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Ghost Month: Taipei Night Market Series, Book 1
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Soho Press 2014
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Description
Welcome to Unknown Pleasures, a food stand in Taipei's night market named after a Joy Division album, and also the location for a big-hearted new mystery set in the often undocumented Taiwan.

August is Ghost Month in Taiwan—a time to pay respects to the dead and avoid unlucky omens. Jing-nan, who runs a food stand in a bustling Taipei night market, isn’t superstitious, but this August will haunt him nonetheless. He learns that his high school sweetheart has been murdered—found scantily clad near a highway where she was selling betel nuts. Beyond his harrowing grief, Jing-nan is confused. “Betel nut beauties” are typically women in desperate circumstances, but Julia Huang was high school valedictorian, and the last time Jing-nan spoke to her, she was far away, happily enrolled in NYU’s honor program. The facts don’t add up. Julia’s parents don’t think so, either, but the police seem to have closed the case without asking any questions. The Huangs beg Jing-nan to do some investigating—reconnect with old classmates, see if he can learn anything more about Julia’s last years. Reluctantly, he agrees, for Julia’s sake. But nothing can prepare him for what he is about to learn, or how it will change his life.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
07/29/2014
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781616953270
ASIN:
B00I75EW2C
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Ed Lin. (2014). Ghost Month: Taipei Night Market Series, Book 1. Soho Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Ed Lin. 2014. Ghost Month: Taipei Night Market Series, Book 1. Soho Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Ed Lin, Ghost Month: Taipei Night Market Series, Book 1. Soho Press, 2014.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Ed Lin. Ghost Month: Taipei Night Market Series, Book 1. Soho Press, 2014. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Jun 12, 2018 15:46:45
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      • bioText: Ed Lin is a journalist by training and an all-around stand-up kinda guy. He's the author of several books: Waylaid, his literary debut, and his Robert Chow crime series, set in 1970s Manhattan Chinatown: This Is a BustSnakes Can't Run, and One Red Bastard. Lin, who is of Taiwanese and Chinese descent, is the first author to win three Asian American Literary Awards. Lin lives in New York with his wife, actress Cindy Cheung.
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Soho Crime
publishDate
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title
Ghost Month
fullDescription
Welcome to Unknown Pleasures, a food stand in Taipei's night market named after a Joy Division album, and also the location for a big-hearted new mystery set in the often undocumented Taiwan.

August is Ghost Month in Taiwan—a time to pay respects to the dead and avoid unlucky omens. Jing-nan, who runs a food stand in a bustling Taipei night market, isn’t superstitious, but this August will haunt him nonetheless. He learns that his high school sweetheart has been murdered—found scantily clad near a highway where she was selling betel nuts. Beyond his harrowing grief, Jing-nan is confused. “Betel nut beauties” are typically women in desperate circumstances, but Julia Huang was high school valedictorian, and the last time Jing-nan spoke to her, she was far away, happily enrolled in NYU’s honor program. The facts don’t add up. Julia’s parents don’t think so, either, but the police seem to have closed the case without asking any questions. The Huangs beg Jing-nan to do some investigating—reconnect with old classmates, see if he can learn anything more about Julia’s last years. Reluctantly, he agrees, for Julia’s sake. But nothing can prepare him for what he is about to learn, or how it will change his life.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Junot Diaz
      • content: "Lin is an astonishing talent."
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist (Starred Review forWaylaid)
      • content: "Lin's unsentimental, purely realist--not naturalist, not socialis, not postmodernist--novel raises hopes that American fiction may yet grow up."
      • premium: False
      • source: Playboy (for Waylaid)
      • content: "Ed Lin is a new writer, but he has the eye and wit of a pro. Waylaid will make you laugh and cringe."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly (Starred Review for Snakes Can't Run)
      • content: "Paints a convincing picture of Manhattan's Chinatown. Readers interested in the integration of Asian-Americans into American society, as well as those who like gritty procedurals, will be well rewarded."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from June 2, 2014
        For a guy who scoffs at the ghosts revered by so many of his fellow Taiwanese, droll everyman Jing-nan, a night-market food stall manager, ironically finds himself spending much of his time chasing one as he investigates the murder of his childhood sweetheart, Julia Huang, in this darkly comic thriller from Lin (One Red Bastard). Baffled by what the ambitious valedictorian of his Taipei high school class was doing as a skimpily clad “betel-nut beauty” hawking betel nut to truckers on a remote highway, much less by who would want to kill her, Jing-nan keeps asking questions, despite risks to his own safety. As he starts to uncover Julia’s explosive secrets with the help of their spunky former schoolmate, Nancy, Jing-nan finally faces the need to let go of the past in order to build a future, which one hopes will be revealed in a sequel. Agent: Kirby Kim, William Morris.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        July 1, 2014
        The creator of the Robert Chow mysteries (One Red Bastard, 2012, etc.), set in New York's Chinatown in the 1970s, turns to contemporary Taiwan for this ambitious, muddled tale of murder in a culture that sees itself as both the center of the world and overshadowed by its powerful mainland rival.In the seven years since Cheng Jing-nan last saw Julia Huang, he's thought about her every day. After going through schools in Taipei together, the two departed for the U.S., Jing-nan for UCLA, Julia for NYU. Both of them ended up back in Taipei when Julia flunked out of college and Jing-nan returned to his father's side during his last illness and then took over both Unknown Pleasures, the family's food stand, and the mountain of debt his family had run up. But they didn't end up together, although Jing-nan always intended to return to Julia the minute he was in a position to marry her. Now he's missed his chance. Julia's been found shot to death at the side of a highway in the scanty costume of a betel-nut girl, one step removed from a prostitute. Dazed with grief, Jing-nan seems like the most unlikely investigator ever. Nor is he the cleverest or the most resourceful detective. But his questioning of his old schoolmates gradually reveals unwelcome news about some of the people he thought he'd known best, including Julia herself. At the same time, his sex-first romance with music-store clerk Nancy Han, formerly the mistress of a disgraced financier, forces him to face some equally unsparing revelations about himself and the love he cherished for a woman he hadn't seen since they graduated from high school together.The teeming Taipei setting and the tormented hero combine to create a furious energy that transcends a whodunit plot too mundane even to capture Jing-nan's full attention.

        COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from July 1, 2014

        Jing-nan and his girlfriend Julia dreamt big, both of them leaving Taiwan for college in the United States and planning to reunite eventually. But life intervened. Tragically, both of Jing-nan's parents died while he was in school; he is now back in Taiwan, working at the family's food-stall business in Taipei. Then he learns that Julia--in Taiwan!--has been murdered. Despairing of the police force's integrity, Jing-nan begins his own clumsy amateur investigation. Surprisingly, his passion for a postpunk band brings a new friend into his life. Further, his coworkers help him navigate the treacherous waters of Taiwanese gangsters, making it feasible for Jing-nan to succeed. Throughout, the significance of Taiwan's "ghost month," when spirits are said to mingle with the living, adds a layer of atmospheric tension. VERDICT Taiwan's traditions play a major role in Lin's category-defying thriller that manages to be both funny and profound. Lin, who also pens the New York City-set Robert Chow procedural series (One Red Bastard), writes with strong literary overtones and delivers a bang-up finale sure to keep readers engaged well past lights out.

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        July 1, 2014
        In this stand-alone thriller, Lin proves he can portray modern-day Taiwan as believably as he did 1970s Manhattan in his Robert Chow series (One Red Bastard, 2012). As teenagers, Jing-nan and Julia dreamed of a future together in America, free from Taiwan's stifling traditionalism. When they left for American universities, they vowed not to speak until Jing-nan laid their dream's foundation. But before Jing-nan could finish school, his father became ill, and Jing-nan had to return to Taipei to manage the family's food stall. Still, Jing-nan dreamed of a reunion with Julia. Then, Julia is found murdered in Taipei, and Jing-nan is forced to confront life in the present tense. Why was she in Taiwan? And why was she working as a scantily clad betel-nut girl? Jing-nan can't move on without the truth, even after Taiwanese gangsters violently discourage his amateur sleuthing. Narrator Jing-nan offers full-sensory descriptions of Taipei's night market that are perfect for armchair travelers, especially if they like their vacations spiced up with odd companions and exotic Mob violence.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

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shortDescription
Welcome to Unknown Pleasures, a food stand in Taipei's night market named after a Joy Division album, and also the location for a big-hearted new mystery set in the often undocumented Taiwan.

August is Ghost Month in Taiwan—a time to pay respects to the dead and avoid unlucky omens. Jing-nan, who runs a food stand in a bustling Taipei night market, isn’t superstitious, but this August will haunt him nonetheless. He learns that his high school sweetheart has been murdered—found scantily clad near a highway where she was selling betel nuts. Beyond his harrowing grief, Jing-nan is confused. “Betel nut beauties” are typically women in desperate circumstances, but Julia Huang was high school valedictorian, and the last time Jing-nan spoke to her, she was far away, happily enrolled in NYU’s honor program. The facts don’t add up. Julia’s parents don’t think so, either, but the police seem to have closed the case without...
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