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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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Kareol on 01-07-17
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.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By Rachel - Audible on 10-17-17
A Spin On the Classic All-American Road Trip Story
You know it’s serious when you re-up your lapsed audiobook subscription for just one book. It was so worth it for The Wangs vs the World by Jade Chang, the story of a wealthy immigrant family that loses their fortune in the financial crisis and regroups on a (hilarious) road trip across America.
What I love most about this audiobook, besides its spin on the classic All-American road trip story, is its delicate balance between comedy and compassion. I LOVE the entire Wang family — there’s the embarrassing dad, the cold stepmother, the art world ingenue, the college bro, the millennial fashion blogger, and the ironic hipster farmer. Jade Chang playfully teases each character about their individual personality quirks while ultimately digging into the humanity beneath, making you grow to love each one. My personal favorite is Grace, the high school student with a weird suicide obsession who steals blogging equipment from her boarding school.
And if you don’t cry during the last scene — the culmination of this family’s epic road trip that takes them all where they least expected to wind up — you are a heartless monster! (Just kidding!) (Kind of!) (It should make you cry at least a little on the inside.)
Nancy Wu crushes the audiobook narration with a fabulous dry humor, and she effortlessly switches registers and accents to portray different characters — everything from a sixteen-year-old fashion blogger to a sixty-year-old cosmetics tycoon. Snippets of Chinese are sprinkled throughout, and it was so cool to hear her speak both the Chinese and the English together. I loved every minute of her interpretation of this story, from beginning to end.
This is definitely one of those effortless listens that translates beautifully to audio <3
3 of 3 people found this review helpful