Donald Duk

Donald Duk

by Frank Chin

Paperback(2nd ed.)

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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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780918273833
Publisher: Coffee House Press
Publication date: 01/01/1991
Edition description: 2nd ed.
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 433,339
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 6 - 18 Years

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Donald Duk 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
freddlerabbit on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up as a recommendation from "The Big Aiiieeeee! : an anthology of Chinese American and Japanese American Lterature" as a foundational book on first-generation experience in America. The editors sang the praises of the novel, and I had high expectations.

The book didn't quite meet those expectations - and yet, I was far from disappointed. Written in a diction that mirrors the inner dialogue of its young protagonist, Donald Duk, the book is fast paced and sometimes feels as though it's only skimming the surface - like most teenagers, Donald doesn't offer an indepth portrait of his parents' feelings or his sisters', and through much of the story, he simply looks down on them. This is frustrating, a bit, if you're used to a model of writing that offers rich interiority - but there is still enough complexity and thought in the book, it provides a different experience, rather than an eviscerated one

Throughout the book, Donald grapples not only with his name, which he feels is ridiculous, but also with his attitudes towards having Chinese family and ancestors, and his attitudes towards white teachers and friends. During the course of the novel, he learns more Chinese history and mythology, and his understanding of Chinese history deepens. He begins to develop an appreciation for the parts of him that are connected to China. And yet, like a teenager, that appreciation doesn't turn his entire life around. He still gets embarassed or angry at his family, his school, and his friends, and still fantasizes about escape through perfect assimilation and performance. This could make the book a frustrating read. But for me, it made it a very real read, and an engaging one.

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.