Book Review: Taipei by Tao Lin
After Lean In, I give you:
Tao Lin captures ambivalence and vague nihilism and contemporary sorta existentialist existence like no other.
i.e. he’s really good at replicating the (i suspect common) circumstance of floating through life in the contemporary era (esp w/ the assistance of various drugs).
I want to make it clear that this is not a book that you read if you want a super clear traditional story structure, characters that you will love, a happy ending. It is not a book to try to speed-read (it won’t work). Consider how you feel about experimental film. That may be how you feel about this book.
Lots of the reviewers on Amazon are like wah, wah it’s so narcissistic and boring. Um, that’s the point. It’s about capturing a concept/feeling/reality/something. I found the characters’ insecurities and mental blocks and technological dependence to be spot on. Dialogue is used in a really interesting way. Not every book character has to be a hero.
I read this book for a book club that is composed of many middle-aged Yalie-types. I was born in the 80’s and like “alternative” things. They’re coming at it from a different angle. It’s going to be an interesting discussion.
Find a copy here.