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Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir
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Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  2,008 ratings  ·  369 reviews
“Bawdy and frequently hilarious . . . a surprisingly sophisticated memoir about race and assimilation in America . . . as much James Baldwin and Jay-Z as Amy Tan . . . rowdy [and] vital . . . It’s a book about fitting in by not fitting in at all.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWS

Assimilating
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ebook, 288 pages
Published January 29th 2013 by Spiegel & Grau (first published January 1st 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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karen
Feb 07, 2013 karen marked it as reviewed-for-fun  ·  review of another edition
 photo boat_zps18ad751f.jpg

sometimes it is fun to work at barnes and noble!!
sometimes.
sometimes.
Eveline Chao
Emotional and brashly told memoir of Eddie Huang's childhood, love of food, and exploration of being Asian-American.

Overall, this was a really winning, likable book. Huang is just so earnest and genuine and willing to be emotionally vulnerable in the things he says and the way he says them. It's hard not to come out liking anyone who puts their heart on their sleeve to the extent he does.

The author writes in a kind of boastful, over-the-top tone and for me personally the braggadociousness was
...more
Pete Wung
This book isn't for everyone. I thought it wasn't for me when I first started reading it.

Eddie Huang is the owner of Baohaus, a NYC eatery that is one of the hottest places in town. This is his autobiography, the story of his evolution from a confused kids who was fresh off the boat to an entrepreneur and a food celebrity. I really like thisi book because his life experience runs parallel to mine in many ways.

There are difference though, and even though Eddie speaks from a place that is near and
...more
A B
This book is trash. It's a true disaster from the front cover to the last page. Eddie Huang spends 250+ pages spewing hatred about America and how much he hates "whiteness" (what he perceives as the culture of Caucasian Americans) to the point that he discusses how annoyed he was to see outward signs of patriotism post 9/11. In fact, from his own words, it seems like those same Americans he hates were nothing but nice to him. He is prejudiced against them for not knowing the intricacies of Chine ...more
Carlo
Loved this shit. As a 1.5 generation immigrant, Wu Tang fan and food culture lover, this book hits extremely close to home. As a contrast, I love Steve Jobs' work, but I could not relate to his origin story and though interesting, I kind of just put the book down and never came back to it. I was hooked on Fresh Off the Boat cover to cover, from the funny Wu Tang references, to the heartfelt love/hate with his family, to ripping on Asian fusion because it doesn't respect the culture, I fucking lo ...more
Ye Jin
I've never watched his show, but I have a sense of the type of celebrity chef Eddie Huang portrays on TV. I'm lying when I say I read this book because I just couldn't finish it. His story is funny, interesting at times, but the profanity and the constant talk about rap music and sports were very spastic and distracting. He'd throw in after bleep bleeping bleep,something to the effect of,"i noticed the essence of lemongrass with the mouthfeel of an oyster" talking from the point of view of a 9 y ...more
emi Bevacqua
Eesh, I found this Eddie Huang guy to be immature, rude, violent and smug. I heard him interviewed on NPR and thought I'd like his book but now that I've read it, I just credit that NPR interviewer. If you don't have the same background and interests as Huang it's hard to understand him; I don't have a background in hip hop and ebonics, and I'm not all that into food. I'm not sure if he's OCD, but he sounds to me like he expects the rest of the world to be as obsessed with his obsessions as he i ...more
Vanessa
I enjoyed the heck out of this. It's messy and imperfect and definitely shows the signs of being a memoir written by a relatively young person (which is to say, some parts seem to reflect more, uh, actual reflection than others), but overall, I can't resist a story with this much brashness and heart and food and humor and working through your own pain and identity and questionable choices. I think the section about his childhood was my favorite, because he does a lot more showing than telling ab ...more
Amar Pai
This book reminds me of L. A. Son , by Roy Choi (of Korean taco truck fame). Both memoirs feature tormented Asian-American juvenile delinquents who turn out to be genius chefs. But unlike L.A. Son, which doubled as a lavishly illustrated cook book, Fresh off the Boat is just straight up text. The depiction of food isn't nearly as as vivid. Also, Choi is much more of a bad ass than Huang, yet he doesn't try as hard to come off like one. Huang's gangsta bravado stretches kind of thin after a while ...more
Everyday eBook
Feb 05, 2013 Everyday eBook rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Everyday by: Joe Muscolino
While inspiration often comes from within, Eddie Huang's new memoir, Fresh Off the Boat, reminds us that it also comes in the form of a chubby Taiwanese high schooler from Florida, hell-bent on proving his mettle. Before the famed restaurateur and vocal vlogger for VICE magazine made it big, he was a "midget Chinaman" standing five-foot-four on a football field, facing down a hulking defensive end named Kwame.

