web site hit counter The Ramen King and I: How the Inventor of Instant Noodles Fixed My Love Life - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

The Ramen King and I: How the Inventor of Instant Noodles Fixed My Love Life

Availability: Ready to download

"Mankind is Noodlekind" For three days in January 2007, the most e-mailed article in The New York Times was "appreciations: Mr. noodle," an editorial noting the passing, at age ninety-six, of Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant ramen. Ando's existence came as a shock to many, but not to Andy Raskin, who had spent three years trying to meet the noodle pioneer. The Ramen K "Mankind is Noodlekind" For three days in January 2007, the most e-mailed article in The New York Times was "appreciations: Mr. noodle," an editorial noting the passing, at age ninety-six, of Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant ramen. Ando's existence came as a shock to many, but not to Andy Raskin, who had spent three years trying to meet the noodle pioneer. The Ramen King and I is Raskin's funny and, at times, painfully honest memoir about confronting the truth of his dating life-with Ando as his spiritual guide. Can instant ramen lead one to a committed relationship? And is sushi the secret to self-acceptance? A true tale of hunger in its many forms, The Ramen King and I is about becoming slaves to our desires and learning to break free.


Compare

"Mankind is Noodlekind" For three days in January 2007, the most e-mailed article in The New York Times was "appreciations: Mr. noodle," an editorial noting the passing, at age ninety-six, of Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant ramen. Ando's existence came as a shock to many, but not to Andy Raskin, who had spent three years trying to meet the noodle pioneer. The Ramen K "Mankind is Noodlekind" For three days in January 2007, the most e-mailed article in The New York Times was "appreciations: Mr. noodle," an editorial noting the passing, at age ninety-six, of Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant ramen. Ando's existence came as a shock to many, but not to Andy Raskin, who had spent three years trying to meet the noodle pioneer. The Ramen King and I is Raskin's funny and, at times, painfully honest memoir about confronting the truth of his dating life-with Ando as his spiritual guide. Can instant ramen lead one to a committed relationship? And is sushi the secret to self-acceptance? A true tale of hunger in its many forms, The Ramen King and I is about becoming slaves to our desires and learning to break free.

30 review for The Ramen King and I: How the Inventor of Instant Noodles Fixed My Love Life

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michaela

    I liked this book quite a bit despite the fact that it is basically the autobiography of a cheating a-hole who uses women/sex to make himself feel better about his failures in life. In fact, I found "The Ramen King" to be very entertaining, largely because Raskin is so self-deprecating and somewhat ridiculous. I laughed out loud in parts, and I never laugh out loud while reading. (OK, maybe David Sedaris sometimes.) I also loved the numerous Japanese food and cultural references. (I had no idea th I liked this book quite a bit despite the fact that it is basically the autobiography of a cheating a-hole who uses women/sex to make himself feel better about his failures in life. In fact, I found "The Ramen King" to be very entertaining, largely because Raskin is so self-deprecating and somewhat ridiculous. I laughed out loud in parts, and I never laugh out loud while reading. (OK, maybe David Sedaris sometimes.) I also loved the numerous Japanese food and cultural references. (I had no idea there were so many food-themed comic books. I immediately went online and tried to order them, but alas, no English translations!) Raskin's descriptions made me want to travel and see the Instant Ramen Museum in Osaka for myself.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jessikah

    Andy Raskin may not be a likable narrator. He may not even be or have been a likable person, though he seems to have had no problems getting women to sleep with him, however many people seem to think women generally like assholes and anyway one doesn't have to be in a "relationship" in order to engage in "carnal relations". Andy Raskin is, however, an engaging writer who is able to relate to his readers while talking about some of the more unsavory flaws in his own personality. The book uses alte Andy Raskin may not be a likable narrator. He may not even be or have been a likable person, though he seems to have had no problems getting women to sleep with him, however many people seem to think women generally like assholes and anyway one doesn't have to be in a "relationship" in order to engage in "carnal relations". Andy Raskin is, however, an engaging writer who is able to relate to his readers while talking about some of the more unsavory flaws in his own personality. The book uses alternating stories of Raskin's terrible habit of cheating on women he dates and that of the life of Momofuku Ando, the creator of instant Ramen. The two connect as Raskin writes letters to Ando confessing his sins as part of a 12 step program. For years Raskin has ruined everything good that comes his way. Love, career, friendships. He habitually pushes away people who care about him and obsessively trolls the internet for sex while faithful women he claims to love either remain ignorant or turn a blind eye. As much of a jerk as he is his story is still very engaging. Raskin is a Nipponophile who reads Manga about food and cooking, a strangely endearing quirk. He befriends a old curmudgeonly sushi chef and his wife. He challenges himself to engage in bizarre challenges like those in Japanese game shows. But this is as much a story about Ando as it is Raskin. You see, when Raskin's intimacy problem becomes to much for him to bare he joins a group (which is most likely an offshoot of AA for sex addicts) where his sponsor prompts him to pick a "higher power" to whom he must relinquish his will. After reading an article on Ando, Raskin decides he is the perfect deity. Raskin relates trials of Ando's life, success and failures all the while sharing his letters to his "noodle god" about the terrible ways he has treated not only women but other people who love him. Not too long into his program, Raskin decides he must try to meet the Noodle King in person. While there is no perfect ending this story, if Raskin succeeds in his quest I will not say, the journey is a great read. Maybe an imperfect ending is in fact perfect for a story about several imperfections of the human condition? Give this one a whirl. If anything you may save a few bucks on groceries due to a distinct craving for ramen.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Erin Webb

