My Korean Deli: Risking It All For A Convenience Store

My Korean Deli: Risking It All For A Convenience StoreThis Sweet And Funny Tale Of A Preppy Editor Buying A Brooklyn Deli With His Korean In Laws Is About Family, Culture Clash, And The Quest For Authentic Experiences It Starts With A Gift When Ben Ryder Howe S Wife, The Daughter Of Korean Immigrants, Decides To Repay Her Parents Self Sacrifice By Buying Them A Store, Howe, An Editor At The Rarefied Paris Review, Agrees To Go Along Things Soon Become A Lot Complicated After The Business Struggles, Howe Finds Himself Living In The Basement Of His In Laws Staten Island Home, Commuting To The Paris Review Offices In George Plimpton S Upper East Side Townhouse By Day, And Heading To Brooklyn To Slice Cold Cuts And Peddle Lottery Tickets By Night My Korean Deli Follows The Store S Tumultuous Life Span, And Along The Way Paints The Portrait Of An Extremely Unlikely Partnership Between Characters With Shoots Across Society, From The Brooklyn Streets To Seoul To Puritan New England Owning The Deli Becomes A Transformative Experience For Everyone Involved As They Struggle To Salvage The Original Gift And The Family While Sorting Out Issues Of Values, Work, And Identity. My Korean Deli is a self absorbed, egotistical piece of literary sh t This carelessly thrown together selective memoir is not at all deserving of the attention it garnered over a year ago Howe s condescending
Ben Ryder Howe s My Korean Deli is about as New York centric, East coast focused as a book can be I live in Wisconsin Even though I grew up in Chicago, this whole shopping at local delis that sound like convenience stores culture feels alien Why don t people in New York City shop at supermarkets Do supermarkets not exist in New York City I m sure someone will correct my ignorance Are these Korean delis like, I don t know, 7 11 or whatever They kind of sound like 7 11 or a fancy gas station convenience store without the gas I don t know I guess it s not important, really The book is of a AJ Jacobs who gives a back cover blurb esque let s be whacky and intelligent but placed in cutesy sentence generating scenarios book Although Howe enters the business voluntarily, he walks the line between a stunt experience like that guy who ate at McDonalds for a month and authenticity.Do I sound cynical Sorry Howe Ryder Howe writes well He smoothly intertwines his three different worlds First, he s an editor for the Paris Review, replete with stories of George Plimpton in his underwear Second, he lives in his wife s parents basement on Staten Island Third, he s a clerk at the Korean deli he and his and wife buy with his parents Howe does a solid job describing his hours at the counter I d worry about fucking up the cash register, too, while customers waited in a long line I d both get
If this book had been fiction, it would have been way, way over the top I mean, what the heck were these people thinking, abandoning prestigious white collar jobs to buy a convenience store in a semi sketchy neighborhood in downtown Brooklyn with absolutely no experience Having finished the book I m still not sure, despite some vague explanation about a weird expression of gratitude from Ben s wife to her Korean parents So you ve got this bizarre and highly unlikely situation, starring the author as a Jess Walter esque hapless protagonist in a business situation that s way too complex for him to handle, plus the indomitable character of Ben s Korean mother in law and the various kooky personages inhabiting the store in various capacities If it were a novel I d be rolling my eyes and shouting at the author, stop trying so hard to be funny But since this apparently actually happened, somehow it was funny I think I now have a whole new layer of insight into why people were so upset with James Frey Not to mention the fact that the story was also charming, sweet, and surprisingly poignant at times Plus the audiobook reader did a great job, which definitely added to
I was downright shocked by how much I enjoyed reading My Korean Deli I read the book in a day, it was so good It s a memoir written about how Ben Waspy Bostonian white boy , his wife Gab first generation Korean , and his mother in law Korean immigrant decide to open a Korean deli in the middle of a gentrifying neighborhood in Brooklyn Ben works nights at the deli, and days at the Paris Review, a hoity toity literary magazine Everything that can go wrong does go wrong, but Howe does an amazing job of getting the reader to feel where he s coming from and the changes he sees in himself and his family as a result of his work at the deli.The deli a quintessential New York institution is a gift from Ben s wife to her mother as a show of appreciation It ends up being a place where they all work through their issues, be they personal Ben and Gab want to move out of Kay s house, but can t , financial they owe a lot of money in taxes on the deli or existential should run a fancy deli for newly arrived hipsters, or
