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Taipei

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3.28  ·  Rating details ·  5,629 ratings  ·  721 reviews
Taipei by Tao Lin is an ode--or lament--to the way we live now. Following Paul from New York, where he comically navigates Manhattan's art and literary scenes, to Taipei, Taiwan, where he confronts his family's roots, we see one relationship fail, while another is born on the internet and blooms into an unexpected wedding in Las Vegas. Along the way—whether on all night dr ...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by Vintage
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Dan Plonsey I wouldn't characterize the style as bland at all. It is unique. Everyday events are described in extraordinary detail, along with the narrator's…moreI wouldn't characterize the style as bland at all. It is unique. Everyday events are described in extraordinary detail, along with the narrator's reflections and analysis, rich in unexpected connections and juxtapositions. The novel appears to be entirely autobiographical, but at the same time, there is a serious lack of affect: the author speaks of himself as a robot or zombie various times. Whether the author truly experiences the world as he narrates it is a matter of some curiosity to me, but I am enjoying the book for the way his "boring story" is rendered. (less)

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Megan Boyle
Oct 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Allow me to inteoduce my review: The past few times I've been on Molly or ecstasy I've wanted to review Taipei because I remember Tao encouraging people to review this book while peaking on MDMA or adderall

Here's what happened, introduction part 2: rememvwred the review in the bathtub (introduction part 3: I am peaking on ecstasy in a bathtub at a friend's house), decided 'the people in the next room don't need to know what I'm doing, they are talking to each other so maybe they won'
...more
Keaven Fadness
Oct 21, 2013 rated it liked it
This was the longest Erowid report I've ever read.
Matthew
Dec 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Taipei – The Charlie Rose interview


Charlie Rose: When Tao Lin graduated New York University in 2005, he began a career which pumped new life into the world of contemporary letters. His terse, tongue-in-cheek prose style has attracted critics and imitators in equal numbers, and his books, with provocative titles like Eeeee Eee Eeee and Shoplifting from American Apparel, have garnered praise and sidelong glances in the same way. The new book is called Taipei; I’m here with Tao Lin.

Tao L
...more
Michael Seidlinger
Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Ultimately, because of what it explores, Taipei is not a pleasant novel to swallow. It pulls you in and places you in the same back-and-forth conversations and awkward strolls through scenarios that have progressed past the point of being anything but awkward.

Awkwardness and confusion seep through every sentence and, as a result, Taipei becomes the novel you initially might not want it to become. In the same way a person develops expectations for a person they just met, the reader begins to exp
...more
Nate
Jul 24, 2013 rated it did not like it
A great part of this review is in dialogue with the recent interview Tao had with Michael Silverblatt at Bookworm. Usually the books that I have given one star to have been books that made me mad or infuriated me. Books that were just a waste. This book is just a simple and definitive "did not like." My main point being is that, while I have literary reservations with this novel, I mostly didn't like it because of my taste preference.

Starting off, I think this book has a lot of similarity to Br
...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Mar 19, 2013 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Jenny (Reading Envy) by: PW 2/25/13
Sorry, I can't finish it. I had it on my device for a month and would dip in and out, hoping it would start capturing me, and did make it halfway through before abandoning it. I really wanted to like it the way the Publishers Weekly reviewer did, but I found it self-indulgent and far too specific/repetitive about drug dosages to be halfway interesting. After one chapter, the routine of new city + drugs + new girl to sleep with + new book reading with warning e-mails from publisher and/or parent just ...more
Stephen Durrant
Jul 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Plenty of good and bad has been written about the Taiwanese-American author Tao Lin and his recent novel "Taipei," and I had read enough of such criticism to suspect that this relatively conservative reader "of a certain age" would have real difficulty entering Tao's avant-garde world. I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, as others have noted, Tao Lin, insofar as this novel can be read as thinly disguised autobiography, is maddeningly self-obsessed. If, for example, you pick up this book thinking yo ...more
Sam Pink
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
oh man, there;s soemthing yu can have a feeling and a tao lin was important for making big a lot in the same dnio!
Dany Salvatierra
Aug 19, 2013 rated it did not like it
When I arrived in New York City in late June, it was almost impossible not to stumble onto articles regarding Tao Lin's latest effort, or to see its glossy cover in every single bookstore display. A couple of weeks later, when I finally bought "Taipei" at Urban Outfitters (of all places), I read the first pages on the line to the register, thinking that maybe it would get better on the next chapters. I was wrong.

