Larry's Kidney: Being the True Story of How I Found Myself in China with My Black Sheep Cousin and His Mail-Order Bride, Skirting the Law to Get Him a Transplant - And Save His Life

Overview

Larry Feldman desperately needed a kidney. After two god-awful years on dialysis, watching his life ebb away while waiting on a transplant list behind 74,000 other Americans, the gun-toting couch potato decided to risk everything and travel to China, the controversial kingdom of organ transplants. But Larry urgently needed his cousin Daniel's help...even though they had been on the outs with each other for years.

So begins the quest of two star-crossed cousins to rejuvenate ...

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Larry's Kidney: Being the True Story of How I Found Myself in China with My Black Sheep Cousin and His Mail-Order Bride, Skirting the Law to Get Him a Transplant - And Save His Life

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Overview

Larry Feldman desperately needed a kidney. After two god-awful years on dialysis, watching his life ebb away while waiting on a transplant list behind 74,000 other Americans, the gun-toting couch potato decided to risk everything and travel to China, the controversial kingdom of organ transplants. But Larry urgently needed his cousin Daniel's help...even though they had been on the outs with each other for years.

So begins the quest of two star-crossed cousins to rejuvenate Larry's failing body and ever-romantic heart, while avoiding getting tossed into a Chinese slammer.

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  • Daniel Asa Rose
    Daniel Asa Rose  

Editorial Reviews

Andrew Ervin
Larry's Kidney, a stranger-than-fiction memoir by Daniel Asa Rose, serves as an enjoyable testament to the lengths to which we sometimes go to help family, even when doing so is a terrible, terrible idea…The ensuing adventure is the stuff of slapstick comedy
—The Washington Post
Wall Street Journal
Mr. Rose writes a gripping tale, especially notable for its revealing look at modern China.
Boston Globe
One of the funniest, most touching and bizarre nonfiction books I've read. A remarkably talented writer, a great book.
Los Angeles Times
One of 60 "hot books for summer -- the best of this summer's forthcoming reads.
The New York Observer
Skillful, funny, fascinating.
The Forward
Elegantly written and deeply moving, it passes the laugh-out-loud test with flying colors. A classic contribution to the annals of cross-cultural comedy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061708718
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/27/2010
  • Pages: 305
  • Sales rank: 1,360,012
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Asa Rose has won an O. Henry Prize, two PEN Fiction Awards, and an NEA Fellowship. Formerly arts and culture editor of Forward and currently editor of the international literary magazine The Reading Room, he has written for The New Yorker, Esquire, GQ, the New York Times Magazine, and is the author of the acclaimed memoir Hiding Places. He lives in Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

Author's Note xiii

1 The Phone Call 1

2 McMao 12

3 The Larry and Mary Show 22

4 Making Love Out of Nothing at All 40

5 Situation Splendid 56

6 “Chutzpah” Is a Jewish Word 67

7 Good Luck, We Trick You 83

8 Anaerobic Memories 101

9 The Kidnap Cabbie 114

10 Welcome to the Super 2 129

11 Return of the Kidnap Cabbie 144

12 Shabbos Duck 159

13 Dear Florida Power & Light 178

14 Long, Long Live! 197

15 Knock-Knock-Knock 208

16 Thousand-Year-Old Panda 223

17 Fate Make Us Together 234

18 The Last Kidney in China 249

19 Long Live Larry 265

20 The Art of War 283

Epilogue 299

Nice Clear Morals, as Larry Prescribed 302

Acknowledgments 303

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2009

    Larry's Kidney

    This is a funny, enlightening, sometimes sad story. The writing is exceptional; that the author is involved in the story makes it even more interesting. This is the first thing I have read from the author, I will most certainly read more!!!

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  • Posted July 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    'Huwwo' summarizes a character in one word!

    Daniel Asa Rose has a winner on his hands with LARRY'S KIDNEY'. He has the skill and the comic timing to pull off an unlikely caper story with lightness, hearty laughter, tenderness, and wisdom, creating a book that most likely will go directly to film. It is a fast summer read that is brimming over with some of the funniest conversations between the characters while keeping an eye focused on the very fast paced story that borders on a little miracle of writing.

    Strange, bizarre, out of the ordinary walk of life Larry is a victim of renal failure and needs a kidney transplant. Living in the USA he is one of many potential recipients for a kidney transplant, a fact that stimulates the idea of traveling to China in an illegal attempt to find a new kidney. He enlists the help of his sturdy but estranged cousin Dan to accompany him to China and once there Larry introduces Dan to his email order bride Mary (a far cry from the young and beautiful description transmitted by the potential bride via email!). Larry and Dan (and Mary) unite in Larry's medical venture and the result is a story of hilarious incidents, moments of intrigue, a cultural awakening, and an exploration of the meaning of kinship and friendship and love spread among not only the trio but across the country of China.

    Some critics may feel that focusing a comic novel on a subject as serious as Kidney Transplantation is inappropriate, but the manner in which Rose tells his story is light hearted and far from parody that the subject of finding a means to save the life of an unlikely candidate could have been. Though this is not a heavy novel (!), it goes beyond an entertaining comedic read and carries some important sociologic and psychologic implications. A very good read!

    Grady Harp

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  • Posted June 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    OUTRAGEOUS, OUTRAGEOUSLY FUNNY, AND TOUCHING

    Outrageous, outrageously funny, and touching - that's Larry's Kidney, a memoir by Daniel Asa Rose that relates in laugh provoking detail accompanying his cousin to China in search of a kidney and a mail-order bride. Yes, you did read that correctly.

    Zipping through the pages of this unique odyssey is a bit like watching a Keystone Kops movie with situations that are too comical to be true but they are. Hopefully, some day it will be a film so that I may enjoy it again. The big question is who would or could play Larry?

    Larry is Daniel's estranged cousin to whom he hasn't spoken in 15 years. Nonetheless, Larry manages to reach Daniel via cellphone on a chair lift in the Colorado Rockies asking for a favor - go with him to China to get a kidney transplant as China does more of these than any other nation and Larry's in danger of dying without one.

    Well, we've heard of brotherly love; this must be cousinly devotion as Daniel agrees to leave his family (a wife and two children) to help Larry. Thus, the two are off to Beijing, and the circuitous organ chase begins. In Daniel's words Larry's "...been close to making a million dollars more times than I can count, and always at the last minute he blows it, like he's programmed to self-destruct over and over again." One isn't sure whether or not he will self-destruct again because just as a kidney transplant seems at hand Larry decides he'll back out if the price is too high.

    You have to read Larry's Kidney to believe it, and then you still might wonder. Nevertheless, you've mined page after page of laughter, and been reminded of the strength of family while getting and up close look at China.

    Enjoy!

    - Gail Cooke

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  • Posted May 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Things We Do for Love

    This is a memoir of how Daniel goes to great links to help his cousin get a kidney transplant in China. It is an intriguing story of romance and family loyalty, as well as, Daniel's ability to see through Larry's personality to the childlike nature he knew as a child.

    Larry, Daniel, and Larry's mail order bride leave America to find a doctor who will give him a kidney transplant before he dies waiting for one in America. Larry's personality takes them on a journey they will never forget. It was the trip of a lifetime.

    When you read this book, you will find yourself laughing often. You will also find yourself admiring the lengths a family member will go to help another live. It is a heart warming story to help you find the courage to live and live fully until you die.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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