With a simple coherent narrative and a generally humorous tone, this autobiography, which reflects a real life of a Chinese immigrant family, is an easy, breezy and fun read.
The author Jimmy is a stand-up comedian and excels in acting and joking. But that does not necessarily mean that his book is not thought-provoking. In fact, there are two things that have touched my heart.
What impresses me most is the author's bitter experience of fitting in with American culture.
For instance, the author, a US citizen and successful TV and movie actor, still suffers from racism and finds it "hard to put ethnicities aside in the melting pot of America". The sense of loneliness and helplessness also goes to Danny Meng, the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing hero who is a Chinese immigrant as well and told Jimmy, "Nobody cared about me here."
To a certain extent, urban snobbery towards migrant workers in China has something in common with what Jimmy and Danny Meng have experienced in America. In reality, my parents were among the first generation of people who have come to the city from the countryside since the 1990s. And unsurprisingly, I have followed in my parents' steps to become a migrant, so I could surely relate to the loneliness of being an outsider.
Besides, the deep and unspoken paternal love leaves a lasting impression on me as well.
Stern as he is, Jimmy's father has a natural talent for comedy, who makes me laugh out loud every time I read about him. Like many archetypal traditional fathers in China, Jimmy's father seems bossy and dominating and makes every effort to take over Jimmy's life, ranging from imposing a seven o'clock curfew, to throwing a fit for badly cooked rice and arranging for Jimmy to be a white-collar worker, etc.
However, letting go of the author to pursue his comedy career and then agreeing to play the author's movie dad indicate that the author's father is virtually loving and proud of him. As shown in the epilogue, what Jimmy's father says can also be a testimony to that fact.
"In a Chinese family we don't have to say it all the time. You should know that I'm always proud of you."
I could sense the deep and profound love and it touches me.