I wish I had the support some other authors have, but I am thankful for the few reviews Expat Jimmy has received. They are genuine, and I’ll take four real reviews over a bunch of tossed-off five star write-ups from either people who expect a future favor from me or buddies in the publishing industry.
I am further detaching day-by-day.
On to the reviews:
I very much enjoyed this story by Travis Lee and would recommend it to anyone who has spent time in Asia. There’s an undeniable sense of nostalgia permeating the narrative, and Lee successfully captures the “sensory overload” aspect of stepping off the plane for the first time. Tons of books have been written on the subject, but many devolve into stereotype and/or condescension. Expat Jimmy takes an honest look at what it’s like to transplant oneself across countries and cultures, and for that reason, I’d recommend it to those unfamiliar with China, too.
In some ways the narrative is not particularly original—many expat authors (yours truly included) have covered the angle of an ESL westerner intrigued and shocked by the modern East. However, in condensing this rather archetypal story into one day, Lee succeeds at capturing the essence of this sort of story. Wasting no time, his tour of Wuhan in the mid-aughts covers everything a reader could want: all full of wonder, disgust, fear, and hope.
Jocelyn Eikenberg was kind enough to feature Expat Jimmy on her blog Speaking of China:
In 62 gripping pages, we follow the eponymous newcomer on a tour through Wuhan with Adam, a rather unscrupulous ESL teacher involved in some shady business. Lee skillfully captures those little details of living in China easily forgotten to longtime expats. It reminded me of how China appeared to me once upon a time, when I was still fighting jetlag and struggling to speak Mandarin.
And finally, Arthur Meursault. He wrote a great satire called Party Members which didn’t receive nearly the coverage it deserved. You can read my review here or go on Amazon and check some of the better reviews. David I Cahill’s is a good one.
The amount of places visited is unrealistic, though I can understand that the author is trying to present an introduction to all the weird and wonderful aspects of life in China within the vehicle of a one-day timeline. It doesn’t quite work and there is almost a little too much happening within the one hundred pages of this story for it to settle in the reader’s head and leave an impression
Huge thanks to the people who reviewed Expat Jimmy. I appreciate it. I’ll post more reviews as they come in.
In the meantime, check out the Expat Jimmy‘s TV Tropes page.