Of all the charming misfits on television, there’s no doubt Raj from The Big Bang Theory — the sincere yet incurably geeky Indian-American astrophysicist — ranks among the misfittingest. Now, we meet the actor who is every bit as loveable as the character he plays on TV. In this revealing collection of essays written in his irreverent, hilarious, and self-deprecating voice, Kunal Nayyar traces his journey from a little boy in New Delhi who mistakes an awkward first kiss for a sacred commitment, gets nosebleeds chugging Coca-Cola to impress other students, and excels in the sport of badminton, to the confident, successful actor on the set of TV’s most-watched sitcom since Friends.
Going behind the scenes of The Big Bang Theory and into his personal experiences, Kunal introduces readers to the people who helped him grow, such as his James Bond-loving, mustachioed father who taught him the most important lessons in life: Treat a beggar as you would a king. There are two sides to every story. A smile goes a long way. And, when in doubt, use a spreadsheet. Kunal also walks us through his college years in Portland, where he takes his first sips of alcohol and learns to let loose with his French, 6’8” gentle-giant roommate, works his first-ever job for the university’s housekeeping department cleaning toilets for minimum wage, and begins a series of romantic exploits that go just about as well as they would for Raj. (That is, until he meets and marries a former Miss India in an elaborate seven-day event that we get to experience in a chapter titled “My Big Fat Indian Wedding.”)
Full of heart, but never taking itself too seriously, this witty and often inspiring collection of underdog tales follows a young man as he traverses two continents in search of a dream, along the way transcending culture and language (and many, many embarrassing incidents) to somehow miraculously land the role of a lifetime.
I received this book for review from the publisher for review, this does not influence my thoughts on the book or this review.
I love The Big Bang Theory and when I heard that the actor playing Raj, one of my favourite characters, has a memoir coming out, I knew I had to read it.
When it comes to celebrity memoirs, I’m not sure I know what makes a good one. But when it comes to captivating stories, I can surely identify those. And Yes, My Accent is Real is definitely a captivating story.
Nayyar’s voice is genuine and feels real. As I’ve heard someone say before, sometimes you can tell when actors are writing memoirs to cross it off a checklist but for Yes, This Accent is Real is not one of those. I enjoyed all of Nayyar’s essays and even though they aren’t all comedic (although most are), they all teach a valuable and insightful lesson. Nayyar discusses his love life, his childhood and how he got his big break. I loved learning about how he became an actor, and that his memoir discusses that maybe you don’t have to know your destiny to achieve it.
Overall, Yes, This Accent is Real is a wonderful collection of essays/stories about an actor’s personal life that both show insight into his life and the world. I really recommend it for fans of interesting memoirs, or fans of The Big Bang Theory who want to know more about the actor.