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Fixer Chao (Paperback)

Fixer Chao Cover Image
By Han Ong
Special Order


Han Ong has written a brilliant exploration of race and class, of character and identity, and of the slippery natures of privilege and expertise. William Paulinha, a Filipino street hustler, is in the early days of self-imposed reform when he meets Shem C. A failed writer now ostracized by his wife and New York City's literati, Shem recruits Paulinha to retaliate against the community that has spurned him. Under Shem's guidance, Paulinha becomes Master Chao, a revered practitioner of Feng Shui—the Chinese art of creating a harmonious environment. As this latter-day confidence man cuts a swath through upper-crust society, his biting observations form a comic picaresque of class resentment and revenge.

Praise For…

"A powerful talent taking us into unknown territory." --The New Yorker

"[An] inventively malevolent debut novel . . . Ong [has a] gift for quick, acerbic caricatures and piercing observations about contemporary culture." —Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"An astringent depiction of the high life and the low in Manhattan . . . [Fixer Chao] is a novel that, for its images and metaphors, draws on an impressive range of sources . . . and it takes a deep, knowing look inside the immigrant dream." —Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World

"Mordantly funny . . . [an] assured first novel." —The New York Times Book Review

"Fixer Chao is a powerful satire . . . Ong sets his hook early, a mix of striking language and provocative despair that—as in Denis Johnson's best work—compels the adventurous reader to follow." Stewart O'Nan, The Hartford Courant

"[An] unforgettable debut novel . . . Ong's brilliant dissection of spiritual shopping and class difference and racism is breathtaking. Every page offers food for thought . . . By turns insightfully brilliant and laugh-out-loud hilarious." —Susan Larson, New Orleans Times-Picayune

"Extremely satisfying . . . this novel confirms that [Ong's] fierce, edgy prose translates beautifully to the written page." —Salon

"Brilliant . . . it's not a stretch to think of Fixer Chao as a slightly rabid update of Melville's The Confidence Man." —Los Angeles Times

"Fresh and memorable . . . forging a vision of the American dream that is imperfect and ribald, but ultimately redemptive." —John Freeman, San Francisco Chronicle

"An original and perversely entertaining creation: a luminous picaresque with a distinctive mixture of farce and savagery." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"This superb and scathingly satirical first novel paints a fiercely condemning portrait of a shallow and overprivileged upper class. Highly recommended." —Library Journal (starred review)

"Brilliant . . . skewers a worthy class and a ripe subject." —Lisa Levy, Entertainment Weekly

"Cast[s] a cool, satirical eye on the herd movement and exotic fetishism of the tastemaker class." —The New Yorker

Product Details
ISBN: 9780312420536
Publisher: Picador
Publication Date: April 1st, 2002
Pages: 384

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