Fresh Off the Boat

A Memoir
Narrated by: Eddie Huang
Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,606 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Long before I met him, I was a fan of his writing, and his merciless wit. He’s bigger than food." (Anthony Bourdain)

Eddie Huang is the 30-year-old proprietor of Baohaus - the hot East Village hangout where foodies, stoners, and students come to stuff their faces with delicious Taiwanese street food late into the night - and one of the food world’s brightest and most controversial young stars. But before he created the perfect home for himself in a small patch of downtown New York, Eddie wandered the American wilderness looking for a place to call his own.

Eddie grew up in theme-park America, on a could-be-anywhere cul-de-sac in suburban Orlando, raised by a wild family of FOB ("fresh off the boat") hustlers and hysterics from Taiwan. While his father improbably launched a series of successful seafood and steak restaurants, Eddie burned his way through American culture, defying every "model minority" stereotype along the way. He obsessed over football, fought the all-American boys who called him a chink, partied like a gremlin, sold drugs with his crew, and idolized Tupac. His anchor through it all was food - from making Southern ribs with the Haitian cooks in his dad’s restaurant to preparing traditional meals in his mother’s kitchen to haunting the midnight markets of Taipei when he was shipped off to the homeland. After misadventures as an unlikely lawyer, street fashion renegade, and stand-up comic, Eddie finally threw everything he loved - past and present, family, and food - into his own restaurant, bringing together a legacy stretching back to China and the shards of global culture he’d melded into his own identity.

Funny, raw, and moving, and told in an irrepressibly alive and original voice, Fresh Off the Boat recasts the immigrant’s story for the 21st century. It’s a story of food, family, and the forging of a new notion of what it means to be American.

©2013 Eddie Huang (P)2013 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Mercilessly funny and provocative, Fresh Off the Boat is also a serious piece of work - and an important one. Eddie Huang is hunting nothing less than Big Game here - a question, a conversation, an argument: Who are we? If somebody’s going to put a thumb in your eye, it should probably be Eddie Huang. He does everything with style." (Anthony Bourdain)

"Brash, leading-edge, and unapologetically hip, Huang reconfigures the popular foodie memoir into something worthwhile and very memorable." (Publishers Weekly)

"Eddie Huang has a delightfully funny and down-to-earth narration style that captures the cultural nuances, mannerisms, and speech patterns of a diverse range of characters.... [H]is affable persona, expressive reading, occasional chuckles, and intentional digressions from the book to directly address audio listeners make his story and performance compelling and charming." (AudioFile)

What members say
Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing

What I thought was going to be a simple "how i did it" memoir was so much more. Eddie's insights into race and culture are invaluable, and uniquely broadcast from his one-of-a-kind cadence and tone. Not only is the text itself a pleasure, but Eddie's reading of it is lively, entertaining, honest, and refreshing. He often goes "off-script" during the audiobook, elaborating in ways he doesn't in the printed version. He also genuinely re-experiences the moments he recalls, laughing along at funny stories, clearly affected by more troubling ones. As a result, this audiobook feels so much more like a conversation than any other I have listened to yet. Well done, Mr. Huang!

10 people found this helpful

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If you like the show this will ruin it.

I really enjoy watching the Fresh off the Boat show on TV. Being of close age to Edi and first generation, there is a lot I could relate to. I then saw a couple of episodes of Huang's World. That show was good to. Reminded me of No Reservation but a bit more real.

I dont like stacking credits so I decided to purchase this book. It's good. Edi reads it and it feels like he is just sitting in the car with you talking, catching up. I will say this, the book completely ruined the TV show for me. The show just seems fake now. Something I heard so many times before but it's true, It really is, the book is way better than the movie. In this case, the book is way better than the show.

10 people found this helpful

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MAJOR Letdown

Eddie is nowhere near the lovable kid he is portrayed to be on the show. He's a racist, a drug dealer, a bully and an overall horrible person. Not to mention his parents were abusive. Oh, and listening to him talk is absolute torture. Glad I didn't pay for this book!!!

2 people found this helpful

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Brilliant and Deep

If you go into this thinking it's about food, you've missed it all. If you think it's a comedy, you're missing the subtlety. This is pure culture and heritage stuff with a thick sear of 1990s hip hop appreciation to lock in the flavor. I will listen twice at least. Powerful learning served up with deep laughs and many nods of respect.

2 people found this helpful

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Nothing like the TV show. Not funny or entertainin

Basic story of a thug. Not entertaining in any way. Proof that any douche can write a book and make millions. Could not even finish it.

1 person found this helpful

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Interesting, Authentic, but hard to understand

First of all, I greatly enjoyed the book. Eddie does an amazing job reading his own book (which isn't always a given) which really shows his passion and spirit. Overall, the book has a positive message while also providing an interesting story about how someone growing up in a Chinese home in America and trying to figure himself out.

However, I recommend potential buyers listen to the preview so you know what you're getting into. There is abundant use of profanity, occasional use of racial slurs (often aimed at him) and some sexual terms some might find offensive. My biggest issue the the book is that it is written in Street Thug instead of plain English. While that makes for a great performance by Eddie and adds to the authentic nature of the book, it can make some parts hard to understand for those not familiar with that type of slang (like folks that grew up in the suburbs).

The popular TV series got me interested in the book. Of course, the TV series is just inspired by the book and basically shares very little with it beyond the name.

I also found it funny he referred to the Orlando Sentinel as a conservative newspaper -- wow -- things have really changed!

1 person found this helpful

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Definitely a Journey

I read Eddie Huang's books out of order- I read Double Cup Love before reading Fresh Off the Boat. I was a little confused by the differences in narration, but at the beginning of this book Eddie Huang indicates the time for recording this book is after the hurricane from a few years ago, so I think that attributes to the beginning pacing of the book. Overall, I am grateful for voices like Eddie Huang who are not only unique and passionate about his journey, but really his message is about being who you want to be no matter what people tell you you need to do or who you should be. Be warned though, there are quite a few stories depicting violence that might not be for everyone.

1 person found this helpful

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ill.

Audible requires fifteen words to post this. These are they. Read this book. For real.

5 people found this helpful

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Coming to America 2.0

What made the experience of listening to Fresh Off the Boat the most enjoyable?

hilarious and fresh take on a memoir, albeit maybe a bit premature in his career. Huang is eloquent and very entertaining.

1 person found this helpful

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OUTSTANDING!

I expected this to be good, and it's better than expected. I'm only on chapter 7 and it's fckin' outstanding. I had to stop listening on the bus today to keep from laughing all by myself like an asshole. This guy delivers every time, on Vice and in the book. If you're 20 - 30ish and from any type of beat down background you'll get it instantly. The performance is great too, you just might have to be from the right segment of the population to get it. He is writing for a generation that thinks and speaks quickly. I'm from Oklahoma and I understand him just fine.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-23-19

must read

A real relatable story telling of Asian American identity - would highly recommended for all

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  • Dom H
  • 12-17-18

Awesome book, only made better with Eddie

I absolutely loved this book, great story and it was only made better with Eddie's narration. It gave the book depth because it felt like he was telling me the story. Listened to this twice now and give it another year and I'd listen again. Very relatable with the hip hop references. A modern classic.

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  • Drawing Lady
  • 06-28-18

Unmissable

A great read. Eddie is a natural storyteller. He's inspired me to do my own thing too - not the safe choice but MY thing - just as Eddie did. He's funny and very brash and rude but we like him that way ("we" is my teenage son and I on our walk around the block, listening together). Eddie takes ZERO crap from anyone and that in itself is really inspiring. I wish I was like that. Ah no, I'm not too bad, getting better. He's a true American in the best sense even though he was very angry with America for all of his young life. Go Eddie!

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  • JONATHAN LIANG
  • 03-29-17

A relatable, inspirational tale for every banana!

The author blesses us with the story of his own life in his words with his voice.

Essential reading for anyone who has lived or is interested in the life of those who walk between worlds.

There are highs, so high, and the down low is dirty: raw; and challengingly real but the passions in Eddie's world draw you in through the darkest parts.

Food is a central theme, it is a metaphor and it is also the culture. The colourful descriptions bring flavour in to what should just be a story. Prepare to get hungry.

In his own words, Eddie's book is not THE voice of the ABC experience but it is a great voice and one that resonates with this BBC.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-20-19

A strong and meaningful connection for FOB's

This book in a way, connected to my upbringing in Australia. Where we are seeing more globalisation but not enough where there are still barriers for immigrants to be fully accepted into a new society. Eddie Huang stands up for himself however, and tells his setbacks in life and how he made it to where he is today. Truly inspiring.

This books story teller was Eddie himself, which made it even easier to visualize, not to mention his hilarious imitations of his family and the constant inappropriate sinning!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sam
  • 07-18-17

Good but rambles on

Good story but is difficult to finish at the end. Kind of rambles on about nothing and gets boring.