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Taipei [Kindle Edition]

Tao Lin
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Book Description

At some point, maybe twenty minutes after he'd begun refreshing Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Gmail in a continuous cycle - with an ongoing, affectless, humorless realisation that his day 'was over' - he noticed with confusion, having thought it was early morning, that it was 4:46PM

Taipei 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.

From one of this generation's most talked-about and enigmatic writers comes a deeply personal and uncompromising novel about memory, love, and what it means to be alive.

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Review

The most interesting prose stylist of his generation (Bret Easton Ellis)

Moving and necessary, not to mention frequently hilarious (Miranda July, author of No One Belongs Here More Than You)

Lin's writing is reminiscent of early Douglas Coupland, or early Bret Easton Ellis, but there is also something going on here that is more profoundly peculiar, even Beckettian . . . deliciously odd (Guardian)

Lin is a 21st century literary adventurer . . . [Taipei] is a fascinating book, bone dry, repellant, painful, but relentlessly true to life (Frederick Barthelme, author of Waveland)

A Kafka for the iPhone generation . . . Tao Lin may well be the most important writer under thirty working today (Clancy Martin)

[A] deadpan literary trickster

(New York Times)

Alienation, obsession, social confusion, drugs, the internet, sex, food, death - [are] rendered here with a calm intuition . . . a work of vision so relentless it forces most any reader to respond (Blake Butler, author of Sky Saw)

A strange, hypnotic, memoir-reeking novel that is equal parts dissociative and heartbreaking, surreally hallucinogenic and grittily realist, ugly and beautiful (Porochista Khakpour, author of Sons and Other Flammable Objects)

Deeply smart, funny, and heads-over-heels dedicated (New York Magazine)

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)

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)

[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)

Such a committed engagement with emotional failure risks literary disappointment, but it is through Lin's willingness to take that risk that we see him for what he is: a daring, urgent voice for a malfunctioning age (Sam Byers Times Literary Supplement)

Taipei brilliantly portrays the life of many young men - drifting and difficult to reach, bound only to technology and drugs (Financial Times)

Like all true styles this is infectious stuff, permeating not only writing, but thought itself (Daily Telegraph)

Taipei is undoubtedly an important signpost for the way the next generation is going to think and act in the world to come (Big Issue)

His strengths, and appeal, lie in the untrammelled paths he makes where others are too fearful to tread (Rob Sharp The National)

With a neat line in offbeat analogy, Lin's writing is more intricate, even beautiful, than you might expect, and as a portrait of an internet-shaped psyche, it's unmatched (Anthony Cummins Observer)

A wry, clever look at the way we live now, written in a wonderfully inventive, up-itself Manhattan style (Kate Saunders The Times)

Like a piece of contemporary art . . . smuggled in among the Tumblr updates and Ritalin dosages are moments of sudden clarity, tenderly and poetically rendered, in which Lin captures perfectly the unmoored inadequacy we feel as we struggle to place ourselves in the world. (Literary Review)

Book Description

From one of this generation's most talked about young writers comes a novel about failed relationships, drug-induced depression, marriage, and death

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 451 KB
  • Print Length: 257 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1782111859
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; Main edition (6 Jun. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CD49LJM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #136,463 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Tao Lin (b. 1983) is the author of three novels--Taipei (2013), Richard Yates (2010), and Eeeee Eee Eeee (2007)--a novella, Shoplifting from American Apparel (2009), a story collection, Bed (2007), and two poetry collections: cognitive-behavioral therapy (2008), you are a little bit happier than i am (2006). His writing has been published by Granta, New York Times, New York Times Book Review, New York Observer, Poetry Foundation, Vice, Noon, Mississippi Review, and other venues. He edits Muumuu House, a literary publisher, and teaches a class called The Contemporary Short Story in Sarah Lawrence College's MFA program. (Photo by Noah Kalina.)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The real Blank Generation? 3 Oct. 2014
By Paul Bowes TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
'Taipei' follows the career of Paul, a Chinese-American writer in his late twenties, over the course of a year that encompasses the making and breaking of a number of friendships and love affairs, and a book tour. These events, heavily repetitious in character, are bookended by parallel visits to Paul's parents, who after living in the United States for many years have returned to their native Taiwan. Heavily medicated, Paul stumbles through his conspicuously aimless life fending off his mother's worries, reflecting uncertainly on his childhood, and weaving an uncertain path through parties, book readings and abortive relationships.

This book was published as a novel, but as a glance at Tao Lin's social-media presence will confirm, it is so heavily autobiographical that it is almost impossible for the reader to determine what - if anything - is invented. From the point of view of a likely target audience more familiar with Twitter, Facebook and reality television than with literary fiction this may actually constitute a recommendation: old-media access to a new-media star.

For me, one of the most frustrating aspects of reading Tao Lin was the persistent feeling that he has something to say and potentially the ability to say it, but through laziness and distractibility has preferred to substitute barely filtered and unstructured documentary for fictional art. The prevailing mood is emotionally muffled, dispirited and anxious, in a way that will be familiar to older readers of American drug fiction. (I hesitated to call the book 'drug fiction', but the omnipresence of prescribed and recreational medications, without which Paul and his acquaintances seem unwilling or unable to function, is the abiding impression left by 'Taipei', and the source of its few moments of humour.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
The greatest writer writing right now in my opinion, and Taipei is no exception. It's not as good as some of his earlier novels or his poetry but its still great. The style is awesome and I often found myself smiling purely based on how good I felt the writing was, not because it was funny, although it is also very funny at times. I read some of the other comments below and it seems some people are complaining about a lack of plot. That's the whole point. A lot does happen it's just all described in a very casual way, because the protagonist, Paul, is bored by almost everything. To me, it's modern day existentialism and a really valuable read. It says a lot about the state of our increasingly digital world and I think there is a lot to be identified with.

I'd also like to add that the fact that Zoella's 'Girl Online' has a higher rating than this book makes me physically sick.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Got me back into reading. 11 April 2014
By Dani
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I haven't picked up a book in a really long time, and this was a good way to start.
A little difficult to follow at times, had to reread lines, even whole pages before because I realised I'd gotten to the bottom and not known what I'd read at all. Might be the writing style - could be me.

Compelling read, I am taking it slow because I don't want to finish it too quickly.
A little pretentious at times, but mostly a really good read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars okay 3 July 2014
By sarah h
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
this wasn't exactly what I was expecting after reading a "review" of sorts for this novel on Buzzfeed, where it was lauded as "the calmest panic attack you'll ever read". I guess that was kind of spot on, but it just didn't really do it for me. it was okay?? I read this a while ago now so I can't review it properly, I just remember being underwhelmed by what I was reading tbh
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3.0 out of 5 stars Zeitgeist-y 1 Dec. 2013
By Ben
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
While employing an appreciable ability to make uncanny observations about contemporary New York, hipster lifetstyles, Tao Lin's novel drifted too frequently into the inconsequential & was a little trying as a read.
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