Watching TV with the Red Chinese

the novel and the film

Published in hardcover by Algonquin, and reprinted in paperback by Time Warner Books, Watching TV with the Red Chinese was made into a film by director Shimon Dotan in 2012. Below are some review excerpts, and links to scenes from the film.

"Hip, quirky, interspliced tale of sexual obsession, culture shock, and aesthetics . . . a tour de force . . . an excellently readable book." —Review of Contemporary Fiction

• • •

"This funny, poignant first novel . . . introduces Whisnant as a sort of Ford Madox Ford of the MTV generation." —Publishers Weekly

• • •

"Essential reading. . . . Whisnant's rich narrative style and masterful balance . . . . [add up to] a powerful debut." —Library Journal

• • •

"Smart, hip . . . daring . . ." —Philadelphia Inquirer

• • •

"[A] beautifully balanced book. . . . Fresh and ingeniously constructed." —Los Angeles Times Book Review

• • •

"Compelling . . . Presents the reader with an oblique, ingenious critique of American culture. The reader will very likely leave Whisnant's first novel entertained, and perhaps a little enlightened." —The Boston Globe

• • •

"Amusing and painful. . . . Warmth for the characters is delicately balanced with a sense of surrealism." —The New Yorker

Watching TV with the Red Chinese (the film)

Here's the trailer for the film, which was directed by Shimon Dotan and stars Ryan O'Nan, Gillian Jacobs, Leonardo Nam, Keong Sim, James Chen, and Ron C. Jones.

And here's one of my favorite scenes from the film, "Love is a Dog from Hell," which riffs on the Charles Bukowski poem, and features Gillian Jacobs and Ryan O'Nan.


How Lennon’s Death Affected U.S.-Chinese Relations