Look Who’s Morphing: Tom Cho
This is a playful collection of stories, linked by the unique voice of the central character. The title is a clever play on the 1989 movie Look Who’s Talking, and many stories pay homage to aspects of the 80s. The book is written in the first person, and this allows the reader to enter otherwise surreal worlds. The character does indeed ‘morph’ – memorable stories involve him joining the cast of The Muppets (as a Muppet), becoming Whitney Houston’s bodyguard, and even gate-crashing the movie Dirty Dancing with his extended family.
These are not just well-written, humorous stories though – there are many reflections on identity. In ‘Today on Dr Phil’, the protagonist and his Auntie Lien appear on the psychologist’s show to talk about anger. As Auntie Lien has Dr Phil and his audience transfixed, the narrator ponders how he has a tendency to ‘intellectualise first and get angry later’. The concept of the body is also central: the narrator fantasises about changing his size and therefore status. These desires are played out in many stories, particularly in the last and longest of the collection.