The whole novel can be resumed like this: a bunch of kids doing drugs in
...more
Antonomasia
Jun 10, 2013 rated it liked it
How convenient it would be to hate this. I didn't...
It's complicated.

Nonetheless, Lydia Kiesling's hatchet job on this in The Millions is still the best book review I've read all year. I don't really want to hear about new American fiction at the moment but I still look at the site sometimes to see if she's written anything new; this might be the first time I've been a fan of a literary critic* the way I liked some music critics in my teens.

Tao Lin's style here is much improved on the
...more
Luna Miguel
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
[...]
Puedo decir, entonces, que esta es la mejor novela de Tao Lin hasta la fecha, puedo señalar que lo que aquí encontramos es un canto a la vida, o puedo incluso aseguraros que de este libro se hablará y se hablará y se hablará. De lo que estoy igualmente segura es de que Taipei supone una continuación lógica en la trayectoria de su autor, pero también una ruptura clara y necesaria no solo para su literatura, sino también para quienes lo leemos. Para los que como él, envejecemos (el dos
...more
Stephen McDowell
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
notes for a forthcoming review of 'taipei' by tao lin:

awareness that the majority of events in this book occurred immediately after i first met tao is, i think, causing me to perceive events between the present version of my life and the version of my life that existed preceding, in a fluid, almost saddening manner, as if orchestrated, or an intentional, extensive distortion of a linear, retroactively clear universal necessity to transport me from one state of near-debilitating depression, to another

notes for a forthcoming review of 'taipei' by tao lin:

awareness that the majority of events in this book occurred immediately after i first met tao is, i think, causing me to perceive events between the present version of my life and the version of my life that existed preceding, in a fluid, almost saddening manner, as if orchestrated, or an intentional, extensive distortion of a linear, retroactively clear universal necessity to transport me from one state of near-debilitating depression, to another



[something about my feeling an urge to actively attempt imitating tao's 'voice' after reading something he wrote that i've felt affected by and my perceived intention to employ less stylistic restrictions wrt this piece]

read some reviews of the uncorrected proof and consistently reacted to them as seeming inadequate and upsetting or 'juvenile'

the blurbs on the reverse of the book seem either too detached or too emotionally attached in a way i dislike to seem 'satisfying'

am vaguely discerning an earnest desire to write a 'more competent' review of this book than i think any reviewer who felt 'surprise' or 'vague, varying, periodic emotions but mostly detachment' while reading this novel could, while feeling extremely unaware what that desire, to convey something as comparatively 'more competent', is an attempt to delineate between, based on my conveyed understanding of [anything] when compared to anyone else's conveyed understanding of [the same thing] including this book

i feel curious what the person the character 'charles' is based on will say in their review, since they are mentioned frequently

realized while reading the word 'peeing' on page 94, that there are no curse words in the book, which continued to seem accurate until the phrase 'fuck you' appeared on page 152

felt difficult to discern my emotions after about halfway through the book due to awareness of experiencing my own continuous, vague but somehow frequently debilitating/consistently unrequited romantic interest in the person the character 'erin' is based on, since the day the main character, 'paul' mentioned meeting her in the book was the same day i met her

having followed tao's writing somewhat closely, and definitely more closely than i followed any other writer the past four years, a lot of the book seemed redundant and bordered on annoying, due to awareness that many events in the book have been transcribed into other pieces of fiction, articles for vice, or because i had witnessed them as they happened, however, stylistically it seems, to me, tao succeeded at combining his 'temporal hyper-awareness' and 'accrued literary and philosophical perspective' into consumable and nearly uncanny, fluidly paced prose, which i felt consistently fascinated by and which, ultimately, prevented active loss of interest, which resulted in me reading the book in its entirety in under 36 hours

something about [something]

i felt consistently distracted trying to discern who 'shawn olive' was and conceited to the assumption i am aware of the person but will have to endure somewhere around three seconds of embarrassment, surprise, and confusion once someone tells me at some point in the future, who they are

felt benign awareness that zero characters based on me are present in the book for what i consistently resolved by concluding the 'reasons', if discernible, seemed 'somewhat obvious'

it seems apparent via some 'scenes' in the novel that tao caused his friends to do more drugs than they would have had they not met him and i want to discern/'coin' something called 'toxic realism' that i want to immediately negate the concept of by comparing (what might be misinterpreted as an 'accusation') to [other works of 'fiction'] introducing/exposing a person to a website, person, food, activity, or perplexing philosophical question they subsequently become debilitatingly preoccupied by and feel guilt engaging in

