Well, this took me much, much longer than usual to finish. But perhaps that’s appropriate, because the story is a meandering trip through adventures laced with humor and terror, mostly revolving around food. It gets to some truly weird places, with an absurdist tilt like a Terry Gilliam film. Sometimes it feels like Lee is just having a bit of self-indulgent fun, but then he’ll dive into a passage about China’s Cultural Revolution and suddenly the book turns into something else.
Mostly, though, the story is explicitly concerned with family, both given and chosen. Tiller Bardmon might be a character narrating the wildest, most unlikely year in his life, but he’s really just trying to find some level of home and security.