Read Behind the Moon by Hsu-Ming Teo Online


“Behind the Moon is a satisfying, original and thought-provoking pleasure.”—Good Reading Magazine   “Neatly balanc[es] betrayal and real drama, with farce and macabre, biting humour. . . . Highly recommended.”—Australian Bookseller & Publisher   Outsiders and misfits in their Australian school, three friends form a mutual bond: Justin Cheong, an only child and the idol“Behind the Moon is a satisfying, original and thought-provoking pleasure.”—Good Reading Magazine   “Neatly balanc[es] betrayal and real drama, with farce and macabre, biting humour. . . . Highly recommended.”—Australian Bookseller & Publisher   Outsiders and misfits in their Australian school, three friends form a mutual bond: Justin Cheong, an only child and the idol of his Singaporean-Chinese parents; Tien Ho—daughter of a Vietnamese mother who stayed behind and an African American soldier she has never met—who lives with indifferent relatives; and Nigel “Gibbo” Gibson, an oddity: an Australian boy who, to his father’s chagrin, dislikes sports.   When Tien Ho’s mother arrives, the adjustment for mother and daughter is extreme. Gibbo is strongly attracted to beautiful, dainty Linh, to whom he is a kid, her daughter’s pal. And Justin discovers that he likes Gibbo as something more than a friend.   The three draw apart as they grow up, only to be reunited once more on Saturday, September 6, 1997, for the dinner Mrs. Cheong hosts for them and their parents, to watch the funeral of Princess Diana on television. This Dead Diana Dinner turns out to be a more explosive event than any of them would have dreamed possible.  ...

Title : Behind the Moon
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781569474402
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 372 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Behind the Moon Reviews

  • Alarra
    2019-04-22 21:10

    This starts off being a really interesting look at the friendship of three teens from very different backgrounds, dealing with their outsider status. Justin is a good Asian son, but he's hiding the secret that he's gay. Tien, sent away from her mother in Vietnam to live with distant family in Australia, has a crush on Justin and his family. Gibbo, a disappointment to his ocker family, longs to belong to his friends' cultures. For the first half, the writer does a good job of drawing a picture of middle-class families in the metropolitan west of Sydney in the early 90s, and the frustrations of these three kids as they struggle with being marginalised for various reasons, trying to sound out how to be all things to everyone as they deal with the multitudes of their identities and roles. Unfortunately, as years pass and the three spiral into increasingly unhappy adult lives, the characters become harder and harder to like, their motivations and actions harder and harder to understand and excuse. The characterisations become shrill parodies of themselves in increasingly melodramatic and unbelievable situations. The abrupt ending is unsatisfying and undeserved.

  • Matthew
    2019-05-20 21:47

    An interesting blend of local cultural history and enjoyable narrative elements

  • A. S.
    2019-05-09 01:48

    Behind the Moon is a really interesting novel that follows the story of three school friends and their families from childhood to their rekindling of their fractured friendship during young adulthood. Justin Cheong, Tien Ho, and Nigel Gibson (called "Gibbo" in the book) meet as misfits as children: Justin and Gibbo through the tyranny and tedium of their piano lessons at Miss Yipsoon's, and Tien and Gibbo when they are seatmates in elementary school when Tien first moves to Australia from her refugee camp in the Philippines. As close as they are as children, they soon start to realize that they don't really know the most intimate thoughts of one another. This is unraveling, of course, starts with their awakening sexualities, with Justin's in particular causing a problem: he is gay and this leads to a sort of love triangle.The book deals with several major themes in addition to friendship: race, sexuality, and family relations, particularly parent-child ones, and how these all interplay in an Australian setting. This book came close to toeing the line separating racial insightfulness to focusing only on race at times, but luckily never actually crossed that mark. I think that the focus on race works because it's an Australian setting rather than an American one, because while America is known for its veneer of multiculturalism (albeit thin sometimes), Australia is often portrayed as the land of whites only, so it's easier to imagine Tien and Justin's social isolation.For a book dealing with the story of three children, it focuses a great deal on the adults in their lives. I thought the book actually needed a little more description of the kids and other parents, because at times it seemed like the Linh Ho Show, which is my first criticism of the book.The second is that while the story is compelling, the grammar and editing are distracting. It was bad enough to demote a star. What POV is it supposed to be in? Please stay consistent. At first it seemed like third person limited omniscient narration that changed perspectives after each chapter, but there were several intra-chapter POV changes. And these intra-chapter changes sometimes happened in separate sections, but sometimes were integrated right into the other person's POV. Also in many scenes where there are multiple people (and therefore multiple potential speakers), Teo fails to use dialogue tags, making it unclear who is talking. Finally, the author sometimes uses vague pronouns; one example that sticks out is when the narrator talks about the Ho family at the Dead Diana Dinner and introduces Stan as "her" fiance. Whose fiance--Linh's or Tien's? It's not clear until almost the end of the chapter what this means.

