No Land’s Man by Aasif Mandvi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Disclaimer: I got this as part of Good Reads First Reads
This book reminded me a lot of Tim Allen’s books ( like Don’t stand too close to a naked man). The author’s humor shines through, but humor is not its purpose. Unlike the Tim Allen book about quantum mechanics, which is about a weekend he had to himself to think, Aasif’s book is a collection of essays that forms the rough outline of an autobiography.
Aasif really speaks to the immigrant experience and while he’s purposely focusing on the funnier parts of his life, we get a lot of emotion coming through. It’s easy to see how he ended up the man he is today.
I came to feel I knew two important things about him. He is conscious of his hard it is to be south Asian in Hollywood and his responsibility to be careful with stereotypes. While he wants readers to be familiar with the issue he does not appear to have a chip on his shoulder about it. The other thing is that he appears to be a very serious and committed actor. I think we tend to give comedic actors short shrift -it’s easy to just tell jokes -we think. But a lot goes into it.
If you think this is going to be a joke or funny book, you’ll be coming with the wrong expectations. But if you want to learn a bit more about Aasif in a fun context ( still can’t get over the phrase “Katie’s sad vagina”), I think you’ll enjoy it. My favorite First Reads book this year and my favorite non-fiction book this year.