- Paperback: 592 pages
- Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 8991684467
- ISBN-13: 978-8991684461
- ASIN: B0029LHX2G
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,581,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Free Food for Millionaires Paperback
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Top Customer Reviews
It's to Lee's credit that she, as the storyteller, doesn't judge, but lets the reader draw their own conclusions about the values and choices each character makes. From Casey's traditional parents (even though we find out what lurks beneath their quiet mannerisms) to her gambler boyfriend and horny but likable boss, Lee paints a world where right and wrong blend and blur, stripping down these characters' lives until it's clear just how complex their inner turmoil and joy really are.Read more ›
The first half of the book I thought Lee was building up to something quite interesting, perhaps accomplishing something groundbreaking like Chang Rae Lee did in his book "Native Speaker." However, the second half of the book devolved into something that didn't say anything really and was just fodder for gossip talk. Although, there were plenty of flawed characters in this book, it seems as if the Korean Americans, both men and women, were the most dysfunctional people. The only two Korean Americans that had the best values and most consistent personalities, Ellas's father and Casey's sister, were the most underdeveloped characters. The more drama you had in your life, the more words Ms. Lee devoted to developing your character. Maybe that was Lee's point? To take the standard immigrant literary fare of the hard working and noble immigrant family and turn it on its head and write about immigrants who are just as messed up as everyone else around them. For good measure, make them a little more messed up then their non-Korean peers.Read more ›
I had been looking forward to reading this book -- not only because of the acclaim, but because the author and her characters come from a background like my own -- high-achieving immigrants who had gone on to successful professional lives in New York.
Yet, just fifty pages in, I wanted to put it down. I had to force myself to read. The dialogue, especially the passages between the protagonist and her sister, and the protagonist and her friends, is so precious it's brutally painful -- a sort of artificial, too-smart-for-it's-own-good witty banter. I found myself grimacing while reading.
But that wasn't the only problem. The author also indulges in these tedious passages of exposition -- indeed, as one critic wrote, too much tell, too little show. The book is 600 pages -- it could surely have been edited down to half.
As a testament to how unnecessary the exposition is though, and as a boon for me as a reader, I was able to skim pretty quickly and get into the plot and characters. I started to enjoy the experience, and read on. To be fair, this may be because the world and the characters in the book are so familiar to me, and because the author weaves a heck of a soap opera of a story -- lots of sex and intrigue.
Following the trend of excess though, the author even takes the soap opera too far, with infidelity not only plaguing the protagonist, but nearly every other character in the book -- not just her immediate friends. If it's not a theme, it's almost a parody.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Had a great time reading this book; wished it continued on, what with all the emotions and situations and scenarios that are presented here but hard to find in other places. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jasmine
ending was lackluster. disappointing in a story that had a strong start.Published 3 months ago by Michele L. Mckirdy
An unusual novel, which stayed with me even though I read it back in 2007...
The scene with the main character and the conductor (not to do too much of a spoiler) is a... Read more
This book brings together issues of race, class, and gender. Min Jin Lee does a great job with character.Published 23 months ago by Mysterylover