I read this book because of the connection to China; I’ve never read a book by a gay man from China and was interested in the premise. I missed the fact that this is a self-published novel, but that likely would not have stopped me from reading the book, though it might have helped me understand the quality of the writing, which is quite poor. The grammar is uncertain in the finer points and usage is all over the place. Words are swapped or used in awkward contexts. The writing is that of someone who has learned English well but not with the intimacy required of a fiction writer. The story itself has some compelling moments, especially in the sections written about Hanmei’s childhood, growing up as the son of a gay father who nevertheless accepts a traditional Chinese marriage. Hanmei views his father as a monster due to his treatment of Rulan, Hanmei’s mother. These sections alerted me to the fact that the writer has something important to say but probably not all the tools needed to say it. So I relaxed and read the book for its information rather than its beauty. When Hanmei moves to Los Angeles and embraces his sexuality the book feels less important, though the story is still, at times, engaging. He becomes a gay clone in West Hollywood, haunting clubs, taking off his shirt with all the other hot dudes, living the life. This is my editorial comment on him, not what he says about himself. The book is genuinely interesting but full of assumptions about men and manliness. Sex is a contest of strength and aggression. Hanmei’s desperation is to fit in and belong, meanwhile trying to negotiate his place in a Chinese family that still expected certain behaviors from him, like obedience to his mother and father and his eventual marriage. The relationship with Jay, a young black man, was tender but also with some queasy references, as when the writer describes him as thuggish. On the whole this felt like a book from a world that its author saw only partly and incompletely.