Donald Duk

Donald Duk

3.8 4
by Frank Chin
     
 

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"The 11-year-old hero of Mr. Chin's inventive, energetic first novel is educated in his Chinese heritage through a series of astonishing dreams about working on the Central Pacific Railroad in 1869."--New York Times Book Review "Doubt not the ability of the gifted, passionate, funny Mr. Chin."--New Yorker  See more details below

Overview


"The 11-year-old hero of Mr. Chin's inventive, energetic first novel is educated in his Chinese heritage through a series of astonishing dreams about working on the Central Pacific Railroad in 1869."--New York Times Book Review "Doubt not the ability of the gifted, passionate, funny Mr. Chin."--New Yorker

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The eponymous narrator of this first novel, which bulldozes stereotypes about supposed Chinese timidity and passivity, isn't a cartoon character but a smart 12-year-old Chinese-American boy who, with all the vehemence and certainty of youth, spits on everyone and everything Chinese. Although his female characters are underdeveloped and often the humor is broad and seems to exclude its audience, Chin's descriptions are acute and gifted, vivifying the virtuoso technique of Donald's father, who fashions 108 model airplanes--named for Chinese outlaw heroes--that he plans to launch and set afire during the Chinese New Year celebration, and Donald's nighttime dreams, which cast him as an underaged railroad builder in 1869 California, one of 1200 unheralded Chinese workers. The New Year festival in San Francisco's Chinatown becomes Donald's rite of passage and doorway to self-acceptance and -respect; Donald and the reader find themselves on an odyssey that is at once stinging and seductive, reclaiming the exquisite myths of a beautiful and proud ancient civilization. Chin wrote the short-fiction collection The Chinaman Pacific this is correct/pk & Frisco R.R. Co. (Mar.)
Library Journal
In San Francisco's Chinatown, a boy's 12th Chinese New Year is a momentous occasion, but Donald feels cranky about the holiday, annoyed by his comical name, and by all things Chinese. Over the festive days, folklore, Donald's singular family, and his alluring dreams of the historic completion of the Central Pacific Railroad by Chinese workers in 1869 draw him to a new, emphatic racial pride. A California-based playwright, poet, and outspoken critic against Chinese-American stereotypes, Chin spices his first novel with a flip, clipped, present-tense narrative voice, slapstick dialog, and kinetic dreamscapes. The result is a tart social comment packed into a cartoon, with verbal energy verging on hyperactivity. Recommended for contemporary, regional, and YA fiction collections.-- Janet Ingraham, Spartanburg Cty. P.L., S.C.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780918273833
Publisher:
Coffee House Press
Publication date:
01/01/1991
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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Donald Duk 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had high expectations when I started to read this book. I was hoping I could relate to the cultural identity issue Donald had as well as his feelings about his culture. I could, and in that sense, I liked the book. However, the dream sequences were a little hard to comprehend at first because they would come out of nowhere. Chin just went from reality to dreams with no pause whatsoever. It got annoying. Donald was also a tad annoying at times, and I hated the way Chin kept saying 'Donald Duk' instead of just 'Donald.' However, the story was interesting, an average read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A book for anyone, any age, any time, any place. This is a story of identity, a fairy tale, a coming-of-age, the relationship between father and son... but most importantly, this is a story. This is one of the most entertaining, insightful, and well-written novels I have ever had the pleasure and privilege of reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Donald Duk is the essence of a young adult's sarcastic view of the life he once lived and is about to embark on. Do not be turned away from it's title nor what people will say about it's history lesson. Be curious, sarcasm is an annoying thing if one can't really read it. In Donald Duk, you are forced to READ the book. After READ, one might have a different view of his/her own life once lived and the one they are about to embark on. Perhaps even more sarcastic...use it well.