The Foreigner: A Novel Paperback – May 27 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
In Lin's stunning debut, a crime novel set in Taiwan, Emerson Chang, a 40-year-old virgin who's a financial analyst, travels from San Francisco to Taipei on a quest to scatter his mother's ashes and re-establish contact with his shady younger brother, Little P, who's been bequeathed the family hotel. At a meeting with Little P, Chang encounters two peculiar cousins, Poison and Big One, as well as Little P's devious friend, Li An-Qing (aka Atticus), who's anxious to get Little P to sell the family hotel to him. Emerson soon finds himself mixed up in machinations involving Atticus and extortion due to Little P's unsavory dealings. In addition, Emerson loses his job back in California, and the property he's inherited in Taipei turns out to have its own mysteries. Chang's distinctive voice propels a strong and original plot, with horrifying revelations. Taut, smart and often funny, this novel will satisfy readers of thrillers and general fiction alike. (June)
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“Genre-wise, The Foreigner is best described as a thriller, rife with murders, drugs, secrets and betrayals. But you won't find any of the cardboard characters, clunky writing, or clichéd conventions that too often mar suspense fiction. Lin is equally attentive to description and plot. . . . Lovely, detailed writing makes you care about what happens to these characters. . . . A sequel would prove most welcome.” ―Los Angeles Times
“Lin demonstrates admirable range and skill in The Foreigner. She's capable of writing both marvelous humor and scenes of utter darkness in her tale of a naive man at a complete loss for dealing with the world.” ―San Francisco Chronicle
“Lin has much to say about the clast of East and West and the sometimes shaky bonds of family, wrapping her sly observations in an entertaining coating of ever-propulsive narrative that turns Emerson from a rich boy into a warier, sleeker, wiser man.” ―The Baltimore Sun
“[A] darkly funny debut.” ―Kirkus ReviewsSee all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I really have to say this story features a very unlikable character. Emerson, our leading man, has no personality. He said bunch Intellectual stuff and tried to express some emotion here there. However, I never felt authentic about this character and had hard time to have sympathy toward his situation in the story.
Especially, to me, Emerson sounded like a ~~ woman. That made me wonder if Lin was able to separate herself when she was writing about this male character.
Anyway, the biggest problem for me is that the weak characters fail to lead me deeper into the story but I am glad that Lin chose Taipei, my home city as the background for her story.
Thanks very much.