Book Review- The Wangs Vs The World

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Title- The Wangs Vs the World
Author- Jade Chang
Published- 2016
Genre- Contemporary, humour
Length- 368 pages
Rating- 3.75/5

Synopsis (Goodreads)- Charles Wang has just lost the cosmetics fortune he built up since emigrating to the US. Gone are the houses, the cars, and the incredible lifestyle. Faced with this loss, he decides to take his family on a trip to China and attempt to reclaim his ancestral lands.

But first they must go on a cross-country journey from their foreclosed Bel-Air home to the Upstate New York retreat of his eldest daughter, Saina. Charles takes his other two children out of schools that he can no longer afford and packs them into the only car that wasn’t repossessed-along with their wealth-addicted stepmother, Barbra.

But with his son waylaid by a much-older temptress in New Orleans, his wife ready to defect for a set of 1,000-thread-count sheets, and an epic smash-up in North Carolina, Charles may have to choose between the old world and the new, between keeping his family intact and finally, finally fulfilling his dream of China.

Review- This is a difficult book to rate, some of it was great, some of it was a bit meh. Amazon has is down as “humour”, I didn’t find it funny, I didn’t even realise it was meant to be funny until I just read the Amazon page, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it.

The writing itself is fine, no problems to comment on. The book is told from multiple perspectives which is something I always like, I would have preferred more from some characters, and less from others here though. Most of the characters are well developed but a couple aren’t. Most are pretty likeable too, no one to fall in love with but no one to outright hate.

In terms of story, in addition to the main story, travelling across the country after bankruptcy, there are lots of little stories interwoven which keeps things interesting. As expected, they vary in quality, one I found a bit dull but the rest were reasonable. I actually think the making of the Wangs, rather than their downfall, might have been the better book though.

I think people will vary quite a lot in their opinions of this book. I think the fewer sittings you read this in, the more you will like it. A few times I was getting really into it and then had to stop reading for one reason or another and when I picked it back up it just seemed a bit less interesting, and it took a while to get back into it.

Overall I would recommend this book. Has anyone else read it?

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