Plano Bomb Suspect Guilty of Being a Terrible Writer

This morning, the DMN gives us more details (paywall) about the guy who allegedly tried to blow up a gas main in Plano but was instead taken to the hospital with shrapnel wounds. He now has a name, Anson Chi, a past conviction on a concealed weapon charge in California, and a bunch of neighbors who think he's creepy.

He also has a substantial digital trail of anti-government ramblings in You-Tube videos and Facebook posts. Avi Selk was helpful enough to post links here. And at the bottom of the page, you'll find Chi's stab at fiction, a self-published novel, Yellow on the Outside, Shame on the Inside: Asian Culture Revealed.

It's from the "gospels of a former Asian," he writes. The opening blurb, in its entirety:

Why do Asians really get straight A's? Why do Asians really become doctors and lawyers? Why do Asians really play the piano? Many people believe that the reason has to do with the pressure to perform and the pressure to conform, however, it goes much deeper than that much, much deeper! This didactic novel-- reveals the truths about Asian culture, which will shock you to the marrow of your bones and open a hidden world of long-guarded-- secrets.

You really don't need to read beyond that, but I did, a couple of pages. The book is narrated by a young Asian man pressured by overbearing parents to go to med or law school when he actually dreams of being a writer, like the greats: "Chaucer, Hemingway, Joyce, Faulkner, Ellison, Orwell, Gaiman."

It's all too much for the young protagonist, so he often slips into reverie about his crush, Emilie Lee.

I've known her since middle school -- okay, the truth is that I don't really know her, but I've been in almost every class with her. Let me tell you that she's absolutely stunning in every way: tall, thin, and statuesque. Her eyes are wide but nicely shaped, and deep-set with a gleam of chestnut. And her hair -- oh my god, her hair -- like pure, fine silk matted in black velvet. I can't believe I sound just like a damn romance novel! And she has the most radiantly clear, lightly sun-tanned face that makes her ivory teeth shine so luminously. But it's her insatiably full, lush lips,turned down slightly at the corners, that speak her most resounding feature -- well actually, her most resounding feature is her ass. And if you must know, most Asian girls have an ass that's flat like a brick wall with breasts to match. But Emilie totally defies the natural laws of Asian genetics by having abounding, voluptuous breasts and a captivating lower exterior. It's a good thing that she didn't make it to any of the Ivy League schools, or else I wouldn't have the absolute pleasure of staring at her in class. And it's also a good thing that she was forced withthe proverbial two options of doctor or lawyer -- just like me -- so that we ended up taking the same pre-med biology classes for our final year here at UCI.

That was about all I could stand. Selk plowed through enough of the 139 pages to discover that the main character rages against the government and pulls out an excerpt from a moment at the end as he prepares to commit suicide:

Thank you, Mommy and Daddy, for turning me into an emotionless robot, just for the sake of money, status, and power, so that you can retire in a big luxury mansion at my expense once I'm a rich doctor, even though I've always wanted to be a writer instead; I seriously need counseling.

Okay, so the book overwrought and pretentious with a whiny, self-pitying narrator and no plot to speak of. It's a terrible book with terrible writing. Q.E.D. But let's give credit where it's due. For one, I can't fault Chi's taste in music (page 5), and in the first paragraph he calls the work "didactic," so at least he's up front about it.

Yellow on the Outside, Shame on the Inside: Asian Culture Revealed by Anson Chi