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The Woo-Woo

How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family
Written by: Lindsay Wong
Narrated by: Eunice Wong
Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins
4 out of 5 stars (164 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this jaw-dropping, darkly comedic memoir, a young woman comes of age in a dysfunctional Asian family whose members blamed their woes on ghosts and demons when in fact they should have been on antipsychotic meds.   

Lindsay Wong grew up with a paranoid schizophrenic grandmother and a mother who was deeply afraid of the “woo-woo” - Chinese ghosts who come to visit in times of personal turmoil. From a young age, she witnessed the woo-woo’s sinister effects; at the age of six, she found herself living in the food court of her suburban mall, which her mother saw as a safe haven because they could hide there from dead people, and on a camping trip, her mother tried to light Lindsay’s foot on fire to rid her of the woo-woo.  

The eccentricities take a dark turn, however, when her aunt, suffering from a psychotic breakdown, holds the city of Vancouver hostage for eight hours when she threatens to jump off a bridge. And when Lindsay herself starts to experience symptoms of the woo-woo herself, she wonders whether she will suffer the same fate as her family.  

On one hand a witty and touching memoir about the Asian immigrant experience and on the other a harrowing and honest depiction of the vagaries of mental illness, The Woo-Woo is a gut-wrenching and beguiling manual for surviving family and oneself.

©2018 Lindsay Wong (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

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Average Customer Ratings

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Unforgettable

This is a great book about family, abuse, and mental health. It is a dark, dark, dark comedy. I think the subtitle (no doubt chosen by the publisher and not the author) makes the book seem like it is going to be more about hockey and drug raids than it is. I'm guessing they wanted a subtitle that they thought might sell more copies. I hope it works because this is the kind of fantastic memoir that is hard to summarize in such a way that makes it sound as enjoyable as it was. Like if I were to describe the book, I would call it a dark memoir about how mental illness is impacted by culture and vice versa. That doesn't sound like something you would want to read, but actually it is! This book is definitely up there in the Top 10 best memoirs I've read, along with Angela's Ashes, The Glass Castle, Running with Scissors, and Lucky. It is an unforgettable book about a girl who grew up without any of the emotional and physical kindnesses that we assume children will receive from their parents, but instead with physical and verbal abuse and emotional and intellectual neglect, and yet the author figures out—surely, but very slowly—how to become a person.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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My two cents

Although the subject is about mental disease (a serious subject...), I found this audiobook quite entertaining.

I do not know if this is a comedy, but there are a lot of funny anecdotes in her story. Some people might find her family and the author to be insensitive, but everything gets explained better as the story carries on. It also give a scope about Vancouver.

I particularly liked the dad. He was so crude and it made me laugh. The narrator is very good too particularly her accents!

It is a good book for those that like dark humour... like me!



6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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lifelong therapeutic

I came from Asian parents and have had similar but not as intense scars from my struggling parents. I appreciate Ms. Wong's honest and courageous stories to help heal my wounds too.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Loved it.

This was such a sad yet somehow funny story about mental illness and family dysfunction. Characters were really well developed. Narration was excellent. It was a good follow up to Tara Westover's book Educated which touches on similar themes.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The Woo Woo

The book was very hard to get into for the first half. After that it was enjoyable.

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Excellent!

Stand out story and performance!
This is a funny and insightful story of family and life with a chronic health condition. Very interesting and well written. I laughed a lot!

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Great, Great read.

This is a must read, can not do it justice so will leave it there.

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Wow! Human resiliency at its finest!

This is truly an unbelievable story that I fear is all to true for more families than it should be. It also begs the question, how do you stop the craziness that was Lindsay's childhood from being passed on through generations? Not everyone is meant to have children and how Lindsay & her siblings were treated truly saddens me & makes me even more grateful for the wonderful childhood my parents gave my brother and I!

Lindsay has done a great job turning what I am sure are horrific memories into a comical yet truthful look into mental health issues. Let's face it, there was some serious mental health issues in her family that have been left untreated. It surprises me how a child can come through the experiences that were not only so negative and crazy but never seemed to have physical touch in a loving manor which I believe all children require to develop compassion, love, confidence and self esteem. I would think that writing this book would help her let go of the painful memories and move forward hopefully with a more positive outlook on life.

I truly enjoyed this book and thought it was written in such a manor that made me laugh yet also cringe at what some people have to overcome. It was a good purchase!

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crazy fun

a great look into mental health told in an entertaining manner. fight the WooWoo all the day

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amazing!

I just loved this book. couldn't stop listening. so funny yet heartbreaking too. fantastic narration. thank you for sharing your story!

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  • Greg B.
  • 2018-11-05

Crazy addictive, couldn't stop listening!

I made myself late for several appointments because I couldn't stop listening. It's a memoir about a Chinese family that has really extreme mental issues -- but they don't believe in western medicine and think their craziness is because of ghosts. This book is also HILARIOUS. I lost count of how many times I laughed out loud, thanks both to the writer Lindsay Wong, and the narrator Eunice Wong, who does an amazing job. Especially loved the voice of the father and the (crazy crazy crazy) grandmother. Eunice Wong really does the book justice by making you crack up one minute and then the next you're either horrified or heartbroken at this family. I don't know how there could be a sequel, but I would really like there to be one! (I did a little internet sleuthing, and The Woo Woo was nominated for the Hilary Weston prize, which is Canada's biggest non-fiction award. It's a seriously good book. And this is a seriously good performance of it.)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful