The Lazy Bastard Guide to Mandarin is Christian Adams’ first work of non-fiction to be published in digital and print format by The International Scholar, an imprint of the International Media Publishing Group, Inc. The book was published November 7, 2012 in digital and print on-demand formats.
Subtitled: An Abridged Corpus of Axioms, Vocabulary and Their Purported Meanings, The Lazy Bastard Guide to Mandarin is an irreverent take on language in the modern age, based on the author’s total immersion after moving to Taiwan.
“I knew two phrases [in Mandarin]: Xie xie (thank you) and ni hao (hello).”
Loosely satirizing the context and structure of a pocket-sized phrasebook, the Lazy Bastard Guide describes a world where most expatriates are called “asspats,” and suggests the best way to deal with the Chinese penchant for pushing in line is to “push back.”
You can learn Mandarin if you want to, but that doesn’t mean anyone is going to understand you.
Conversational in tone and brutally honest at times, the book explains the basics of Mandarin acquisition via auto-didactic experience. Grammar, pronunciation, idiom and sentence structure are given sober examinations while the Axioms of Ease function as guidelines to avoid inconvenience and embarrassment.
The first Axiom of Ease
Never speak Mandarin when English is available
From decoding the Asian bar scene to buying drugs in night markets, The Lazy Bastard Guide to Mandarin goes where no other phrasebook has been—far beyond the most basic tourist scenarios of hotels and Buddhist temples.
In 2010, inspired by two relatively unsuccessful years of attempting to learn Mandarin Chinese in a total immersion setting, Adams began writing a travel memoir, That’s a Lot of Climbing to See a Fucking Statue. Originally a chapter of the memoir, LBGTM developed as a result of the author’s increasing dependency on two phrasebooks, Lonely Planet Mandarin and The Rough Guide to Mandarin Chinese.
“I found it funny and ironic that without those two phrasebooks,” Adams says, “I never would have been able to eat, let alone find my way across Guangdong Province without a guide or an interpreter.” Adams describes the book as a “never-ending work-in-progress,” and continues to develop the Lazy Bastard concept.
“Theoretically, there could be a Lazy Bastard Guide to… just about anything. But as a genuinely lazy bastard, I’m only interested in the stuff that makes a difference in my life. Therefore, a Lazy Bastard Guide to American Politics would be an incredibly short book.”
The eBook is currently available from the following sources:
- Kindle Amazon
- Barnes and Noble
- Angus & Robertson (Australia)
- Ingram Distribution for print-on-demand and independent bookstores
Excerpts of the work can be found here: