Review: Tom Cho’s “Look Who’s Morphing”

by writereaderly

tom cho look who's morphingI’d been on the lookout for this one for a while, having heard Cho read a piece on Paper Radio and come across short fictions here and there. Cho at one point gave his bio as previously having had a different name and a different gender, and the short pieces in this collection are replete with examinations of identity in terms of ethnicity, gender, sex, sexuality and anything really that you think makes you who you are. Generally, the characters in each piece morph and warp into something unexpected, ridiculous and entertaining, a simple strategy in order to make informed commentaries on the ID-list above. The writing is straightforward and witty, the politics contemporary, by and large I really enjoyed it. I have a suspicion that the standard plot-device of the transformation tends towards the gimmicky, though, as I started to get bored about a third of the way through; they’re perfect for individual performances, as Cho has proven. I’d read Cho again, but in small smart-arsey doses only.

Where it came from: Library
Time and manner of reading:
Park and bedtime reads
Where it went: Home
Best line of the book: “I wanted to cover my embarrassment, so I changed the topic by destroying part of a building: I turned to my right, saw what looked to be a luxury hotel and tried to look busy as I punched a hole in its penthouse level.” (p.149)
Reminds me of/that:
Who I’d recommend it to:
Novelty trans-queer readers
Also reading: Being Alive edited by Neil Astley; Peeling the Onion by Günter Grass

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