i encountered tao about three times while he was in the process of editing, (he had a physical print-out of the manuscript on his person each time) and remember a mutual friend saying tao had said something about hating editing it while almost constantly on adderall

i feel uncertain what tao has been doing the last couple months re [something about vague updates via internet/awareness he went back to taipei after completing the current edition of the book]

felt surprised at my immediate, active lack of enthusiasm re/awareness of/interest in the novel, like an encounter with the 'silent' characters in the sixth season of 'doctor who', during which any non-'silent' character was only aware they existed while looking directly at them, re the book when not reading, but feeling the sudden onset of 'pavlovian' urges to read upon viewing the cover resting in a chair, on my kitchen table, or becoming aware i had been carrying it with me somewhere

vaguely remember laughing loudly, periodically, and especially at things paul discerned thinking negatively about erin, but felt aware the feeling that the phrasing seemed humorous was isolated to the concluded idea and in no way 'about erin'

felt intense empathy during the first two chapters reading 'flashbacks' to paul's childhood, and, after completing the book, concluded that tao conveyed—by recounting paul's early childhood, high school, and imagined mid-life experiences, juxtaposed nonlinearly against fragmenting series of preoccupations re a failing relationship and nearly coincidental, 'fucked-seeming', brief romantic entanglement—a narrative 'set-up' for the events of the novel in a way i felt previously unaware was possible to accomplish to a 'fulfilling'/successful degree

my experience of almost involuntarily attributing the book 'structure' (as documented in the previous paragraph) combined with the fact that the entire second half of the book documents one relationship, with a 'climax' in a mcdonald's in taiwan and closing 'scene', which seems like a competent, clear 'end scene' evokes what i consider a 'discernible structure' to the narrative that most reviewers seem completely unaware of, disinterested in communicating or, due to the narrator's persistent recounting of minutia, as opposed to clear, rhetorical 'rising, climaxing, and falling arcs', were unable to discern as devices

felt emotionally affected by the narrator's candid tone and openness re paul's fluctuating sureness/satisfaction, in a way that undermined, or maybe 'resolved', for me, a preconception i developed and subsequently had forgotten having intuited, between ages 20 and 21, that tao has an ongoing, rapid, calculating, omniscient awareness of his own psychological nuance, similar-in-manner to an ability i previously believed jesus had, which now seems universally impossible, but seems evocatively achievable through rigorous editing

one 'character' i felt aware of was given their actual name: dudu, tao's father's pet toy poodle appears in the book once and is mentioned a previous time

the use of referencing parents, as a narrative device, one i've recently discouraged my friend mar from overusing in conversation, is manipulated to the point of potential annoyance, then completely avoided, which seems well-dispersed

instead of thinking about the style in a consistent, critical manner, discovered myself discerning small epiphanies in later parts of the book after misreading, misunderstanding, or disliking a sentence structure or phrasing, i immediately became aware of a vaguely related motif in a near non-sequitur-like manner
...more
Andrea
Jul 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
The first time I accidentally picked up one of Lin's books (it was Eeee eee ee), I was not enthralled. Taipei was different but the same, in that it was equally annoying only this time I couldn't put it down. I finished it quickly and then immediately went outside and stood on the grass with my bare feet for "a longish period of time." At first I was suspicious of how easy it was to hate Tao Lin, so I pretended not to. I thought he might even be brilliant in some Lena Dunham-ish sort of way. I even read t ...more
Joan
Sep 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
God, it just goes on and on. Taipei is great hipster writing, addictive, a bit Franzen, a bit "get out of my head" but you start to lose interest once MDMA becomes a major plot element, as more and more MDMA ingestion clouds everything and everyone, and you realise that none of this is going anywhere. Don't do MDMA.
Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance]
This is an interior monologue. There. That's the one piece of information I think you need to know before going into Teipei. If you understand that, you understand where the author's coming from.


Is it honest? Yes. There's no denying that if you transcribed your own inner monologue word for word, it probably wouldn't be too different from this, in style if not substance (abuse).
Is it self-indulgent? Fuck yeah. It's an interior monologue. That's what they are - the self. Indulging.
Is it good.....? That real
...more
Ben Loory
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
wow. kind of a quantum leap beyond his last book. it's completely serious, non-cutesy... not hilarious (which was the last book's strong point), but also never boring... just totally hypnotic and unsettling... really not what i expected at all. even lives up to the cover!
Kasia
Jul 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
I liked the unusual rhythm through the book, it was veiled in a very relaxed manner, the drug use, the dating, the literary life that Paul leads; it was different from what I usually read but enjoyable. The ending was especially surprising in comparison to the tone of the story, it actually made me chuckle.

