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A Great American Novel about a poet in 1960's San Francisco.,
By A Customer
This review is from: Tripmaster Monkey (Vintage International) (Paperback)
Set in the heady days of 1960's San Francisco, this is a bawdy, nonstop picaresque seen through the eyes of its hero: Wittman Ah Sing, recent Berkeley-grad and aspiring poet/playwright whose self-appointed quest is the staging of a massive conglomeration of Chinese myth & literature starring himself & everyone he knows. On the way, he marries, falls in love (though not to the same person), extemporizes hilarious "talk-stories" that get him both into and out of trouble, and learns not a little about himself & what it means to be an American who just happens to also be Chinese. Kingston has woven a vivid tapestry on which Wittman's antics (& heroics) are portrayed in language that never fails to delight. As funny & fun-filled as this novel is, it's also deeply serious about issues as basic as identity (both individual & national) and as topical as the Vietnam War. Think of it as The Joy Luck Club with more brains, more heart, and less syrup. Think of it as the Great American Classic that it is.