I ve only made it to page 30, I don t think that I will finish Full disclosure I am half Korean and my mother used to own a carry out with a steam table just puttin it all out there Given that i agree that an American, his Korean wife, and MIL opening a deli in NY to assuage some guilt she has about her Mother s sacrifices, could be a hilarious or at least, interesting story.Just a few chapters in and I m kinda offended Even the stereotypical deli owning Korean family, I was going along with that So here s the thing, well a couple things 1 dialect is a hard thing to do and do it well He writes the speech of the Korean mother in the not perfect English of an immigrant, and maybe it s kinda accurate, but I didn t like it Yes, I admit, maybe I m taking it personal.2 The husband doesn t seem to appreciate his wife s culture When married into a culture different than your own, of course, the differences will stand out, and one may not fully embrace the culture of the other 100%, but you ve at
I bought this book initially because I thought the premise was hilarious A white guy working at a Korean deli Hahaha To be honest I wasn t expecting much, but I found myself pleasantly surprised Without giving away too much, Ben Ryder Howe is a self described WASP who marries a Korean woman, Gab For whatever reason, they buy a deli for Gab s parents, Kay and Edward, which means that the whole family or less signs their lives over to the deli Howe meanwhile works as an editor at the Paris Review What follows is a story of deli life, Paris Review life, and a study on Korean Americans Overall the book is very well written and often hilarious at times I even found myself on a rainy, windy night in Harlem waiting for the bus, clutching the book, completely engrossed by what I was reading Howe makes the mundane d
A light, popcorn read Howe breezily walks us through the trials of an enterprise foisted on him by his Korean wife Gab and her mother Kay Never fully invested psychically, physically in the scheme to open a Korean deli in New York City and reap the profits, Howe is able to keep some cool remove in his storytelling He s an editor working for George Plimpton at The Paris Review who is mystified by the workings of the cash register, his clientele s fondness for really bad 65 cent coffee, and the sales tax system The most interesting and fully realized character in this memoir is Dwayne, the longtime employee the family inherits from the previous owner From his sixth sense about impending inspections and stings to h
As someone who married a man who owned two fast food restaurants, I really related to Ben Howe s story He perfectly captures the craziness, the back breaking work, insanely long hours, the horrible bureaucratic obstacles and yes, the occasional rewards of owning your own small business in America.Howe tries to balance his work as an editor at the Paris Review, and the contrast between that world of the Upper East Side in NYC and the Brooklyn neighborhood where the Korean deli is located perfectly mirrors the patchwork of life in New York His vivid portrait of his boss, George Plimpton, is so intriguing What I know of Plimpton has mostly come from his reports of his own adventures Paper Lion, etc , so this look at him from Howe s point of view is fascinating Then there is Howe s Korean mother in law, Kay Howe s wife Gab wanted to buy a deli for her mother to thank her for the sacrifices she made to educate Gab, sending her to college and law school While WASPy Howe doesn t quite get this, he supports his wife, and they extend their living in his in law s basement to buy the deli for Kay Kay and Ben clash immediately while trying to find a deli to buy, and when they do buy one, Ben is way too slow to pick up the nuances of working the cash register He is relegated to stocking shelves.The deli is a meeting place for various characters in the neighborhood, some who hang around all day and night Howe usually worked the la
2.5 stars On the one hand, Ben Ryder Howe writes competently His prose isn t purple, and doesn t get in the way of the story but overall, it s not memorable Which is to say, it s amusing, but ultimately bland.Howe s memoir is about taking the plunge into small business ownership with his Korean American wife, who wants to purchase a deli to give to her mother The plan is to get it up and running before turning it over to Howe s mother in law, who is stereotypically concerned with hard work, family loyalty, and money.Oh, this book had potential It s a crazy situation, and I was looking forward to the Korean part of My Korean Deli Unfortunately, it didn t deliver what I was looking for I was expecting hilarious What I got was vaguely amusing, with a side of attempted deep and meaningful.Howe s writing is not of the laugh out loud variety you d expect with a cover like that There are a few amusing lines, but overall the prose reads as though he s trying very hard to be funny, rather than actually pulling it off There are also a number of extremely difficult situations throughout the book, including a few of the near death and death variety, where there is a clear attempt at bringing a deeper meaning into the story Yes, Howe brings some ruminations on life They re a little broad than deep.I also would have liked to see fuller characterization
Ben Ryder Howe brings the reader along on his adventure of purchasing a deli in Brooklyn in order to allow his spunky mother in law to run the store This memoir brings to light Korean traditions and anecdotes from living in the middle of a Korean extended family.My onl

!!> Epub ➣ My Korean Deli: Risking It All For A Convenience Store ➢ Author Ben Ryder Howe –
  • Audio CD
  • 7 pages
  • My Korean Deli: Risking It All For A Convenience Store
  • Ben Ryder Howe
  • English
  • 09 March 2017
  • 9781441779342