This is East meets West with Paul and his modern life being blended back with that of his parents in Taipei as Paul travels and talks about his work and his books while constantly high and on
...more
Alex
Sep 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
Ever wonder what it's like to be a Brooklyn hipster who has nothing better to do than pop pills and sample pretty much every drug one can get their hands on, in an effort overcome one's social anxieties and find substance in a world whose meaning seems lost to them?

If so, then perhaps you'd like this book!

I, however, found Lin's thinly-veiled autobiographical "novel" to be a tiresome Bret Easton Ellis knock-off. This type of thing has been done before...many, many times.

The 240 or
...more
M.
Dec 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
i expected to hate this given my experiences of tao lin at readings and lit events; but found it captivating, if at times maddening. appropriate that bret easton ellis blurbed it -- this book reminds me of nothing more than Less than Zero - or maybe The Rules of Attraction, they kind of blur together for me -- except here the bleakness and interpersonal alienation are countered by and in tension with not so much an earnest desire for connection as an earnest desire for an earnest desire for conn ...more
Thom
Aug 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Tao Lin’s Teipei could be a Trojan horse bringing alt-lit into the mainstream, or it could be a rejection of the form by its most acclaimed proponent. Even before its UK release, the novel has polarised opinion; appropriately for a piece of literature so concerned with social media use, the amount of internet-chat it has generated makes it extremely difficult to come to Taipei with an open mind. It is basically impossible to disassociate the author from the work - the novel’s protagonist Paul is ...more
Amar Pai
Jul 13, 2013 rated it liked it
For me, reading Taipei was much like reading Ulysses. Wait, come back! All I mean is: the reading experience itself was difficult and not particularly "fun," but nevertheless I'm glad I'm persevered to the end, and feel like it was worthwhile and that parts of it rang true in the way that great fiction does.

It's the whole question of "difficult literature," innit. I tend to quickly toss any book that feels like a slog, cos life is short and there are too many good books out there to waste time on ones you hate. There'
...more
Erik Evenson
Sep 13, 2013 rated it liked it
There's a scene about 80 pages into Taipei that summed this book up for me. Here it is:

"We had a specific goal, I remember," said Paul. "What was it?"
"I don't know," said Daniel after a few seconds.
"We were just talking about it."
"I remember something," Daniel said absently.
"Oh yeah, selling books," Paul said.
"Let's do that," said Daniel.
"We just actually forgot our purpose, then regained it," said Paul grinning. "We still kept moving at the same speed,
...more
Zane Jennings
Jul 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Taipei by Tao Lin

Taipei drops us right into the world of hipster-New York with the protagonist Paul and the characters that stumble their way into Paul’s life – or vice versa. Paul, a twenty-something writer and NYU graduate living in New York, is at a standstill in life. Whether it is the downtime between his last relationship and his potential new one, the time between finishing a book and going on a book tour, or when he is going to be antisocial again, Paul is stuck. Paul navigat
...more
tao_lin3
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tao
I like this book. I can read this book in any mood and enjoy it, I think.
The words all have meaning that my brain can process. After I read the words I feel emotions. Each poem makes me feel emotion.

I will read this again later on and probably more times later on.
Rebecca
May 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
Tao Lin is like a robot who is trying his hardest to understand human emotion. Or maybe a wooden puppet who yearns, more than anything, to turn into a real boy. Paul, the point of view character in Taipei, tries to feel, but he has a hard time pulling it off. He and his friends buy groceries, go to movies, have conversations, do drugs, have sex, get married, go on trips, and film themselves with their Macbooks. No matter what they’re doing, it’s all flat and bloodless. Dramatic emotions, Paul feels, are som ...more
Alejandro Saint-Barthélemy
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: xxi
This is a contemporary art book. By this I mean that it may lack beauty, quality and depth, however, it's not meant to have those qualities in the first place, but modernity (New York, Apple products, social networks), style (oriental and/or Pessoan alike emphasis on little things, thought processes, emotions…), and something shocking about it (drugs). That being said, Tao Lin has raised the bar in the terms of quality, and this is by far his best written book. I cannot picture anybody expecting ...more
Marcus Speh
Bought "Taipei" by Tao Lin today. Reading it with great pleasure so far. Read it on the electric car, read it on the Underground, read it while walking home even though my bag pack was very, very heavy (with Chinese food!). I think I will do a review for my blog or for another place (whoever wants it). I did not quite expect to like the book this much. I should've trusted Frank Hinton who's a good egg. I realised why Alt Lit gets to me: I only started writing/publishing four years ago so I'm als ...more
Rayroy
Dec 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
A few thoughts just because a book is well written or brings something new to the table doesn't mean that it's good or worth your time. To sum it up some this the most self-centered , self-involved writing I have come across, if anything positive can be said about this book is that it hits the nail in the head in it's portrait of NYC Hipsters/Yuppies a whole generation or so called subculture that is totally disconnected to anything that's not an electronic device, the type of people who seem to ...more
M.P. Johnson
Jul 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
A New Kind Of Drug Narrative

