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The Joker Coming October.


Taipei is an adaptation of Tao Lin’s critically-acclaimed, cult favorite novel of the same name. Two young New York writers fall in and out of love amidst a whirlwind of drugs, parties, technology, and travel. As one relationship collapses, another blooms for Erin, swept into the world of Paul Chen, a mysterious, charismatic author. When he proposes documenting every aspect of their new romance in an epic laptop-filmed “documentary”, the couple enter into a performative bad romance, fueled by substances and sleepless nights. Tracking the pair through a shotgun Niagara Falls wedding, an LSD trip in a New Jersey mansion, and to Taiwan, the country of Paul’s birth where the couple comes to confront their individual alienation, Taipei is a visually stunning, extremely contemporary portrayal of what it means to be young, alive, and in love in a digital world.

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Taipei is based on the critically acclaimed novel by Tao Lin, here is a selection of book reviews

Shiny and Moving like the book cover, Taipei by Tao Lin is an ode--or lament--to the way we live now.

The film is based upon Taipei a 2013 novel by Tao Lin. It is his third novel.

Tao Lin: His new novel, 'Taipei', is frustrating but infectious

Photo by Megan Boyle

"Writing autobiographically is more difficult because I'm editing a massive first draft of maybe 25,000 pages—my memory—into a 250-page novel. It's less difficult because I don't need to write a 25,000-page first draft; it’s already there, in some form, as my memory. Related: I don’t view my memory as accurate or static—and, in autobiographical fiction, my focus is still on creating an effect, not on documenting reality—so "autobiographical", to me, is closer in meaning to "fiction" than "autobiography."

Tao Lin


Following Paul from New York, where he comically navigates Manhattan's art and literary scenes, to Taipei, Taiwan, where he confronts his family's roots, we see one relationship fail, while another is born on the internet and blooms into an unexpected wedding in Las Vegas. Along the way—whether on all night drives up the East Coast, shoplifting excursions in the South, book readings on the West Coast, or ill advised grocery runs in Ohio—movies are made with laptop cameras, massive amounts of drugs are ingested, and two young lovers come to learn what it means to share themselves completely. The result is a suspenseful meditation on memory, love, and what it means to be alive, young, and on the fringe in America, or anywhere else for that matter.

Very positive REVIEWS

Bret Easton Ellis tweeted: "With "Taipei" Tao Lin becomes the most interesting prose stylist of his generation...

Frederick Barthelme stated:

"Tao Lin has made a distinctive career out of sticking to his guns, his guns being the ultra-high-res self-consciousness that characterizes our lives but which we routinely ignore in our lives and in our art.

In Taipei he is a constant microscope, examining a world of miniature gestures, tiny facial movements, hands in motion, shrugs, nods, twists, ticks, flicks and snaps, a world in which the barrage of information we take in moment by moment is simultaneously cataloged, interpreted, cross-referenced, recorded, and filed.

Taipei is a paean to the minutely examined life, where what is examined is every twitch, flinch, jerk, spasm, tremor, and tic, every high-speed half-formed thought, everything that we routinely consider meaningless and inessential. Here all that is turned on its head and becomes central and predominate, fundamental to being. There is no mistaking that we live a new, ultra self-conscious life, skating on the surface of things while overlaying that surface with a facsimile of the "old life" in which traditional values retain their power and majesty. What is fascinating about Tao Lin’s fiction is his willingness, nay, insistence, on sticking to the true life of the new century, as raw, flat, fatigued as it may be. In Taipei he follows an utterly modern creature through a semi-robotic life in America and Taiwan, limiting himself and his characters to reasonably accurate renderings of normal responses without the literary humanist overlay, that is to say, a world almost binary and without much in the way of conventional "emotion", the stuff of which storytelling has forever been made. Lin is a 21st century literary adventurer, willing to work with what he actually has rather than a simulacrum of what once was, or might have been. The result is a fascinating book, bone dry, repellant, painful, but relentlessly true to life. Stripped of any version of the pretty Hallmark Card world that occupies so much fiction today, and which seems vulgar and pathetic by comparison, Taipei lays open the present and likely future of ordinary life in a way that few writers would acknowledge, let alone champion. You owe it to yourself to read Taipei, and to contemplate the world it predicts."


The New York Observer included Taipei in its "Spring Arts Preview: Top Ten Books",  calling Lin "an excellent writer of avant-garde fiction" and Taipei "his most mature work [...] Mr. Lin has refined his deadpan prose style here into an icy, cynical, but ultimately thrilling and unique literary voice."


Clancy Martin, reviewing for New York Times Book Review, said: "Here we have a serious, first-rate novelist putting all his skills to work. Taipei is a love story, and although it’s Lin’s third novel it’s also, in a sense, a classic first novel: it’s semi-autobiographical (Lin has described it as the distillation of 25,000 pages of memory) and it’s a bildungsroman, a coming-of-age story about a young man who learns, through love, that life is larger than he thought it was."



"Tao Lin finds a disturbingly effective way to channel the language of the internet age", says Jon Day.

"The effects Lin creates are alienating and frustrating, but like all true styles this is infectious stuff, permeating not only writing, but thought itself."


Gchat Is a Noble Pursuit: Tao Lin’s Modernist Masterpiece

"True, his characters are young people living in Brooklyn.  And he writes about the Internet. But we should stop calling Tao Lin the voice of his generation. Taipei, his new novel, has less to do with his generation than with the literary tradition of Knut Hamsun, Ernest Hemingway, and Robert Musil.

Mr. Lin was first thought to be “generational” because he was very young and had a big online following.  But even in 2005 Mr. Lin cited throwback influences like Ann Beattie, Frederick Barthelme, and Joy Williams—somewhat unfashionable choices, indicating Mr. Lin’s highly individual taste for understatement, quirkiness, and what has been called K-Mart realism."

Shiny and Moving like the book cover, Taipei by Tao Lin is an ode--or lament--to the way we live now.


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