If I were to go back and study my Amazon reviews, I bet I'd find that I've given most of the things I've reviewed 4 or 5 stars, with a moderate number of 3s making up the bulk of the rest. Maybe I should be a tougher reviewer, hold things to a higher standard, and then write more about how the author or artist failed to live up to this standard. I should do this, I think, starting with "The Ramen King and I."
The problem is, there really wasn't very much about this book I didn't like. It's not great literature, perhaps, but it is a pretty entertaining story, well written, often funny, and quite open in author's Andy Raskin's portrait of himself and his somewhat busted emotional and romantic life. The flow of the story is relatively complex, in that elements of his narrative seem quite unconnected to one another ... until, that is, Raskin starts to pull them together toward the end. Then you can look back (or at least I did) and admit he set it all up very well.
"The Ramen King and I" is a pretty lightweight memoir compared to, say, My Father's Paradise: A Son's Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq by Ariel Sabar, which I read and reviewed not long ago. But (time for the inevitable food metaphor) like ramen itself, "The Ramen King and I" was fast, easy, admittedly a little silly sometimes, and pretty darn satisfying. Maybe I'll start being tougher with the next book. For what it is, this title didn't leave a lot to complain about.
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About the reviewer
Andrew S. Rogers (Cascadian)
Mostly, I'm a moderately prolific Amazon.com reviewer who's giving Lunch a try as another venue for my reviews.
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