#BookReview Batshit Seven by Sheung-King @PenguinRandomCA #SheungKing #BatshitSeven #PenguinReads Title: Batshit Seven

Author: Sheung-King

Published by: Penguin Canada on Feb. 20, 2024

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

From Governor General’s Award-nominated author Sheung-King comes a novel about a millennial living through the Hong Kong protests, as he struggles to make sense of modern life and the parts of himself that just won’t gel.

Glen Wu (aka Glue) couldn’t care less about his job. He’s returned to Hong Kong, the city he grew up in, and he’s teaching ESL, just to placate his parents. But he shows up hungover to class, barely stays awake, and prefers to spend his time smoking up until dawn breaks.
 
As he watches the city he loves fall—the protests, the brutal arrests—life continues around him. So he drinks more, picks more fights with his drug dealer friend, thinks loftier thoughts about the post-colonial condition and Frantz Fanon. The very little he does care his sister, who deals with Hong Kong’s demise by getting engaged to a rich immigration consultant; his on-and-off-again relationship with a woman who steals things from him; and memories of someone he once met in Canada….
 
When the government tightens its grip, language starts to lose all meaning for Glue, and he finds himself pulled into an unsettling venture, ultimately culminating in an act of violence.
 
Inventive and utterly irresistible, with QR codes woven throughout, Sheung-King’s ingenious novel encapsulates the anxieties and apathies of the millennial experience. Batshit Seven is an ode to a beloved city, an indictment of the cycles of imperialism, and a reminder of the beautiful things left under the hype of commodified living.


Review:

Insightful, candid, and immersive!

Bathsit Seven is a unique, colourful tale that takes us into the life of Glen “Glue” Wu, a young man who, after spending a few years attending university in Canada, returns to a politically tense Hong Kong where he finds himself in a serious rut spending his days drinking, getting high, spending the occasional time with platonic friends as well as those with benefits, masturbating, lackadaisically teaching ESL remotely, and contemplating what he wants out of life and where he actually fits into the world.

The writing is creative and direct. The characters are lonely, impulsive, and insecure. And the plot, told through narration and a scattering of QR Codes, is an engaging, perceptive tale about life, friendship, family, culture, politics, orientalism, racism, and self-identity.

Overall, Batshit Seven is a captivating, well-written, astute tale by Sheung-King that highlights the true struggles of coming of age in a contemporary world that seems to increasingly be more overwhelming, judgemental, and stressful.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sheung-King

SHEUNG-KING’s debut novel, You Are Eating an Orange. You Are Naked., was a finalist for the 2021 Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction and the 2021 Amazon Canada First Novel Award. It was longlisted for Canada Reads 2021 and named one of the best book debuts by The Globe and Mail. Sheung-King taught creative writing at the University of Guelph, where he received his MFA. He divides his time between Canada and China.

Photo by Maari Sugawara.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email