Whenever "hike!" was called, young Eddie got pummeled. But Huang explains how each day
...more
Derek Barnes
Anthony Bourdain calls Fresh Off the Boat 'a serious piece of work -- and an important one.' Trust me when I tell you that it's neither. If you're looking for literature, keep looking. It's mildly entertaining, however, and occasionally provocative. Written entirely in inner-city slang, Huang, with a weirdly self-aware irony, spends most of the book accusing non-Asians who dare cook Asian food of co-opting the culture while talking about how the NBA, Nike Air Jordans, and hip-hop music are the d ...more
Kim Flowers
As I mentioned in an earlier comment, this is the first memoir I've read by someone my own age. I'm not sure I was going on the intended journey sometimes because I ended up reliving some of my own childhood through the pop culture mentioned: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Jordan and Barkley and Shaq! Super Nintendo and WWF! I knew the author of this book was close to my age well before it was officially confirmed in the book that he was born one year after me.

So that was my first mind-blowing e
...more
Christine
So, growing up, my proper Asian parents wouldn't have let me anywhere near a troublemaker like Eddie Huang. Heck, back then, I wouldn't have wanted to go near an Eddie Huang either. After all, between the ages of nine and twenty-two, I was doing my best to fit into the good Chinese kid stereotype that Huang eviscerates. I only sort-of succeeded in being the model minority, which is perhaps one of the reasons why I really liked this book. Hip hop? Street fights? An Asian dad PROUD his kid got arr ...more
Beth
Being from the northern plains (fly-over country to those from the coasts), I was not aware of Eddie Huang or his Baohous restaurant prior to reading his memoir. Now I wish I lived closer to New York City so that I could taste a sample of his signature bao. I did know what they were (Taiwanese/Chinese meat in a bun) before reading the book, and his sound scrumptious.

Eddie Huang is the son of Taiwanese immigrants who struggled as many do to acclimatize and succeed in the United States. His father
...more
Charissalee
Because I am an asshole, while Eddie Huang is laying his heart and history bare, all I can think about is how much I suck because dude was born two days after me and has already graduated law school, had and quit a career as a lawyer, caught a felony, rediscovered his roots in Taiwan, started and folded a streetwear company, opened a Manhattan restaurant that gets international press, had TWO TV shows [one of which I enviously watch], oh, and wrote a book? Probably a bunch of other shit too, but ...more
Ellenh
I received Fresh Off The Boat, by Eddie Huang as an advance Readers Addition from Librarything. It is a raw memoir, foodie review, immigrant, abusive family story, and I'm not sure what else. A very different book for me, the hip hop language was really difficult for this 50 something year old to understand, and he came across as crude and angry with us much of the time, I see where the book description comes off calling him controversial. Not that we shouldn't be brought to task for our racism ...more
Jason
Huang did life his way. That's what he wants you to know. He wants you to know he liked Obama before it was cool. He wants you to know all the times he was bullied or edged out of a job because of his Taiwanese heritage. He wants you to know about the drugs he sold, people he assaulted, basically what a badass he is. Oh yeah, and he wants you to know about his mad culinary skills. He managed to write a memoir where he is always the victim turned hero, and while it's entertaining at times to read ...more
Agathafrye
I have a crush on Eddie Huang in all of his flawed, passionate, aggro stoner foodie hip-hop loving glory. This is more a coming of age story about a Chinese American growing up with a fucked up family in Florida than it is a food memoir, but there was enough of both of these to satisfy me plus a lot of insightful commentary about race and class in the U.S. I feel like this book helped me to understand my pushing-thirty nephews better, too.
Joe Vargas

I give this book four stars

If you like funny books this book is for you. This book is called FRESH OFF THE BOAT its hilarious. this is some real funny super dope freshness very entertaining to read. It will make you laugh out loud. I really really enjoyed this book Eddie gave us insight in his life in a humorous way to share his life. This book had me bawling he drops a lot of f bombs on you. the tone of the book is humorous.

This book was about Eddie Huang and how his parents are FOBS ( FRESH O
...more
Kiahna Gilmore
Fresh Off The Boat
Fresh Off The Boat is a story about boss F.O.Bs raising their son in this american world. i'd give this book 5 stars .


