The Woo-woo

The Woo-woo

How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family

Book - 2018
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"In this jaw-dropping, darkly comedic memoir, a young woman comes of age in a dysfunctional Asian family whose members blamed their woes on ghosts and demons when in fact they should have been on anti-psychotic meds. Lindsay Wong grew up with a paranoid schizophrenic grandmother and a mother who was deeply afraid of the "woo-woo"--Chinese ghosts who come to visit in times of personal turmoil. From a young age, she witnessed the woo-woo's sinister effects; at the age of six, she found herself living in the food court of her suburban mall, which her mother saw as a safe haven because they could hide there from dead people, and on a camping trip, her mother tried to light Lindsay's foot on fire to rid her of the woo-woo. The eccentricities take a dark turn, however, when her aunt, suffering from a psychotic breakdown, holds the city of Vancouver hostage for eight hours when she threatens to jump off a bridge. And when Lindsay herself starts to experience symptoms of the woo-woo herself, she wonders whether she will suffer the same fate as her family. On one hand a witty and touching memoir about the Asian immigrant experience, and on the other a harrowing and honest depiction of the vagaries of mental illness, The Woo-Woo is a gut-wrenching and beguiling manual for surviving family, and oneself."--From publisher.
Publisher: Vancouver : Arsenal Pulp Press, 2018
Branch Call Number: 616.890092 W872w
Characteristics: 315 p. ; 20 cm

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pmustard
Jun 10, 2019

would have been an interesting short story or magazine article; but fails as a full length book.
It is just endlessly repetitive and rather tiring to get through. Once you understand the total dysfunction and mental illness problems of this extended family, the author seems to need to beat the reader to death with repeated examples, then more examples, and then more ... right to the end, when nothing much happens. It just seems to end when the author must have finally realized that just adding more examples of the same crazy behaviour really was beyond tedious.

k
Karmilliam
Apr 23, 2019

Finished it & wondered why. Little in the way of humour or insight. Surely "Canada Reads" could do better.

r
ritarufus
Apr 21, 2019

It was ok. Got repetitious. if I'd had another book to read I might have quit. Canada Reads 2019

BPLpicks Mar 13, 2019

Another contender for the 2019 Canada Reads event. The author comes from a Chinese immigrant family and uses dark humour in her creative approach to discussing the mental health issues in her family.

nwhite1 Jan 11, 2019

The theme of Canada Reads for 2019 is One Book To Move You. When the longlist was announced I was thrilled to see The Woo-Woo by Lindsay Wong on it. This darkly funny memoir about family, culture and mental health moved me and is worthy of a wider discussion. If The Woo-Woo makes it into the top 5 contenders, Elaine Lui (a.k.a Lainey Gossip) would be the perfect champion for the debates.

debwalker Nov 08, 2018

From Vancouver - a memoir of growing up in an immigrant Chinese family.

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