I began reading this author after reading her bio on Amazon. I found it fascinating that this woman created a character to give life to the narrator of her book. Upon reading that I found myself wondering whether Lee was an alter-ego of the author, living out the wild fantasies that the author herself could not bring herself to engage in, or were the stories she told a bit more autobiographical than she dare admit? Yes, my imagination is very active, but the mystery intrigued me, so I decided to read one of her short stories.
As I said, this is a short story and can be read in about 20 minutes or so. It starts out a bit difficult, as the dialogue between characters is very rough, and the author does not establish the characters well before diving into the confusing dialogue. However, the book was interesting enough that once I finished it, I immediately bought the novel. Again with the curiosity…The story of Ms. Robinson is that she is a writer that ends up in Hong Kong on a job. As a lesbian, she finds navigating the city to be a bit difficult, as there does not seem to be an abundance of other lesbians in the city. Teaming up with some gay men that are in a similar situation as she, having moved to a foreign country for their jobs, she explores the night life in Hong Kong in search of true love.
The dialogue in this book is not a great deal better than in Dirty Pleasures, but it does flow a bit more smoothly. The story is far from smooth, however. Lee’s character is a drama queen who gets herself in all manner of dilemma and acts with little forethought. At first I found myself getting extremely irritated by the goings on, but then I realized, my 20s weren’t exactly celebate or monogamous. Yeah, she captured that “scene” rather honestly.
In all, the story does seem to run a bit long, though it is enjoyable. The writing is not terribly mature, but neither is the character, so it works. Given a scale of 1 to 10, I would give this a solid 6.5… maybe even a 7.