Books Reviews

Kong Boys

Kong Boys by Gerald Yeung


Seven friends. Beers, bets, and bull runs. What can go wrong?

The enduring power of friendship disguised as a booze-soaked, contemplative travelogue.

In summer 2006, twenty-year-old Gerald Yeung and his childhood friends from Hong Kong travel to South America and Africa on their parents’ dime. Confronted by challenges foreign to their privileged upbringing, the “Wannabe Backpackers” persevere in their Christian Dior clothes. They make plans to do it again when they turn thirty.

The decade that follows doesn’t go exactly to plan. Gerald chases the American Dream in a town of twenty thousand and sub-zero winters. Others pursue a fast-and-furious life in Hong Kong. They all experience failed relationships, career setbacks, and a decreasing ability to impress girls at clubs.

The summer of their thirtieth birthdays, they hit the road again to fulfill a lifelong dream — the 2016 UEFA European Championship. Set during European soccer’s most anticipated event, Kong Boys traces a friendship that transcends distance, culture, and time, dovetailing the different trajectories of seven boys in a decade of changes in Hong Kong. Kong Boys is a celebration of youth, brotherhood, and a sport of incomparable beauty.


Seven privileged young men from Hong Kong, who are on the cusp of age 30, go on a European tour that coincides with UEFA Euro 2016. All, except one, of the seven friends are football fans. Yeung’s Kong Boys describes the experiences of these seven boys on this trip.

This book covers culture, food, personal relationships, football, and the general nature of young men. He shows that regardless of how different the seven friends are, the bond among them is strong. The anecdotes that show their friendship are inspirational and hilarious at the same time.

Asian youth are generally seen as nerdy and interested in video games and books. However, this book shows their wild, crazy partying, confident side.

Although I have nothing in common with Yeung and his friends, the book had great humour and many interesting facts that kept me engaged. Moreover, the goofiness of the boys, their inside jokes using Cantonese expressions, atrocious gambling, fancy recipes, and funny travel bloopers made me smile.

Yeung’s easy-to-read writing style and the natural flow of the dialogue made all of it enjoyable.

Note: I received an advance review copy for free from BookSirens and am posting a voluntary, unbiased review.

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