Interior Chinatown

A Novel
Narrated by: Joel de la Fuente
Length: 4 hrs and 20 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4 out of 5 stars (69 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"One of the funniest books of the year has arrived, a delicious, ambitious Hollywood satire." (The Washington Post)

"Fresh and beautiful . . . Interior Chinatown represents yet another stellar destination in the journey of a sui generis author of seemingly limitless skill and ambition.” (Jeff VanderMeer, The New York Times Book Review)

From the infinitely inventive author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe comes a deeply personal novel about race, pop culture, immigration, assimilation, and escaping the roles we are forced to play.

Willis Wu doesn’t perceive himself as a protagonist even in his own life: He’s merely Generic Asian man. Sometimes he gets to be Background Oriental Making a Weird Face or even Disgraced Son, but he is always relegated to a prop. Yet every day he leaves his tiny room in a Chinatown SRO and enters the Golden Palace restaurant, where Black and White, a procedural cop show, is in perpetual production. He’s a bit player here, too, but he dreams of being Kung Fu Guy - the most respected role that anyone who looks like him can attain. At least that’s what he has been told, time and time again. Except by one person, his mother, who says to him: Be more. 

Playful but heartfelt, a send-up of Hollywood tropes and Asian stereotypes, Interior Chinatown is Charles Yu’s most moving, daring, and masterly novel yet.

©2020 Charles Yu (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"I’m a big fan of Charles Yu’s writing because of his wit and inventiveness. These talents are front and center in the brilliant and hilarious Interior Chinatown, which satirizes the racist imagination and brings us deep into the humanity of those who suffer from - and struggle against - dehumanization." (Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer)

"Interior Chinatown is wrenching, hilarious, sharp, surreal, and above all, original. This is an extraordinary book by an immensely talented writer." (Emily St. John Mandel, National Book Award finalist and author of The Glass Hotel)

"Conflates history, sociology, and ethnography with the timeless evils of racism, sexism, and elitism in a multigenerational epic that’s both rollicking entertainment and scathing commentary.... Ingeniously draws on real-life Hollywood.... [The book’s] sobering reality will resonate with savvy readers." (Terry Hong, Booklist, starred review)

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Kong Fu Guy

The narration was amazing. He had several characters stored in him with great delivery. The storyline is unique and the plot was strong. I really felt the struggles of generic Asian man. I highly recommend this book and get a copy for yourself. The writing style is scripted which works perfectly for this story.

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Satirical, Insightful, Witty, and Heartwarming

Joel de la Fuente (Man in the High Castle) narrates perfectly. Hope to hear more read by him.