    This book was on display at the Provo Library and caught my eye because of the interesting title. I never really considered that there was an inventor of instant noodles so I guess you could say my interest was piqued. I was mildly entertained by this book, but mostly found myself disenchanted because there never really seemed like an obvious resolution for the author's problems. I did enjoy learning about Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant noodles and I appreciated what I learned about his This book was on display at the Provo Library and caught my eye because of the interesting title. I never really considered that there was an inventor of instant noodles so I guess you could say my interest was piqued. I was mildly entertained by this book, but mostly found myself disenchanted because there never really seemed like an obvious resolution for the author's problems. I did enjoy learning about Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant noodles and I appreciated what I learned about his perseverance in life and overcoming his obstacles and trials including prison and losing all he had at least two different times. I appreciated that he never gave up in his life and persisted in trying to be successful. I think my biggest hang-up about this book was I just didn't really like connect with the author. It's a memoir about his inability to be committed and faithful to one woman, I was disappointed in the way he treated women and had a difficult time reading parts of it. He also discusses masturbation and some other things I found offensive, including the use of some profane language. Not a book I would recommend to my friends, but I had to finish because I was too far into it to close it for good. On the upside, Andy does apologize to the women he hurts and does seem to be on the right track to a monogamous relationship, I hope he can find happiness and commitment. And when I evaluate what he really learned from his experience, I personally think it's to be happy with yourself without caring what others think of you and being dependent on their opinions -- a good life lesson.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Hannah McMurphy

    I really enjoyed reading about the life of Momofuku Ando and the invention of instant noodles, but was annoyed by how much detail was given to Raskin's very messed up love life. He was an entertaining writer, but it took so long for me to have any desire to know him better because of how poorly he painted himself. There were definitely sections that made me laugh, and I learned a lot about Japanese culture which was fascinating. I really enjoyed reading about the life of Momofuku Ando and the invention of instant noodles, but was annoyed by how much detail was given to Raskin's very messed up love life. He was an entertaining writer, but it took so long for me to have any desire to know him better because of how poorly he painted himself. There were definitely sections that made me laugh, and I learned a lot about Japanese culture which was fascinating.

  5. 4 out of 5

    cat

    I really enjoyed this easy-read of a book, and devoured it in one night. It was exactly what it purported to be - a slightly self-derisive memoir about an NPR commentator/writer, Andy Raskin, and his quest to understand his life-long inability to remain monogamous. The fun part about the book is that it turns out that his quest for wholeness and a better love life is hinged upon meeting Momofuku Ando, the ninety-six-year-old inventor of instant ramen noodles. Sounds a bit whack, I know, but it r I really enjoyed this easy-read of a book, and devoured it in one night. It was exactly what it purported to be - a slightly self-derisive memoir about an NPR commentator/writer, Andy Raskin, and his quest to understand his life-long inability to remain monogamous. The fun part about the book is that it turns out that his quest for wholeness and a better love life is hinged upon meeting Momofuku Ando, the ninety-six-year-old inventor of instant ramen noodles. Sounds a bit whack, I know, but it really works as a book. Raskin takes us on a journey full of delicious food and interesting comic books as he works with a sponsor through some version of a 12-step program to overcome his infidelities and self-diagnosed sex addiction (and eventually the bigger issues that those are connected to). Instead of praying to God, he uses Momofuko Ando as his higher power, and the results are a pretty terrific read for summer vacation. Despite my desire to crawl into the book and explain to Andy that there are many different ways to have realtionship (and that not all of them require monogamy, just honesty), I enjoyed this book far more than I expected to.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    The strangest part of The Ramen King and I is not any of the bizarre plot points—and there are plenty to choose from—but the fact that it is a memoir. Andy Raskin is a American thirty-something fluent in Japanese whose chronic infidelity has caught up with him. Due to a number of strange coincidences, Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant ramen noodles and founder of Nissin Foods, becomes the unlikely motivating force for his 12-step-esque recovery. Along the way, the reader is treated to amusin The strangest part of The Ramen King and I is not any of the bizarre plot points—and there are plenty to choose from—but the fact that it is a memoir. Andy Raskin is a American thirty-something fluent in Japanese whose chronic infidelity has caught up with him. Due to a number of strange coincidences, Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant ramen noodles and founder of Nissin Foods, becomes the unlikely motivating force for his 12-step-esque recovery. Along the way, the reader is treated to amusing observations about Japanese food and culture. Even Haruki Murakami makes a cameo appearance, and some situations Andy finds himself in could have been from a Murakami novel. Although Raskin might have been a sex addict with a slight Asian fetish, he redeems himself through his funny, honest, self-depreciating style and actual effort to change. I might never be able to look at another Cup Noodle the same way again: did you know there's a Instant Ramen Museum in Osaka?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Vy

