The Wangs vs. the World

  • by Jade Chang
  • Narrated by Nancy Wu
  • 14 hrs and 1 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A hilarious debut novel about a wealthy but fractured Chinese immigrant family that had it all, only to lose every last cent - and about the road trip they take across America that binds them back together.
Charles Wang is mad at America. A brash, lovable immigrant businessman who built a cosmetics empire and made a fortune, he's just been ruined by the financial crisis. Now all Charles wants is to get his kids safely stowed away so that he can go to China and attempt to reclaim his family's ancestral lands - and his pride.
Charles pulls Andrew, his aspiring comedian son, and Grace, his style-obsessed daughter, out of schools he can no longer afford. Together with their stepmother, Barbra, they embark on a cross-country road trip from their foreclosed Bel-Air home to the upstate New York hideout of the eldest daughter, disgraced art world it-girl Saina. But with his son waylaid by a 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 fulfilling his dream of starting anew in China.
Outrageously funny and full of charm, The Wangs vs. the World is an entirely fresh look at what it means to belong in America - and how going from glorious riches to (still name-brand) rags brings one family together in a way money never could.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fun at first, but succumbs to fatal whininess

Would you try another book from Jade Chang and/or Nancy Wu?

I'd try another book from Jade Chang, even if it contains untranslated Chinese. Not sure I can listen to any more of Nancy Wu's voice, though. When the conversations got whiny, she was far too good at conveying that, to the point I just had to turn it off.


What was most disappointing about Jade Chang’s story?

One originally likable character suddenly revealed herself to be spoiled and whiny in a way that pulled the rug out from under me.


Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Nancy Wu?

Perhaps if the narrator could somehow have delivered the whiny dialogue without such an unbearably grating, whiny tone, I might have survived, but she didn't, and I couldn't.


You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The book was entertaining and thought provoking for much of the way. I regret not being able to get through the narrative arc.


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- Kareol

Everything Or Nothing

I'm afraid that this story added up to a very long nothing for me. In the seven plus hours I have listened I haven't found one thing funny or even smile worthy. Nothing strikes me as insightful or poking fun at people who will do anything to make money and fame and then loose it all.

I took the headline for my review from a quote from the book. I couldn't agree less with this concept and many of the themes and beliefs the author embraces in this novel. To me, this isn't a story about a "lovable" businessman and a "charming romp" across America. Instead the book is filled with ridiculous and undeveloped themes about ownership, money, art and family. I know it's fiction--but really???

If this writing is all a pretense at parody it missed the mark for me. Instead what I found was heavy handed lecturing. In addition some readers may find many of the stories and much of the dialogue offensive on multiple levels. I hated the whole thing.
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- Sara

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-04-2016
  • Publisher: Recorded Books