Kong Boys

Seven Friends from Hong Kong Take on Eleven European Cities for Their Thirtieth Birthdays

Non-Fiction - Travel
273 Pages
Reviewed on 05/27/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

Kong Boys: Seven Friends from Hong Kong Take on Eleven European Cities for Their Thirtieth Birthdays by Gerald Yeung is an interesting non-fiction book for travel fans. The author introduces readers to his four childhood friends and explores their friendship over the years, a journey that has been filled with adventure and unusual fun. At twenty, Gerald and his friends take to the road as backpackers. Their destination: South America and Africa. It will take ten more years with a lot of things happening in their separate lives before they undertake another adventure. It is their thirtieth birthday and this time their destination is in Europe. The hype with the soccer tournament, the 2016 UEFA, is at a fever pitch, and it is against this backdrop that they explore eleven cities in Europe.

The boys are feisty and their adventures are fun to read. For readers with little or no idea about their cultural background, this book will tell a lot about growing up in Hong Kong and the uniqueness of the culture. The book takes readers to fun places, including clubs, bull races, restaurants, and the wilds. Gerald Yeung’s book will remind readers of the beauty of friendship and the fun of trying new things. Woven into the story are strong themes like family, relationships, failure, and hope. The exuberance of youth is ingeniously captured in this narrative and the author not only a good traveler but a writer with the unique gift of capturing the interest of readers and making them want to pack and visit their dream destination. Kong Boys is a fun story that reads like well-crafted fiction.

Rabia Tanveer

Kong Boys: Seven Friends from Hong Kong Take on Eleven European Cities for Their Thirtieth Birthdays by Gerald Yeung is the adventurous tale of friends as they go on a journey of a lifetime. Gerald and his friends had promised each other to go on an adventure when they turned thirty. The seven boys from Hong Kong, (Gerald, DJ, Justin, Brian, Dave, Sho and Kenny) had plans to travel to Europe and enjoy the UEFA European Championship together. While Gerald’s girlfriend Molly isn’t really happy with him going to Europe just to watch two European Championship matches, Gerald is bound by the bro-code and he isn’t keen on breaking a promise that was made 10 years ago. The seven friends pack their bags and embark on another milestone together where they face troubles, work their magic in situations best left alone, and experience brotherhood unlike any other! They revive their friendship and learn once again why these seven boys gravitated towards each other in the first place.

Kong Boys is a celebration of friendship and the undying love the author has for his friends. Gerald is such a good narrator. He kept the story going, he added in some pretty good humor and he kept my interest. I enjoyed how he and his friends interacted with each other. You can tell they know each other really well and aren't afraid of teasing and poking at each other. The descriptions made me feel like I was in the moment with the boys. I have a hard time believing the author is an engineer by profession. He is very eloquent with his descriptions and with his imagery. His narration style is very unique and refreshing. I was lured into the story and enjoyed every moment. I think the reason why I had such a good time reading this memoir is that the author had a good time writing it. I was smiling while reading that bull run scene and retold it to my sister because it was so funny. I loved this book! I hope the author shares more stories about the times he spent with his friends because I am curious about what they would do when one of them gets married!

K.C. Finn

Kong Boys is a work of non-fiction in the travel writing sub-genre and was penned by author Gerald Yeung. The work describes itself as the tale of ‘Seven Friends from Hong Kong Take on Eleven European Cities for Their Thirtieth Birthdays’, which promises a great deal of hijinks and entertainment right from the onset. Part memoir and part travelogue, a group of privileged young men from Hong Kong find their values and their fashionable clothes challenged by one adventure in 2006, and then promise to engage in an epic road trip through Europe to reunite and follow the 2016 UEFA European Championship. What follows is a wide array of cultural experiences, fun adventures, and the solidarity of friendship despite different directions taken in life.

Author Gerald Yeung has created both a heart-warming tale of friendship and a fun romp of a travelogue which will be sure to please football fanatics everywhere. Brought together by their shared love of the game, it is apparent that this group of friends still have a lot to learn about life outside their specific bubbles of interest, and it is wonderful to learn and experience with them. The variety of cities allows us to see them opening up to new experiences with fun, positive attitudes, which is highly refreshing in an increasingly xenophobic world. One of the things I most enjoyed was the dialogue, which really characterizes the group of friends from the off and allows us an intimate familiarity with them, much like the narrator himself has. Overall, I would highly recommend Kong Boys to readers who enjoy both memoir and travel writing and are looking for an uplifting adventure tale to take them out of the humdrum of everyday life.