    I stumbled upon this book while browsing my library's ebook offerings. The title intrigued me, and it was immediately available for download, so I figured I'd try it out. Things start out cryptically. In the first several pages, there are letters written to Momofuku Ando about the author's insecurities and about his pattern of infidelities. We then learn that Ando is the man who invented instant ramen and that he died. Then we discover that the author plays trombone in a band with octogenarians. I stumbled upon this book while browsing my library's ebook offerings. The title intrigued me, and it was immediately available for download, so I figured I'd try it out. Things start out cryptically. In the first several pages, there are letters written to Momofuku Ando about the author's insecurities and about his pattern of infidelities. We then learn that Ando is the man who invented instant ramen and that he died. Then we discover that the author plays trombone in a band with octogenarians. It was all puzzling enough to keep me reading, and then at just the right time, the author deftly ties all of these storylines together. In this memoir, we get to explore some fascinating Japanese food culture with the author, and we learn something about Ando's history. More importantly, through his relationship with Ando, he gains insight into himself. This could have easily been raunchy and annoying, but the author found a solid and likable voice. I thoroughly enjoyed it. 4.5 stars!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bronwen

    I really enjoyed this! I particularly liked the reflections on Japan, the food-related manga series and the sushi restaurant in San Francisco. I'm also a huge fan of Nissin Cup Noodles (the Japanese ones are far superior to the ones we get in Australia!) and I visited the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum last year so I loved that part of the story went there as well. I really enjoyed this! I particularly liked the reflections on Japan, the food-related manga series and the sushi restaurant in San Francisco. I'm also a huge fan of Nissin Cup Noodles (the Japanese ones are far superior to the ones we get in Australia!) and I visited the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum last year so I loved that part of the story went there as well.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Withme

    "I wanna... make instant ramen with Momofuku Ando!" The Ramen King and I, a heartfelt memoir by Andy Raskin, is one part autobiography, the second a biography on someone else entirely, and perhaps thirdly a self-help guide for anyone struggling with depression and anxiety. Whatever you might ultimately take this book for, it is also about ramen as the title suggests. While offering a brief history of the global phenomena that is instant noodles accompanied by recollections of the early days of on "I wanna... make instant ramen with Momofuku Ando!" The Ramen King and I, a heartfelt memoir by Andy Raskin, is one part autobiography, the second a biography on someone else entirely, and perhaps thirdly a self-help guide for anyone struggling with depression and anxiety. Whatever you might ultimately take this book for, it is also about ramen as the title suggests. While offering a brief history of the global phenomena that is instant noodles accompanied by recollections of the early days of online internet dating, The Ramen King and I flips back and forth between America and Japan chronicling the author's struggle with sex addiction and his seeming inability to commit to a single woman. After a series of failed relationships, Andy Raskin begins seeing a counselor who instructs him to write down his negative thoughts in the form of letters addressed to a higher power. This 'higher power' need not be a god but rather can be anyone, anyone at all, and Raskin chooses the first name that pops up in his head - Momofuku Ando, the creator of instant ramen and founder of Nissin Cup Noodles. "O Momofuku, show me how to live so that I may better do your will." Exploring Japanese cuisine and culture whilst featuring numerous laugh-out-loud moments such as the incident concerning a large bowl of lard-covered ramen that would later lead to a gallbladder surgery (funnier than it sounds, trust me), a Halley's Comet themed funeral, and a 'trombone striptease', The Ramen King and I contains just as many thoughtful and even poignant blossoms of wisdom. Through learning of Momofuku Ando's past and personal philosophy, both Raskin and the reader discover the true nature of mankind, 'noodlekind', if you will. Everyone holds within them a voice, one that may have been cultivated through the generations and must not be ignored but rather conversed with and gradually understood in it's true nature. Raskin's writing style is warm and inviting. I suspect some readers might find the text to be one giant 'humble brag' but I didn't see it as such. Yes, the author is by many measures 'successful'; Raskin actually comments on how being deemed 'conceited' as a kid harmed his psyche however even highly successful people may wrestle with crippling anxiety. My favorite part was the closing scene in which Raskin returns to a sushi restaurant he had essentially been kicked out of years before and is treated to a very special dish. It just wrapped up the whole book really nicely and was super cute. Anyway, the Japanese game show Go Forth's premises of stating aloud and following through any goal or dream whatever it may be was cute too. 'I wanna... write an illustrated review for this book!' This is my first book review. Heh.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    While recently visiting Japan for the second time, I was mysteriously obsessed with trying ramen every day. After reading this memoir, I realized that "voicing desires and acting on them-even if you failed-might be a great way to enjoy life". Andy Raskin lived in Japan and dated a series of women without commitment, while he became obsessed over three years attempting to meet the millionaire founder of instant ramen noodles in Japan, who he also saw as a type of distant spiritual advisor. At fir While recently visiting Japan for the second time, I was mysteriously obsessed with trying ramen every day. After reading this memoir, I realized that "voicing desires and acting on them-even if you failed-might be a great way to enjoy life". Andy Raskin lived in Japan and dated a series of women without commitment, while he became obsessed over three years attempting to meet the millionaire founder of instant ramen noodles in Japan, who he also saw as a type of distant spiritual advisor. At first I wasn't too sure how to rate this quirky book, but realized that the writer is unique like the topic, which made me really enjoy reading it. A definite read for anyone planning on visiting Japan!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    I finished this book mostly out of sheer determination. The author is kinda a jerk and I'm not convinced he learned any lessons. I am hungry now though. I finished this book mostly out of sheer determination. The author is kinda a jerk and I'm not convinced he learned any lessons. I am hungry now though.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Daisygirl825

    Too boring to finish.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Jezz. Haven't had this desire to go to sleep so bad Jezz. Haven't had this desire to go to sleep so bad

