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The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug-Raids, Demons, And My Crazy Chinese Family

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53 review for The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug-Raids, Demons, And My Crazy Chinese Family

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sierra Gemma

    This is a great book about family, abuse, and mental health. It is a dark, dark, dark comedy. I think the subtitle (no doubt chosen by the publisher and not the author) makes the book seem like it is going to be more about hockey and drug raids than it is. I'm guessing the publisher wanted a subtitle that they thought might sell more copies. I hope it works because this is the kind of fantastic memoir that is hard to summarize in such a way that makes it sound as enjoyable as it was. Like if I w This is a great book about family, abuse, and mental health. It is a dark, dark, dark comedy. I think the subtitle (no doubt chosen by the publisher and not the author) makes the book seem like it is going to be more about hockey and drug raids than it is. I'm guessing the publisher wanted a subtitle that they thought might sell more copies. I hope it works because this is the kind of fantastic memoir that is hard to summarize in such a way that makes it sound as enjoyable as it was. Like if I were to describe the book, I would call it a dark memoir about how mental illness is impacted by culture and vice versa. That doesn't sound like something you would want to read, but actually it is! This book is definitely up there in the Top 10 best memoirs I've read, along with Angela's Ashes, The Glass Castle, Running with Scissors, and Lucky. It is an unforgettable book about a girl who grew up without any of the emotional and physical kindnesses that we assume children will receive from their parents, but instead with physical and verbal abuse and emotional and intellectual neglect, and yet the author figures out—surely, but very slowly—how to become a person. There is a great line from the book that I think sums it up quite perfectly: "I could not have made up this anecdotal horror production if I tried." As someone who also came from a really rough background, this was the perfect description for how I feel about my own childhood!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Virginia Van

    A touching and darkly humorous memoir about growing up in a Canadian Chinese family in "Hongcouver" which blames their psychiatric woes on ghosts and demons known as "the woo-woos, from her mother, who sees camping in a Walmart parking lot as the only safe haven to escape the spirits of the dead, to a beloved psychotic aunt who holds Vancouver hostage for eight hours when she threatens to jump off a bridge. Wong manages to escape to New York to do a MFA at Columbia when she fears the woo-woos ar A touching and darkly humorous memoir about growing up in a Canadian Chinese family in "Hongcouver" which blames their psychiatric woes on ghosts and demons known as "the woo-woos, from her mother, who sees camping in a Walmart parking lot as the only safe haven to escape the spirits of the dead, to a beloved psychotic aunt who holds Vancouver hostage for eight hours when she threatens to jump off a bridge. Wong manages to escape to New York to do a MFA at Columbia when she fears the woo-woos are coming for her too. For fans of the "So you think your life is shit..." genre of memoir a la "Glass Castle" and "Educated".

  3. 5 out of 5

    Will

    “Between my mother’s hysterics and the uncertainty of my illness, I couldn’t help but believe that I had fallen into madness.” This book reads like an endless number of user-submitted stories to a February issue of Reader’s Digest. Wong does not give reason as to why she is airing her family grievances in a book – did she grow from it? Learn? Anything? I am also sad to say that it does not contain a likeable narrator – she jumps into her memory with shocking lucidity… and specificity… it makes yo “Between my mother’s hysterics and the uncertainty of my illness, I couldn’t help but believe that I had fallen into madness.” This book reads like an endless number of user-submitted stories to a February issue of Reader’s Digest. Wong does not give reason as to why she is airing her family grievances in a book – did she grow from it? Learn? Anything? I am also sad to say that it does not contain a likeable narrator – she jumps into her memory with shocking lucidity… and specificity… it makes you wonder what is concocted and what isn’t in this “memoir.” Ostensibly, The Woo-Woo is about one girl’s absurd upbringing and her quirky family. Ultimately, it comes off as wholly insensitive: to mental health, to culture, and to the craft of the memoir. Wong’s book lacks that: craft. It tries to be funny. But it’s not. It tries to be shocking. But it’s not. What it does end up being is a slimy, cobbled-together motley of memories/anecdotes. And it quite simply does not make for good literature. There is sadly nothing resembling any sort of nuance. Instead, it reflects a crusade of petty, mean revenge. The author has an MFA in literary nonfiction from Columbia University – it is a shame to see that this came out of it. We miss the character, colour, and class that a solid nonfiction – memoir or not – usually embodies. I usually love the stuff that Arsenal produces, but this falls below their standard of work. I spotted a few too many typos and editorial mistakes to give it a thumbs-up in that regard. And even then, it must have been a muddled editing process with the sheer amount of poorly written, poorly constructed paragraphs present in these pages. It reinforces nasty stereotypes, drags like a soap opera past its prime, and is just a letdown overall. “I felt betrayed in an outsized, abstract way that I could not explain.”

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I enjoyed this very much. Such an interesting history - hard to believe even, knowing Lindsay now! A world I know nothing about, so I learned a lot having a window into it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alyson

    Lindsay Wong puts the fun in dysfunctional, that’s for sure. Wow, crazy and awful combined in one family, well that’s not exactly new, but this memoir certainly puts forth a fresh take on the theme. I’m so happy the author got out of it alive! And that she wrote a good book about it!

  6. 5 out of 5

    A. H. Reaume

  7. 5 out of 5

    Carly Watters

  8. 5 out of 5

    Reagan Elly

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ann Mayhew

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dina Bucchia

  11. 5 out of 5

    Aiman

  12. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  13. 4 out of 5

    Valentina

  14. 5 out of 5

    BorKa

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

  16. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

  17. 4 out of 5

    Loucas

  18. 4 out of 5

    A Lib Tech Reads

  19. 4 out of 5

    Candy

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Wilson

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sherrie

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kristi Elizabeth

  23. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lara Maynard

  25. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amie's Book Reviews

  27. 4 out of 5

    Barbara McEwen

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jen Zerkee

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

  31. 4 out of 5

    Mya

  32. 4 out of 5

    Dan

  33. 5 out of 5

    Rosena

  34. 5 out of 5

    Naomi

  35. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Romeo

  36. 4 out of 5

    Katya Kazbek

  37. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Serra

  38. 4 out of 5

    Kayo

  39. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  40. 4 out of 5

    B

  41. 4 out of 5

    Alana

  42. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Stait

  43. 5 out of 5

    prescribed

  44. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

  45. 5 out of 5

    MMarg.

  46. 5 out of 5

    Susi

  47. 5 out of 5

    Trista Robinson

  48. 4 out of 5

    Kait

  49. 5 out of 5

    elizabeth

  50. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Lo

  51. 4 out of 5

    Cindy McMath

  52. 5 out of 5

    Vontel

  53. 5 out of 5

    LauraLg

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