she builds a fat camp for children.
All of the children are killed in a series of gruesome accidents, but the government views the project as a success— the province is no longer the nation's leader in childhood obesity. With all of the nation's obese children cured of their fatness, albeit by death, Kelly returns to the city where hair tycoon Wang Xilai plucks her extensions from Lulu, the woman with the most lustrous hair in China.
When Papa Hui is brutally murdered, chaos ensues. Wang and Kelly are both alternately accused. His goose is left to his own devices, and certainly does not want to remain loyal to a corpse. Lulu flees the tumultuous hair business and becomes the mistress of a politician, who scandalously remains faithful to his wife. Lulu encounters a turtle, who was once a tibetan monk, and eventually escapes to a hipster idyll, an oasis for millionaires where she lives with three witches and learns their ways.
Unbeknownst to Lulu, this model village for tycoons has two new residents. Wang has descended into madness and is holding Kelly Hui hostage in a small shed. In the absurdist satirical tradition of the great contemporary Chinese author Mo Yan, comes a searing and whimsical portrayal of tycoon culture as CEOs run wild in an oligarchical tabloid-driven society, not unlike our very own.
Hallman's debut novel is a scathing satire of tycoon culture and political corruption set in present day China. Kelly Hui daughter of the famed Bashful Goose Snack Company tycoon known to all as Papa Hui seeks to prove her worth by investing in a government sanctioned fat camp. However a series of slapstick events turn the fat camp into a gruesome death camp setting off a chain reaction leading to the murder of Papa Hui. The scope of the story broadens as others get mixed up in the chaos including Wang Xilai a young hair tycoon and Lulu Qi a girl he farms for extensions. Wang recounts his heyday as a teenage entrepreneur who looked up to Papa Hui and founded his very own hair extension farm Headquarters. Then in the most intriguing section Lulu describes her life after leaving Headquarters emerging as the most (and perhaps the only) sympathetic character in this over the top tale. As the body count rises morbid humor abounds—of particular note are the newspaper headlines that close out the chapters—but the story never quite gets beyond shock value to something deeper. (Dec.) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
"The Year of the Goose is a completely fresh and original comic novel overflowing with mayhem, sly and mordant humor, blood-thirsty slapstick, corporate malfeasance, hair extentions, Watermelon Wigglers, an enlightened turtle and a malevolent goose. It is an unhinged and utter delight." — Mark Haskell Smith, author of Raw: A Love Story and Naked at Lunch