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nina Gao

    Some parts were enjoyable, but overall this wasn't really my style of book. The author has relationship problems (cheating, lying) and writing (but not sending) letters to Momofuku Ando is one method of trying to understand himself. Some parts were enjoyable, but overall this wasn't really my style of book. The author has relationship problems (cheating, lying) and writing (but not sending) letters to Momofuku Ando is one method of trying to understand himself.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jack Oughton

    Somewhat insane rambling autobiographical narrative about a man who writes letters to the man who invented instant noodles, as a form of therapy. He never gets to meet 'Mr. Noodle', but things seem to work out for him in the end. Funny, tragic and poignant. Somewhat insane rambling autobiographical narrative about a man who writes letters to the man who invented instant noodles, as a form of therapy. He never gets to meet 'Mr. Noodle', but things seem to work out for him in the end. Funny, tragic and poignant.

  16. 5 out of 5

    James Colon

    When I had first heard about this book, it was on the Monster Hunter Podcast Show Episode 85: A Brief History In Ramen, since then I had been so interested in the book, I think it may have something to do the fact that I was always intrigued by Japanese food and culture. I didn't get the book until two-three years later (talk about a long wait), but when I did finally get this hidden gem of a book I was hooked. Andy Raskin is an NPR commentator who has written for the New York Times, Gourmet, Wi When I had first heard about this book, it was on the Monster Hunter Podcast Show Episode 85: A Brief History In Ramen, since then I had been so interested in the book, I think it may have something to do the fact that I was always intrigued by Japanese food and culture. I didn't get the book until two-three years later (talk about a long wait), but when I did finally get this hidden gem of a book I was hooked. Andy Raskin is an NPR commentator who has written for the New York Times, Gourmet, Wired, Women's Health, and Playboy (the Japenese edition). He has an MBA from Wharton, and a BS in computer science from Yale, and Fluent in Japanese. The book is a memoir that centers around Raskin's issue,which is sleeping around with various women to give himself some sense of self worth. When his life goes from bad to worse, he starts to send personal letters to the inventor of instant noodles, Momofuku Ando, seeing him as a spiritual guide and asking him for advice, throughout the book he not only shows segments in which he sends letters to Momofuku Ando, he even goes through the history of instant ramen, Momofuku Ando, and various other tidbits of information on Japanese food and culture, such a Manga (Japanese comic books), literature, and movies and television programs. As a writer Raskin is truly entertaining, the way he captivated me with some of the things he writes about never leave my mind. Raskin has a sense of relatedness to him, he transcends just being a narrator, to being a human being with whom I can relate with on some level. It's like a shift in soul, going beyond the relationship between the reader and the narrator, you are able to feel everything the narrator is trying to get across and more. Raskin may come off as somewhat of a self-deprecating, pompous, jerk, but I don't see it that way, I see him as someone who has had to deal with alot, like everyone else. Raskin also has a great sense of humor, even when he is sometimes trying not to be humorous, some of the things that he even says are downright laugh out loud worthy, he can slo be very informative, giving me referances to Manga, books written by Momofuku Ando himself and other Japanese writers, which only led to read more of these other books that he mentions. I think the book can be very informative for young people, so they don't go down some of the same roads that he did. To conclude, I give this book five cups of delicious instant ramen out of five. I think the book could be for everybody, whether man or woman, gender doesn't really matter at all when reading this book, because the book is all around a great, and entertaining read. Beautifully crafted, relatable, informative, entertaining, and unique in it's own, special way.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Read it in one sitting -- Raskin manages to write about a broad array of compelling topics (for me): Japanese culture (obviously, from the title, including restaurants and food), business magazine writing, relationships, and something akin to "setting his moral compass". The structure and style of the book is interesting in alternating chapters that reflect parallel story lines (kind of like "Everything is Illuminated" but done internally rather than with a second narrator -- maybe "Soul Moutain Read it in one sitting -- Raskin manages to write about a broad array of compelling topics (for me): Japanese culture (obviously, from the title, including restaurants and food), business magazine writing, relationships, and something akin to "setting his moral compass". The structure and style of the book is interesting in alternating chapters that reflect parallel story lines (kind of like "Everything is Illuminated" but done internally rather than with a second narrator -- maybe "Soul Moutain" had alternating chapters using a second, internal voice too?) -- and this trope gets even more condensed when there's even dialogue between the two. Okay, I'm making this out to be much crazier and far more difficult to understand or read than it is -- Raskin's writing style (despite the strange sounding structure I described) is straightforward. And since I mentioned "Everything Is Illuminated", I thought it had a forced, juvenile style over the last half/third of the book; Soul Mountain was too annoying to finish, largely due to it's convoluted organization. Raskin does not suffer from pretentious words, phrases, or references. He's big into Japanese culture broadly -- and there's plenty of reference to manga comics, finer points of sushi, and samurai films like Musashi or those of Kurosawa -- but there's also American references, to the Brady Bunch, American neighborhoods (Dolores Park in SF, Upper West Side in NYC, etc.).....I don't know where I'm going with this. Similar books.....well, I think there's a spectrum of the "adult male growing up" genre that this book seems to take some pieces of. "Iron & Silk" and, actually, the other Mark Salzman books are superficially similar (white American finds inspiration in Asia). I hesitate to mention something akin to the "Frog King" by Adam Davies, but "Ramen King and I" is much bigger in scope and depth, and therefore more compelling for me. What I really hesitate to compare it to is "Average American Male" or "American Psycho", which are the extremities of this genre and people who really liked those may find Raskin's work too tame. Palahniuk? Yeah, his books have some genre similarities, but I'd still say Palahniuk is closer to those last two examples than he is to Raskin. Alain de Botton -- maybe if you combined "How Proust Can Change Your Life" (hilarious the first read, less so in retrospect) with "On Love" (or whatever his other sappy books are) with "Consolations of Philosophy" (which didn't hold my interest) -- maybe then you'd get closer than any of the prior examples.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    Okay, so perhaps I was blown away by this title even more-so by the fact that I went into it with basically no expectations at all. I had originally purchased this book for my boyfriend mostly as a sort of tongue-in-cheek gift to both commemorate the many evenings of delicious stir-fried ramen he has prepared, while also poking fun at his interminable cheapness (we are well past the age when our contemporaries stopped considering ramen as a viable meal option). It elicited the requisite polite c Okay, so perhaps I was blown away by this title even more-so by the fact that I went into it with basically no expectations at all. I had originally purchased this book for my boyfriend mostly as a sort of tongue-in-cheek gift to both commemorate the many evenings of delicious stir-fried ramen he has prepared, while also poking fun at his interminable cheapness (we are well past the age when our contemporaries stopped considering ramen as a viable meal option). It elicited the requisite polite chuckle and then promptly languished on our bookshelf for over a year. I only recently plucked The Ramen King back off the shelf as all of my books were inaccessible - imprisoned away in cardboard for an upcoming move. I thought I might sit with it for the first couple of pages - just to pass the time, but instead was immediately hooked. A few minutes later, only 30 pages in, but already 3 laugh-out-loud moments deep, I essentially pried my boyfriend away from NetFlix and forced him listen to me read his gift to him. When he fell asleep, I decided to "scout ahead" and ended up finishing the whole thing in one sleepless night. I have not done this in years. Raskin's novel is a surprising blend of foodie rant, love poem to Japan, and fearless inner exhibitionism. Amazingly, he took these three subjects I was lukewarm to at best (food, Japan, and Andy Raskin) and blended them with a healthy dose of this nearly claustrophobic strain of intimate humor to make me fascinated with all three. I want to eat the greasy ramen from the dive restaurant, know my way around sushi better, visit the Ramen Museum, and read the graphic novels with the absurd plot lines that he spoke of. And this is all in spite of now knowing some of the darker secrets about Raskin that probably even some of my better friends would never tell me in a million years. Raskin reveals himself in a manner that is at once incredibly brave and painful. In doing so, he gains the vantage point from which to paint a picture of our inner critics/demons/frenemies. He does it without sounding trite and with a considerable bit of humor, giving the reader enough space to perhaps defang that universal voice just ever so slightly. One thing is for certain, my own voice spoke up loudly mere moments into this novel: SO YOU THINK YOU MIGHT WRITE A BIT ON YOUR SPARE TIME, EH? GOT OUT YOUR MOLESKINE, HMMM? WORKIN' ON A LITTLE STORY? PLEASE, THIS ANDY WHATS-HIS-FACE FELLOW CAN WTFPWN YOU ANY DAY... BEYOTCH.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jason Hwang

