Adventures of the Karaoke King Summary and Reviews

Adventures of the Karaoke King

by Harold Taw

Adventures of the Karaoke King by Harold Taw X
Adventures of the Karaoke King by Harold Taw
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2011
    538 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

In Harold Taw's entertaining, sometimes bawdy, and often moving novel, Adventures of the Karaoke King, readers are quickly pulled into the vortex of the extremes of human emotions: passion, fear, hope, despair, and the longing for redemption and clarity.

Guy Watanabe is a thirty-something man who is marginally in touch with his Asian heritage and completely out of touch with his own needs and desires. Recovering from a divorce, Watanabe is unsure of himself and the course his future might take. When he wins a local karaoke contest, he discovers not only a newfound confidence, but the courage to take risks. With the victor's medallion in hand, he seizes the moment…and his life changes dramatically, albeit not as he might have hoped. From a weekend romp with Megumi, a former hooker, comes a physical beating and the loss of his beloved medallion. Stung by this humiliation, and yet able to muster a courage long dormant, his quest begins.

From the western states and on to Asia, with a return trip in a shipping container, we follow his wild ride. Will a Korean barmaid be his downfall…or his redemption? Will Billy, a closeted gay man, or Milt, a heavily-armed dwarf, help Guy on his journey? And what about the patricidal Chinese businessman who will stop at nothing to create a global karaoke empire? So many people seeking the light, desperate to attain their dreams. And at the heart of their internal wars is Guy Watanabe's quest for truth, hope, and self-discovery.

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"As Harold Taw offers an imaginative and engrossing tale, he asks an intriguing question: “Is it possible to leave behind who you are for what you might become? That’s the promise of America." - The Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ)

"Reading Adventures of the Karaoke King causes Adrian Tomine and The Dude Lebowski to wander into the same area of one's brain. Even as my head was exploding, I couldn't put down Harold Taw's hilarious and heartbreaking page-turner. I said to no one in particular: 'I'm ready to follow Guy Watanabe anywhere.' Guy Watanabe took that literally, and off we went." – Anya Ulinich, author of Petropolis

"Adventures of the Karaoke King defines a new literary oeuvre shaped by America’s ethnically confused melting pot. It is a marvel of cunning humor, horrific atrocities, and heart-rending whimsy, and more than a pastiche of American naiveté, brutal racism, and cheeky sex, proving that first-time novelist Harold Taw is today's Mark Twain and contemporary literature’s King of Sly." – Skye Moody, author of The Good Diamond

"Adventures of the Karaoke King is the book I've been waiting to read - funny, original, and smart as hell. Harold Taw has created a new genre of 'global noir' - an international odyssey tale replete with provocative characters, detention centers, and an eye-opening ocean ride. Traveling from Seattle to Shanghai, small town bars to Karaoke conglomerates, Taw brings a sparkling consciousness to the page and an exciting new voice to American fiction. A stellar debut." - Susan Rich, author of The Alchemist’s Kitchen

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More Information

At Harold Taw's birth, a Burmese monk prophesied that if he fed monkeys on every birthday, his family would prosper. For forty years, the author has complied, and his achievements are many: Graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California at Berkeley; being a Fulbright Scholar in rural Thailand, where he studied the spread of AIDS; earning a degree from Yale Law School; serving as law clerk to federal trial and appellate judges; and working as a corporate attorney. An Artist Trust GAP Award allowed him to travel to Thailand and Burma to research his second novel, Saturday's Child. Taw earned recognition from the 2010 British Feature Screenplay Competition, the 2010 Beverly Hills Film Festival, the 2010 Canada International Film Festival, and more, for his screenplay Dog Park. Adventures of the Karaoke King is the author's debut novel.

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