Yeah, Internet, blah blah blah... What struck me about this book is how there's no shoehorning in of drug-related danger as the pathetic narrator scores all sorts of drugs and freely uses them in the most unexciting ways possible. Just straight boring drug use. It's realistic. The danger present in William S. Burrough's and Hubert Selby Jr.'s stories just isn't there anymore, or at least not like it presumably was then (yeah, I know goofing around with prescription dr
...more
Uwe Hook
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm wowed, if only because Tao Lin enjoys at least an offhand reputation as a hype-master. I expected a droll fraud by way of an attempt to wring a last dribble of literary superstardom out of the existential lost youth sop best milked by "Our father who art in nada, nada be thy name" early Hemingway or, absent that, "Let's do it" era Gary Gilmore.

And, yeah, the "I did this, this and this while I thought that, that, that and that" stuff can wear thin. Lin treads the same Manhattan st
...more
kaelan
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
It is perhaps a testament to the power of literature that this book, despite spending most of its page count wallowing in disaffected mediocrity, nonetheless offered up a more or less enjoyable reading experience. Not that the novel doesn't have its annoying qualities. Tao Lin is at his best when he isn't trying too hard. Unfortunately, Taipei doesn't merely content itself with conveying Lin's trademark brand of blasé mundaneness (see Shoplifting at American Apparel or some of his more gimmicky poems), but instepoems), ...more
Emily
Aug 07, 2013 rated it liked it
I first read "Bed" by Tao Lin after picking it up off the floor of my friend's apartment. I was drawn in by the simplistic, pastel colors and the flat vector drawing of a Loch Ness Monster. That's not an overtly romantic story, but neither are any of Tao's.

I'm going to refer to the author on a first name basis, because I consider him a friend. Whether a casual reader knows about Tao or not, "Taipei" is glaringly autobiographical with a capital A. Or is it? Well, it doesn't matter.

Af
...more
Sharon Baldwyck
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Lin's greatest achievement here is putting into words the qualitative experience many have only limited familiarity with, the fracturing of consciousness that accompanies both drug-induced states and certain social disorders. One might also argue that the internet, Twitter, workplace pressures, smartphones, etc etc etc...in general the harder/better/faster/stronger impulse on modern life is also contributing to this exact type of mental dissonance, and to the degree that this assessment is accur ...more
Rafa
Apr 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Al final habla de la soledad, incomunicación, relaciones humanas; de todo lo que me interesa. Es, cómo decirlo, parecido a una obra de Bansky, que no es una mierda aunque se pinte junto a un cubo de basura.

P.D. Tranquilamente pude haberla calificado con 2*.
Emily
Sep 10, 2013 rated it did not like it
I apologize to my friends who loved this (and loaned me the book), but I absolutely hated every minute of it. I was so happy to be finished with it! Reading about the vapid lives of privileged hipsters in Williamsburg is not my idea of a good time. I didn't care about the characters, their thoughts, their various drugs of choice - any of it. I thought the writing was repetitive and boring (I will never use the words grin or grinning again!), and there basically was no story. I'm looking for more ...more
Hannah
May 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was 'excited' for this book and really enjoyed reading it, probably the most of any Tao Lin book released within the past 3 years. These were my favorite 'quotes' from TAIPEI:

"Paul felt like a shark whose eyes have protectively "glossed over" during a feeding frenzy, as he mechanically ate salad, cheese, a burger, apple pie, chips while vaguely focused on not doing anything to cause others to talk to him."