    The book The Ramen King and I by Andy Raskin is a memoir about a reporter (Raskin) that constantly fails with his love life and is determined to meet Momofuku Ando, the inventor of ramen, to help cure his inability to maintain a love life with a woman. This story takes place mostly in Japan but also parts of the USA and other countries in Asia. Raskin's journey first started when he ate at an extremely addicting fatty ramen at Ramen Jiro. This ramen was so acidic that Raskin had to go to the eme The book The Ramen King and I by Andy Raskin is a memoir about a reporter (Raskin) that constantly fails with his love life and is determined to meet Momofuku Ando, the inventor of ramen, to help cure his inability to maintain a love life with a woman. This story takes place mostly in Japan but also parts of the USA and other countries in Asia. Raskin's journey first started when he ate at an extremely addicting fatty ramen at Ramen Jiro. This ramen was so acidic that Raskin had to go to the emergency room because his gallbladder was infected. At the emergency room, he noticed a magazine about instant noodles and the inventor of it. Raskin then wanted to get an interview with the inventor and his company because Momofuku had an interesting life that lead him to create the instant ramen. Matt, Andy's mentor, is trying to help him cure Raskin's love life. He made a plan that Raskin had to mail letters to someone he had interest in and Raskin chose Momofuku Ando. Matt told him to write letters about his past relationships and his problems but not actually send it to Ando. Andy was going to read his letters to Matt and learn his mistakes. This motivated Andy to make an arrangement with Ando so he can talk to him about his love life. Will Andy actually meet Ando? You must read the story and explore Raskin's adventure to meet Momofuku Ando. Explanation of Review: This book is a 4 star for me because it shows alot of detail on why Andy's love life is a failure. Although I am not interested in Romance and memoirs, this book taught me a lesson about what not to do and what to definitely do in my love life. Also this book helped me understand the dificulties of meeting a very famous inventor and celebrity personally. I can connect to Matt, Andy Raskin's mentor, because I help my friends calm down and cure their problems (sometimes). Everytime my friends have a problem, I am always one of the people that help cheer them up and try to find a plan to help solve it. Much like me, Matt helps Raskin cure his problems. Matt also tries to find a plan to help solve Raskin's love life. Qoute from the book i enjoyed. "Compared to other traditional Japanese foods, ramen has no past. There's no manual, no established theory. That's why you can express yourself through it. That's why it can help you understand yourself." I recommend this book to anyone who loves to read a romantic adventure book with some hilarious events.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    I loved this book. Never mind the infidelities and his obvious addiction to sex/one-night stands that may prevent a reader from empathizing with Andy Raskin but I accepted it as one of his imperfect characteristics. I don't condone cheating but I guess what I'm trying to say is that it didn't stop me from falling in love with this book. Wonderfully written with lots of self-deprecating humor, it reminded me of Haruki Murakami so strongly and yet of course, it was different. Reading this book mad I loved this book. Never mind the infidelities and his obvious addiction to sex/one-night stands that may prevent a reader from empathizing with Andy Raskin but I accepted it as one of his imperfect characteristics. I don't condone cheating but I guess what I'm trying to say is that it didn't stop me from falling in love with this book. Wonderfully written with lots of self-deprecating humor, it reminded me of Haruki Murakami so strongly and yet of course, it was different. Reading this book made me crave sushi and of course, ramen. I love Japan. I love its culture. I love how the language sounds. And yet, I don't speak a scrap of Japanese and anything I know about Japan is what I see and read; I've never been there. Still, Raskin provides an inside look to the Japanese culture and it was truly fascinating. Kind of like how I felt when I read The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz; I found out so many things about the French lifestyle. The summation of the book is this: through Raskin's research about Momofuku Ando, the creator of instant ramen, Raskin comes to grips with his own addiction and painstakingly tries to resolve it. How does he do this? Ando wrote a series of books, mainly memoirs and life lessons that he's learned along the way. The most important lesson is "The Fundamental Misunderstanding of Humanity". And what it boils down to is that we as individuals try so hard to be good at everything that sometimes, it is best to accept our limitations and move on. For example, those voices in our heads that say things like, "Why do girls like my best friend more than me? I need to be just as cool as him" or "Why do the guys never invite me to go drinking after ultimate frisbee? There's something wrong with me, I'm not social enough, I need to talk more" and on and on. This is the voice that Raskin has been listening to for so many years, and it tells him that he's unworthy of love and commitment and hence, the story behind his addiction. He goes into his childhood memories, his confusion through puberty, his heartbreaks at a young age, and more. It is wonderfully refreshing to read about a guy who seemingly has everything from wealth to an MBA from Wharton to being published in the New York Times as a freelance writer, and yet he also deals with emotional scars that make him more like the every day joe schmoe. And damn, can this guy write.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    I typically try not to know too much about a book before I read it because I like to let the story unfold in a natural way. This was one of the rare times when this system failed me. If I had read more about it, maybe I would have passed on this book. At the start of the book I found the author to be quite unlikeable due to his chonic cheating on his girlfriends. Midway though the book, I sort of got over my dislike for him when I realized that he acknowledged the problem and set to fixing it. It I typically try not to know too much about a book before I read it because I like to let the story unfold in a natural way. This was one of the rare times when this system failed me. If I had read more about it, maybe I would have passed on this book. At the start of the book I found the author to be quite unlikeable due to his chonic cheating on his girlfriends. Midway though the book, I sort of got over my dislike for him when I realized that he acknowledged the problem and set to fixing it. It helped me understand a little bit about sex addicts. Many people dismiss the possibility of a sex addict and resent the fact that people seek treatment like drug addicts. Now I understand that it is less like a drug addiction and more like OCD. The steps that he takes to takes to overcome his condition is very similar to the steps one would take to treat OCD if they were in cognitive behavioral therapy (combined with some of the AA steps). What bothered me was that the author is Jewish and he chose to make the inventor of Raman Noodles his G-d. This just irked me. He could have simply looked to his own religion and went to cognitive behavioral therapy and saved himself the trouble of the trips to Japan! When he put crab in the gefilte fish and brought it to a Yom Kippur dinner, that was the last straw for me. If this book was funny or if I liked him more, it could have earned another star. I did like some of his stories about sushi restaurants and ramen noodle experiences but that just wasn't enough. As it was, I read it quickly so I could be done with it and move on to a better book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Becca

