Book Review: ‘The Life Of A Banana’ by PP Wong

The Life Of A Banana by PP Wong

The day I got my hands on this book, I completed reading it before bedtime. Yes, being able to speed-read helps. 😀 My gut feel about this novel is that it is part-fiction, part-truth because it knows too intimately the traumatic experience that is bullying in schools.

I’ll also give this book extra marks for the conclusion, which many writers fail to nail adequately. This one, however, delivers a punch to the gut as the protagonist (Xing Li) – and the reader – learns the truth about her grandmother’s life.

This book explores various topics: school bullying, racism, deaths of loved ones, euthanasia, among others. They are all really moving, and if you’d like a recommendation for a book to read on a lazy Saturday or Sunday, this would be it.

Some quotable quotes from the book:

1) “Lil sis, time is important. Life is about playing more and working less. People always think Chinese people are working hard but actually they’re smart and they’ve finished the work by lunch break so they can play games on their computer.”

2) “We have to pick our battles – be wise. Sometimes being quiet is wiser than saying a hundred words.”

3) “When life is tough, you have a choice. You have a choice to curl up in a ball and wither away like the crocuses in winter. Or you can fight like the fir trees that grow come snow or rain.”

4) “Mama once said that being strong was a blessing and a curse. When you are strong, people expect so much out of you. They rely on you to be the friend who they can turn to or the colleague who will stand up to the boss at work. You are the person who will have the right word, the one who will give them the strength to carry on. But when your heart is collapsing inside who can you turn to?”


I even came to love how this book helps me understand the Chinese people and their idiosyncrasies a little better. Such as how a Chinese person can be on a Business Class flight yet still do something as odd as stuffing his/her pockets with the free toiletries, or even think about swiping the airplane headphones. Or why they have to TALK SO LOUDLY. 😀

I’ll not say more. You simply have to pick up a copy of this book and read about ‘The Llife Of A Banana’. I’m sure you’ll love it. 🙂