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Ghost Month (A Taipei Night Market Novel) Hardcover – July 29, 2014
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Praise for Ghost Month
A LibraryJournal Best Book of 2014
"A sidewalk noodle shop in Taipei’s Shilin Night Market during summer’s Ghost Month is the vivid backdrop for Ed Lin’s Ghost Month . . . The plot twists come fast and furious as the story reaches its climax. Come for the exotic food and fascinating setting; stay for the characters."
—The Boston Globe
"As in the crime novels of one of his literary mentors, Raymond Chandler, Lin's prose is frequently image-laden. Ghost Month is also an excellent introduction to Taipei's food culture—readers are likely to head to the nearest noodle shop after they're finished the book."
—South China Morning Post
“Cover’s Taiwan’s complicated political identity and relationship with mainland China, all during one of the most remarkable times of the year: ghost month.”
—To the Best of Our Knowledge
"Lin vividly describes the open-air night market where Jing-nan works. He also explains the knotty relationship between business, cops and gangsters without passing judgment."
—San Antonio Express-News
"It wouldn’t be an Ed Lin book if there weren’t also humor in the story. Lin uses descriptions of Jing-nan’s funny and endearing relationships with his two food stall employees, Dwayne and Frankie, and his encounters with eccentric Shilin Market workers to balance Jing-nan’s sad and lonely search for who Julia was . . . a book with a great sense of place, a good story, interesting characters, and a tender heart."
—Murder By The Book, Starred Review
"This is pure and perfect suspense and a book that is almost impossible to put down. If it doesn't win a few awards we'll be surprised."
"I would imagine most readers, like me, are not that familiar with Taiwan but Ed Lin will rectify that situation . . . As an armchair traveler I found this a fascinating journey."
"A rich and fascinating account of an unfamiliar world."
—Reviewing the Evidence
"Depicts the prevailing culture of this vibrant international city, and hones in on key elements of social behavior, language and mores. Ghost Month is superbly written and provides plenty of conversational fodder making it an ideal selection for book clubs."
"Taiwan’s traditions play a major role in Lin’s category-defying thriller that manages to be both funny and profound. Lin writes with strong literary overtones and delivers a bang-up finale sure to keep readers engaged well past lights out."
—Library Journal, Starred Review
"For a guy who scoffs at the ghosts revered by so many of his fellow Taiwanese, droll everyman Jing-nan, a night-market food stall manager, ironically finds himself spending much of his time chasing one as he investigates the murder of his childhood sweetheart, Julia Huang, in this darkly comic thriller from Lin."
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"Offers full-sensory descriptions of Taipei’s night market that are perfect for armchair travelers, especially if they like their vacations spiced up with odd companions and exotic Mob violence."
"The teeming Taipei setting and the tormented hero combine to create a furious energy that transcends a whodunit plot."
"A unique blend of tension, charm, tragedy and optimism, with characters you'll love, and a setting so real you'll think you've been there. Highly recommended."
"Hold on for a breathtaking, multi-cultural ride. With some good luck and a few well-placed joss sticks, you just might survive."
—Martin Limón, author of Nightmare Range
"Hopefully this unique protagonist will reappear in a sequel further exploring the exuberant setting of the night market of Taipei."
—Stop, You're Killing Me
Praise for Ed Lin
"Lin is an astonishing talent."
"Lin's unsentimental, purely realist--not naturalist, not socialist, not postmodernist—novel raises hopes that American fiction may yet grow up."
—Booklist (Starred Review for Waylaid)
"Ed Lin is a new writer, but he has the eye and wit of a pro. Waylaid will make you laugh and cringe."
—Playboy (for Waylaid)
"Paints a convincing picture of Manhattan's Chinatown. Readers interested in the integration of Asian-Americans into American society, as well as those who like gritty procedurals, will be well rewarded."
—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review for Snakes Can't Run)
About the Author
is a journalist by training and an all-around stand-up kinda guy. He’s the author of several books: Waylaid, his literary debut, and his Robert Chow crime series, set in 1970s Manhattan Chinatown: This Is a Bust, Snakes Can’t Run, and One Red Bastard. Lin, who is of Taiwanese and Chinese descent, is the first author to win three Asian American Literary Awards. Lin lives in New York with his wife, actress Cindy Cheung.
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Top Customer Reviews
It is a curiously interesting plotline and the author is pretty good. Besides sharing the angst that a young, Taiwanese/Chinese male who's dreams had been dashed to bits would be feeling, Mr Lin does and excellent job of portraying the city of Taipei - I'd say the #1 character of this novel. He riffs on the culture, the politics, the beliefs, the FOOD, the hierarchy, the prejudice and love-hate relationship felt by many islanders. I haven't finished yet, but I'm predicting a turnaround in the protagonist's attitude from one of gloom and distain to one of acceptance and hope. Just guessing. Could be wrong.
Having lived 3+ years in Taipei with a Chinese-Taiwanese citizen who's father served in Chiang Kai-shek's army and who's mother is a multi-generational Taiwanese of Chinese heritage (I believe Mr. Lin called this a 'Yam') I saw a lot of the inner workings of Taipei and Taiwan. While I know I missed a lot, after all I'm an American, my partner revealed much of what was going on around me.
I've grown to love and admire Taipei for what it is. IF anyone is thinking of visiting Taiwan, read this book. Even if you don't get into the "plot," when you go there you will feel like you are visiting an old friend.
If you are a geographically challenged American, as many are, if you read this book you will realize that Bangkok is NOT in Taiwan. Oh, and the food is superior to that other place.