    I came into this book with high expectations. Let's face it - it has probably the best title of any memoir in approximately the history of the universe. Unfortunately, the rest of the book does not live up, particularly. Raskin's epistolary memoir mostly focuses on his scummy, womanizing ways and his desire to make up for them. Somehow, he finds the motivation to make reparations for past misdeeds by writing a series of monologues addressed to Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant ramen. Why And I came into this book with high expectations. Let's face it - it has probably the best title of any memoir in approximately the history of the universe. Unfortunately, the rest of the book does not live up, particularly. Raskin's epistolary memoir mostly focuses on his scummy, womanizing ways and his desire to make up for them. Somehow, he finds the motivation to make reparations for past misdeeds by writing a series of monologues addressed to Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant ramen. Why Ando is a question frequently asked but never answered. Similarly, the "fixed my love life" subtitle may be a little oversold: the book seems to be more "How My Imagined Version of the Inventor of Instant Noodles Set Me on the Path to Fixing My Love Life, But I'm Certainly Nowhere Close to Fixed Yet, Because as an Adult Closer to a Midlife Crisis than a Quarterlife One, I'm Counting a Six Month Relationship as a Success." I mean, I'm just saying... Interspersed with that is a series of anecdotes about Momofuku Ando's life, which are fascinating, but conveyed in a rather dry tone. The best part of the book are Raskin's frequent trips to Japan and his perception and description of the Japanese culture. But honestly, Japan as a comedy of manners has been done before in both fiction and nonfiction before. (e.g. If You Follow Me)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chrisf