"Most mornings, with decreasing frequency, probably only because
...more
Alex Wennerberg
May 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Tao has an incredible gift for being able to describe his emotions with excruciating detail. The subtle, vague feelings that one experiences when say, doing something as mundane as writing a tweet, or waving at a friend, Tao examines with laserlike precision. This allowed him to create/describe the character of "Paul" with all his nuance, his flaws, his strangeness and his quirks, leaving me, more than anything, fascinated and confused.

I don't even know what to make of my emotional r
...more
Jeremy
Dec 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american-fiction
Kind of like the droning sound a car makes when driving on a fast highway, or the way a windowless room lit only by fluorescent lighting feels, Taipei reminds you of the weirdly flat feeling of so much in our world that we simply ignore or look past. Tao Lin is a punishingly consistent prose stylist. Every sentence in this book has had any possible trace of romance or melodrama bled out of it so what we get feels more like a very precisely etched report than a novel in any conventional sense.

Ev
...more
Philip Gordon
Oct 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: alt-lit, 2013
Describing the act of reading this book is really difficult to do without communicating information in the way the book communicates it.

Reading the whole thing was an experience of a sort of profound but not quite tangible sadness. At no point did I feel compelled to read further. I didn't have any characters to root for, and the 'resolution' of the book was a sort of vague, continuous malaise that only suggests life is a unending vortex through which loss and joy are experienced in
...more
Paul Cutting
Jul 24, 2013 rated it did not like it
Navel gazing tosh of the highest order. Tao Lin is celebrated as the crowned prune of Alt-Lit. I think I'll stick to Good-Lit in future. However, if the following quotes don't cause you to cringe in horror, then this kind of claptrap might be right up your street:

"Paul followed a slow-moving Laura through a long, dark, almost boomerang shaped hallway, which felt briefly room-like, as they lingered in it, or like it wanted to be a room, with furniture and guests, but was maybe too shy
...more
David
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is easily Lin's most complex work to date. Paul seems so awkward in the world, particularly when attempting to relate to other people, and his emotions seem utterly unconnected from any stimuli or events despite all attempts to be happy. However, despite how magnified Paul's experiences of these things are, I couldn't help identifying with them completely. This is how things are but we avoid thinking about. Interaction with other people is hopelessly awkward, though the desire for connectio ...more
Bud Smith
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Woke up, hungover at 4am and started reading this book. Read it from 4am to about 1 in the afternoon, glued to it, hypnotized by the thing. Loved this. Saw a couple reviews that were mad at it and called it dull. I didn't feel that way at all
Jenny
Jul 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Jenny, 47, was wary about reading Tai Pei since all the reviews contained the phrase "Internet age." She bought it anyway because it seemed like something she should read. She was compelled, strangely so, by the honest and documentary-like tone. The unexpectedly gorgeous metaphors comparing the most mundane elements of the characters' internet-age lives to octopi, sprouting seeds, and--at one point--the brain of a stuffed animal, only made the literality more sadly beautiful. Halfway through rea ...more
Andrew Shaffer
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I haven't followed Tao Lin's career too closely, and "Taipei" makes me wish I had. At least now I'm on board! I've heard his work called "hipster lit," which was one reason I've never picked up a Tao Lin book before. I don't know exactly what to call this book, though--"a novel," perhaps? The style is reminiscent of Jack Kerouac and Bret Easton Ellis without copying either of those novelists' styles. The casual tone is somewhat deceptive, as Lin repeatedly strikes gold with his observations abou ...more
Art Edwards
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great argument for Lin's seeming philosophy of living a life with a lot of drama, and writing loosely autobiographical fiction about it. It's impossible to read Taipei and not wonder what happened and what didn't. The events have the feeling of a life lived chaotically, then chronicled. This is all good from my vantage; every writer I love writes the same way, with the same peek-a-boo is-it-or-isn't-it-me techniques. I found myself rooting for Paul to grow up, clean up his act, be ...more
Clare
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
Okay to be fair I only read half of this book before giving up, but... I think Tao Lin is trash, I'M SORRY. It's better than Richard Yates (the other novel of his I've read). Or, well, Tao Lin is an obviously better/more mature writer here than he was when writing Richard Yates, but there was also something more sincere about Richard Yates? I understand some people really like him and I guess (I guess...) he has an interesting style but honestly I find his writing so tedious/frustrating to read. ...more
Muumuu House
Oct 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
New York Observer review: http://observer.com/2013/06/gchat-is-...
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Book Club: Taipei 1 4 Jan 07, 2018 02:26AM  
What is the allure of this book? 4 93 Feb 04, 2014 06:11PM  

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