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Free Food for Millionaires

I have one thing to say about this book, and that is: I found it far too long. It weighs in at about 500 pages and does take a bit of time to get through, but the story itself did not have much substance. I can’t help thinking that the story could have been edited down to ensure a more dynamic and involving plot for the reader.

The characters were also a bit stale. I couldn’t relate to many of them. They were either too selfish, or far too giving. Lee’s characters weren’t very likable either. Like the majority of people who read this book on goodreads.com, I also didn’t like the main character Casey Han. I found her ‘wonder woman cuffs’ silly. Although there was nothing wrong with her towards the end of the book, the way she kept messing up her life and those around her made me mad.

I think overall, this story does have potential, it offers an insight into the Korean-American way of life, the adversities they went through, and how they have shaped their identity in the US.

Having said that, the Korean men got given quite a bad reputation by Lee. Almost all of them are two-timing, rapist, self-centred, egotistical chauvinistic pigs. And there was a part of me that didn’t quite agree with that. It felt Lee was cashing in on the stereotype ‘asian male’ figure, so that her western readers might identify with it. But all she did was end up painting a very dire portrait of her own people, which some might argue amounts to a certain backstabbing of her own culture.

Overall, I don’t think this book deserves the literary raves it is getting. Amy Tan did much, much better with Joy Luck Club. My advice = go read that instead.

I give this 1/5 stars.
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