by Kunal Nayyar
Hardcover, 242 pg.
Atria Books, 2015
Read: September 23 – 24, 2015
This book was all sorts of okay. Occasionally more, rarely less.
It’s a series of (primarily) autobiographical essays about his childhood in India, his family, his time in Portland during college, training as an actor, and his break on a little show you may have heard of, The Big Bang Theory. He closed the book by talking about meeting, courting and marrying his wife — probably the book’s emotional highpoint (the portions about his father are a close second).
Some are a page or two in length, some are longer. Nayyar doesn’t always come across looking good, he’s quick to point out his own shortcomings and how he’s trying to be a better person following that. Overall, he’s a decent guy, and that comes across pretty clearly.
As a fan of Raj, like (I’m assuming) 98.75% of the readers of this book, I enjoyed what little time he spent talking about the character and playing him. I particularly appreciated what he said about Raj’s selective mutism, the choices he made to depict that, and the audience’s reaction to that.
Some of these stories, I’d heard Nayyar tell before — like on Aisha Tyler’s podcast — in written form, with new (or fewer) details was nice, and unlike some, having previous exposure didn’t hurt the book.
Pleasant enough, funny, charming, even touching. It was a nice read. If you enjoy his acting, you’ll likely enjoy it. Yes, My Accent Is Real isn’t a must read, but it’s worth your time.