    Ok, I'm sorry that I didn't review this book immediately, because I really want everybody to hurry up and buy it. (I do not know the author, personally.) I feel like I know him though, after reading his honest account of himself. Ok, maybe not so honest... he says he was a jerk, but, that's not what comes through in his writing. I do love memoirs, I notice that most of my 5 star ratings are for that kind of story. When I was describing this book to a friend, she said, "So, Eat,Love,Pray by a guy Ok, I'm sorry that I didn't review this book immediately, because I really want everybody to hurry up and buy it. (I do not know the author, personally.) I feel like I know him though, after reading his honest account of himself. Ok, maybe not so honest... he says he was a jerk, but, that's not what comes through in his writing. I do love memoirs, I notice that most of my 5 star ratings are for that kind of story. When I was describing this book to a friend, she said, "So, Eat,Love,Pray by a guy?" And I guess there are parallels to it... He likes sushi, he travels to Japan, he conducts a spiritual search through the inadvertant advice from an ancient oriental sage, ummm, oh yeah, he does find love, I think. Or at least gets his head on straighter. But, the similarities end there, at the surface. The Ramen King is the inventor of instant ramen noodles and how and why this was accomplished figures in the story of how Mr. Raskin finds his way to healthy, mature, adulthood. That's all it took to get my interest. And I was well-rewarded. I don't know if this is cheating, but here is a really good review from someone who is really into ramen noodles: http://www.rameniac.com/index/comment...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte

    This memoir easily lives up to its bizarre title. I discovered this book during a recent interview with Raskin on NPR, where he's also, apparently, done a lot of commentaries involving his take on Japanese culture. I think part of what makes it bizarre and touching is that Raskin is so clearly not used to introspection, and here he is attempting to be rigorously honest for the first time. In a nutshell, it's the coming-of-age story of a charming, nerdy sex-addict (though, to his credit, he never This memoir easily lives up to its bizarre title. I discovered this book during a recent interview with Raskin on NPR, where he's also, apparently, done a lot of commentaries involving his take on Japanese culture. I think part of what makes it bizarre and touching is that Raskin is so clearly not used to introspection, and here he is attempting to be rigorously honest for the first time. In a nutshell, it's the coming-of-age story of a charming, nerdy sex-addict (though, to his credit, he never uses that term) who leads a double life, with a girlfriend in Japan and another in the U.S., while cheating on both with a parade of other women. There is no bragging; his emphasis is on his commitment-anxiety and an insatiable need for approval, not on lurid sexual details. This could be pretty dreary stuff, but... What makes this so much fun is that he's a complete Japanophile AND a foodie. We learn the idiosyncracies of different sushi chefs and ramen joints both here and in Japan, and savor every bite with him. He avoids use of all 12-step jargon, but since don't have to, I have to tell you that--SPOILER ALERT!--Momofuko Ando, the inventor of instant ramen, IS Andy Raskin's higher power.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Canice

    I think the following quote, edited from the Publisher’s Weekly review, really captures the spirit of this unconventional memoir. I am reluctant to put the effort behind writing my own review because I think that if you like ramen and you like memoirs and you like tales of self-discovery, you might like this book. To say much more could diminish the reader’s journey. “This funny and idiosyncratic Japanese-fast-food memoir and quasi-spiritual autobiography from NPR commentator Raskin contains at I think the following quote, edited from the Publisher’s Weekly review, really captures the spirit of this unconventional memoir. I am reluctant to put the effort behind writing my own review because I think that if you like ramen and you like memoirs and you like tales of self-discovery, you might like this book. To say much more could diminish the reader’s journey. “This funny and idiosyncratic Japanese-fast-food memoir and quasi-spiritual autobiography from NPR commentator Raskin contains at its core, despite its oddball title, a deeply human story. The author grew up on Long Island and attended Wharton business school after college, which led to an internship in Japan and a life-long connection with the country. Over the years, Raskin also got involved with a number of women, without maintaining fidelity or forming a permanent attachment. At first, the book's intentions aren't explicit, the structure is near confusing, and the narrator's crisis feels shallow. But the various strands eventually weave together into a satisfying whole that becomes a quirky, unique memoir. The result is a painfully humane and hilariously candid journey of self-discovery."