Without a doubt Eddie Hung’s F.O.B memoir was interesting full of hellish memories . A family tale about “Fresh Off The Boats”, raising their children in Orlando . It has riveting sibling altercations that I can relate to and lots of family issues.Eddie Hung’s place as the main character, with two younger brother’s growing up in America he experienced a lot
...more
Fatima
I loved this book! For anyone that's ever felt out of place, different, offended, discriminated, you definitely read this book and go "yea, that's how i feel!". It was a really funny and interesting book but the thing i enjoyed most about it (other than the childhood stories) was that I was able to relate to what he was talking about. So often people make comments and jokes about a group of people, or culture and because it's become the norm you tend to forget how ignorant you and everyone else ...more
Peter
I appreciate that Eddie tried to be himself and sound personable to his readers. However, I think that it's hard for me to relate to him and to understand his arguments. To me, he wants to be seen as son of working class immigrant parents, who appreciates his heritage, and "keeps it real". But, he pretty much contradicts himself consistently. He openly talks about how much he hates his parents, how he acted like a huge asshole growing up (which gives him, his family, and his heritage a bad rap), ...more
Elaine
I can't say I really enjoyed this book at all. So many times, I wanted to just stop reading, but I pressed on, thinking, "Well, MAYBE, it'll get more interesting and he'll have something profound to say." I do think the last third of the book was more my pace. He finally gets around to making his point about how he feels race ties into everything, and how he ended up being the successful Baohaus owner/chef that he is. I thought the parts that talked about how he turned his life around were the m ...more
Ruth
Eddie Huang is the shiz. This is one of the most enjoyable memoirs I've read. I will confess the reason I held an interest in this book was based purely on the cultural ties similar to mine that Eddie grew up with. However, Fresh Off the Boat is not just another book about someone struggling to fit in due to cultural differences. In fact, it's quite the opposite. I have to mention that although this memoir was certainly fun to read, I don't agree with most of the statements Eddie Huang makes in ...more
Danielle T
On my parents' trip to see my grandfather last month, my mother wanted something to read for the car ride and saw this in my library book pile. She said she couldn't finish/didn't like it because of the swear words and sex (though tbh I can think of maybe 1 chapter where the second is a thing). Even though they're both 2nd gen, Eddie Huang is a Gen Xer and a rotten banana to boot, so I can kinda get the cultural disconnect.

I wasn't familiar with Huang but I did recognize the name Baohaus and th
...more
Tamara Greenleaf
I first discovered Eddie Huang's writing when he recapped Top Chef Masters in 2011. He was so hilariously vicious (and right on target) I'd have to stop after every paragraph because I was laughing so hard I couldn't breathe. That led me to his blog and from there to this (in Eddie's parlance) dope memoir.

Every good writer learns that to write well you have to turn off your internal editor. For most of us that's hard to do. Eddie Huang doesn't just turn off the editor, he slams off the safety a
...more
Marisa
This is the first memoir I've read written by someone from my generation.I'm not sure if that's why I liked it so much, or if it was just fun to read. Whatever. I thought it was fantastic.
I'm not even sure why, but there's something about all those crazy stories mixed in with the parts about the food (lots of parts about food), that made this book really easy to read. It also made me hungry. I ate a lot of chinese food while reading this book, actually. I really hope Eddie Huang writes more book
...more
Storyteller John Weaver
This book was not written for me. It is my own fault; no matter how many blurbs I read about how funny it is, and no matter how much I wanted to read about Eddie Huang's perspectives on food, I ignored the subtitle: "A MEMOIR."

The brightly-colored cover, scissor-cut family portrait & scrawls on the cover belie the bleak events depicted inside, which I interpret as large doses of self-hate, self-destruction, and wild thrashing-about in search of an identity that fits. I had started to make n
...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This isn't a chef memoir, let me just say that right off the bat. Eddie Huang is so much more than a food person. This is the story of how a child born to Taiwanese immigrants makes a life for himself. It is a coming of age story more than anything else. Eddie is only 30, and has seen one restaurant fail and one be an immediate hit. He has worked as a furniture salesman, a drug dealer, a lawyer, and a stand-up comic.

I enjoyed the story, especially read by the author himself. I didn't always ide
...more
Ty Wilson
I had never heard of Eddie Huang before I won this book in a First Reads giveaway. Now I feel like I know him better than I know many of my friends, and I have to admire the way his very quick mind works. His has been a life vastly different from my own, that of a hip hop loving, Chinese-American food connoisseur and chef. It was amazing to listen, and although the book wasn't an audio book I could still hear his voice in ever line, as he told the tale of his life from childhood to his place as ...more
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1709433
Huang was born in 1982 in Washington, D.C. to immigrant parents from Taiwan. He was raised in Orlando, Florida, where his father managed a successful group of steak and seafood restaurants. Huang identified with African-American culture, especially hip-hop, at a young age. He attended The University of Pittsburgh, Rollins College and graduated with a B.A. He earned a J.D. from Cardozo School of La ...more
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“I think my mom is manic, but Chinese people don't believe in psychologists. We just drink more tea when things go bad. Sometimes I agree; I think we're all over diagnosed.” 6 likes
“Good food makes me want to hit a punching bag like, Dat's right motherfucker. You done did it there.” 5 likes
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