  • pani Katarzyna
    2019-04-21 22:05

    The story is revolving around 3 characters - Singaporean-Chinese-Australian gay boy, Justin, Vietnamese-African American girl who has never met her father, Tien, and an Australian overweight outsider boy, Gibbo. And that should give you the idea of a majestic scope of multicultural and identity issues the novel brings up. Our three characters are friends through childhood and most of adolescence until, through sort of Midsummer Night's Dream comedy of errors events, they cease to be in touch with one another. Then their parents attempt to bring them together a few ears later and this is when the proverbial crap hits the fan, also known in the art of a novel as "the unexpected turn of events".It makes for a nice and fairly quick read, I must admit I was rather pleasantly surprised as I expected something far worse judging by the cover (not supposed to do this - never fail to do this) - I have the edition with "feet" - which might suggest some hipster middle-class threesome love story. This is however much more interesting and the identity issues I mentioned are well-presented, that is: convincing and honest. I enjoyed the depictions of immigrant life in Australia, a wonderful character of Tien's Vietnamese mother, or, in general, the portrayal of all the full-bodied characters and the interactions between them. There was something about "Behind the Moon" that felt so familiar and authentic. Nothing pretentious, just three kids growing up.Unfortunately the ending is why I cannot give this novel 4 stars. There is something really WEIRD about the ending. It's like the last few paragraphs were written by a different author because everything suddenly sounds so damn grave and momentous. And unnatural. I don't think I have ever experienced a bigger chasm between a book and its ending, especially if it comes to a regular, down-to-earth novel like this one.Having said that I do want to check out another book by Hsu-Ming Teo!3.5 stars

  • Sumayyah
    2019-05-21 02:53

    A trio of friends─Justin, Tien, and Gibbo─experience life, love, rejection, shame, self-hatred, and inferiority as they battle their cultures, their families, and each other.Justin, a Chinese-Australian whose family hails from Singapore, attempts to hide his homosexuality and reject his Asian-ness. Tien, a Vietnamese-African-American, tries to escape what she feels is a curse of blood and parentage. Gibbo, overweight and Australian, re-imagines himself in the image of the Asians he admires. Their families, bound by their friendship, navigate boundaries as a group. The book is, rather than a linear-plot novel, is a series of short stories/windows into each character's life and thoughts. While the main trio comes across as unlikeable─Tien is selfish and rude, Gibbo is a whiny stalker, Justin despises his ethnicity─we are able to learn deeper motives and emotions, the most prevailing of which is loneliness.

  • Joanne
    2019-05-01 21:46

    Not the best book I've read. I found it difficult to get through because of the various perspectives, constant digression, and awkward-ness of the characters. The storyline consists of never-ending humiliating moments for the characters, which I found really uncomfortable to read. Some parts were nice and it was a good book to discuss during the tutorial; however, I probably wouldn't read it again.

  • Dave
    2019-04-27 23:59

    This is a great book of life in Sydney for Asian immigrants going through the whole clash of cultures thing. It is written with empathy and compassion and although you neither laugh nor cry, it is still a love story of sorts. A book you look forward to reading.

  • Andrew Hall
    2019-04-25 01:55

    I loved this book, I laughed, I cried, I got angry. Every emotion was extracted, 謝謝你 Hsu-Ming for a wonderfully weaved tale of life and its ups and downs.

  • Oanh
    2019-05-23 01:00

    Excellent. Beautifully written, very engrossing and all the characters nuanced and well drawn. And I loved the interwoven snippets of The Tale of Kieu.

  • Kali
    2019-05-15 03:12

    An engaging book that is captivating from the first chapter onward. The characters are realistic, endearing and their interactions are interesting.

  • Martinxo
    2019-05-06 03:53

    A tender and wise book.