  26. 4 out of 5

    May-Ling

    i think for most people, this might be a two star book. if you have an interest in obscure parts of japanese culture, the book becomes 3 stars. i find the main character pretty repugnant. he has a ridiculous program with staying faithful to women and is constantly lost in the world. what ended up drawing me in was the familiar place, as he's in san francisco, and the fact that he's big into chowhound. i used to search those boards all of the time, so i feel close the that foodie community. my fav i think for most people, this might be a two star book. if you have an interest in obscure parts of japanese culture, the book becomes 3 stars. i find the main character pretty repugnant. he has a ridiculous program with staying faithful to women and is constantly lost in the world. what ended up drawing me in was the familiar place, as he's in san francisco, and the fact that he's big into chowhound. i used to search those boards all of the time, so i feel close the that foodie community. my favorite parts of the book were really his reports of getting "in" at this amazing sushi restaurant in the city and then visiting the nissin ramen museum and the ramen founder's funeral in osaka. he gives you this insider's view in the book. aside from that, i don't find raskin's writing to be that great, nor do i find his life interesting. the book is really a product of his method towards becoming someone that knows how to have a real relationship with another human being, and in his case, it's a pretty painful path.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Eva

    Andy Raskin introduces us to his problems via a series of letters written to Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant Ramen and founder of Nissan Foods. At first it makes no sense why he writes these letters and why he publishes them for us to read. We learn that he knows how to speak Japanese, that he interned in Japan, that he loves sushi. He treats us to descriptions of marvelous meals and funny encounters. We learn that he considers himself a failure. Momofuku's life story is introduced as a s Andy Raskin introduces us to his problems via a series of letters written to Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant Ramen and founder of Nissan Foods. At first it makes no sense why he writes these letters and why he publishes them for us to read. We learn that he knows how to speak Japanese, that he interned in Japan, that he loves sushi. He treats us to descriptions of marvelous meals and funny encounters. We learn that he considers himself a failure. Momofuku's life story is introduced as a series of short chapters, and in them, we begin to get a glimmer of why Momofuku becomes Andy's touchstone to self-discovery and recovery. Momofuku has had failures and kept trying to succeed. In the case of instant noodles, it took him a decade to create a process that produced the product we all know and love. Funny and thoughtful, this book provides an interesting path through one man's mind and heart and offers an inspiration to the rest of us: When you have lost your way, find a guide, however unlikely. Take the best your guide has to offer and keep moving forward.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    Andy Raskin, who has contributed stories to NPR and the New York Times sets out to find himself with the help of unlikely spiritual guide, billionaire and inventor of instant Ramen noodles, Momofuku Ando. The story unfolds through letters written to Momofuku Ando about the author’s relationships and infidelities, sushi and ramen restaurants, manga and Japanese television. I don’t eat sushi and I don’t read manga, but something about this book really captured my attention. The book is less a biogr Andy Raskin, who has contributed stories to NPR and the New York Times sets out to find himself with the help of unlikely spiritual guide, billionaire and inventor of instant Ramen noodles, Momofuku Ando. The story unfolds through letters written to Momofuku Ando about the author’s relationships and infidelities, sushi and ramen restaurants, manga and Japanese television. I don’t eat sushi and I don’t read manga, but something about this book really captured my attention. The book is less a biography about Momofuku Ando (who invented instant ramen) than about the author’s problems with his relationships. However, there are several chapters of Ando’s life and Japanese culture which are fascinating. On the surface, the author is well educated and successful but realizes deep down he has problems and is willing to confront them. The author’s quest to meet Ando and rediscover himself takes him from New York and California to Japan while seeking enlightenment and inspiration from manga and samurai movies along the way.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Larry H

    Ok, so the book had me at the title. But unlike so many other books, this one lived up to the expectations its title generated. This was great! I'll admit that although I ate more than my fill of ramen while working my way through college, I never gave much thought to the man who invented it, much as I never really wondered who first thought orange, cheese-flavored powder mixed with milk would make mac and cheese. But I digress. Andy Raskin seemed to have it all. He was a successful writer, music Ok, so the book had me at the title. But unlike so many other books, this one lived up to the expectations its title generated. This was great! I'll admit that although I ate more than my fill of ramen while working my way through college, I never gave much thought to the man who invented it, much as I never really wondered who first thought orange, cheese-flavored powder mixed with milk would make mac and cheese. But I digress. Andy Raskin seemed to have it all. He was a successful writer, musically talented, had several jobs that allowed him the opportunity to live in Japan for long periods of time, and he seemed to have no trouble attracting women. But underneath all of that, his life was in shambles. Through a series of events, he becomes obsessed with Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant ramen, and Ando even becomes his spiritual guide. This book is amusing, chock-full of information you'd never think you were interested in and much more psychologically deep than you'd expect. And I wouldn't read it on an empty stomach!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    It’s an odd premise for a book. A Japanese-speaking American journalist seeks relationship advice and spiritual guidance from the inventor of Cup Noodles, Momofuku Ando. But it works. It really works! Raskin is a jerk. He’s unable to remain faithful in his relationships with women. He’s a lying, cheating, two-timer. I should have had a strong dislike for this guy. And I did…at the beginning of the book. But then again, at least he was fully admitting his character flaws upfront. As I read on my h It’s an odd premise for a book. A Japanese-speaking American journalist seeks relationship advice and spiritual guidance from the inventor of Cup Noodles, Momofuku Ando. But it works. It really works! Raskin is a jerk. He’s unable to remain faithful in his relationships with women. He’s a lying, cheating, two-timer. I should have had a strong dislike for this guy. And I did…at the beginning of the book. But then again, at least he was fully admitting his character flaws upfront. As I read on my harsh feelings began to fall away as his travels took him to Osaka and Tokyo searching for answers to his destructive behavior. But that’s only part of the story. Raskin also successfully weaves in Ando’s intriguing biography and oodles of insight into the Japanese culture. This is a highly entertaining read that left me, first of all, wanting to plan a return trip to Japan, but also, head out to my local noodle restaurant for a big bowl of ramen.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.