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I Am Not Myself These Days by Josh…
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I Am Not Myself These Days

by Josh Kilmer-Purcell

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Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
I'm trying to think of something I want to say that wasn't already said in Jennifer's review. ( )
  R0BIN | Apr 27, 2013 |
"I don't care what Butterball.com says, the hardest part about cooking the perfect Thanksgiving dinner is avoiding the splinters of broken crack pipes that collect in the crevices of the kitchen floor. ... In our newfound resolve to be a normal couple, Jack and I had invited twenty-nine assorted hookers, drag queens, club promoters, drug dealers, and Mr. Beefeater to our Old Fashioned Thanksgiving Family Dinner."

Another from one of my favorite nonfiction genres: the zany, fucked-up, and probably highly embellished memoir. The person who inspired me to push this one up my TBR mountain was actually part of the 90's New York drag scene and totally remembers Aqua and her trademark clear plastic boobs with live goldfish swimming around in them. But as fun as the drunken club stories are, the real meat of this memoir is what goes on behind the scenes in Josh's personal life over the course of his first year in the city and his turbulent relationship with his boyfriend Jack, who just so happens to be a crack-addicted sadomasochistic escort.

There are hilarious parts (like the aforementioned Thanksgiving dinner) and heartbreaking parts (like the time Aqua gets rolled by a pair of brothers she tried to hook up with and ends up cutting her face more so she can tell people at work she was mugged). Definitely one of the best out of similar-themed memoirs I've read. ( )
  agirlnamedfury | Mar 30, 2013 |
Light in tone, though in content more despairing and absurd. It's essentially the memoir of a peculiar and failed relationship. While it was amusing in a sad way, compare to Burroughs's [b:Dry|32370|Dry|Augusten Burroughs|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1168389326s/32370.jpg|1825967] for a different way of telling a tale of the city, relationships, gay culture, and substance abuse. While Kilmer-Purcell is more harrowing, Burroughs might be more vulnerably, and thus approachably, told. ( )
  OshoOsho | Mar 30, 2013 |
It was a hard read for me (unfortunately, I picked it up right before my own relationship ended, so I had to leave it unfinished for about six weeks after since I couldn't bring myself to read about the ends of other people's romances as well), but very, very good. Kilmer-Purcell is a fantastic, engaging author, and though the larger-than-life stories he weaves are perhaps entirely too dramatized to be perfectly honest, the book is a hearbreaking, fabulous read. ( )
  391 | Apr 28, 2012 |
Brief Description: Kilmer-Purcell’s first memoir (before the The Bucolic Plague) chronicles his days as a drag queen named Aqua and his doomed love affair with a crack addicted male escort who specializes in S&M. The relationship between Josh and his boyfriend Jack is the heart of the book, and it shines brightly before exploding into a supernova of pain, addiction and loss.

My Thoughts: Kilmer-Purcell seems to have lived enough lives to fill many memoirs. Although it was hard to reconcile the Josh in this book (alcoholic ad man by day and drag queen by night) with the bumbling but persevering gentleman farmer of his second memoir, his wickedly sense of humor and self-depreciation was instantly familiar. Frankly, I’m impressed that Josh survived the days chronicled in this book long enough to transform himself into one of the Beekman Boys. Although this memoir is often really funny and fascinating in a “let’s see how the other more flamboyant half” lives sort of way, it is also filled self-destructive behavior that I found both compelling and horrifying. (I must warn you that this book isn’t for everyone. If graphic descriptions of gay sex, S&M, or drug use offends your sensibilities, steer clear!) Although Jack and Josh don’t live anything near a conventional lifestyle, their love affair feels doomed in a tragic Romeo and Juliet sort of way. And just because the heart being broken belongs to a 6-foot drag queen who keeps live goldfish in his corset doesn’t make this story any less affecting, emotional or touching. ( )
  Jenners26 | Oct 18, 2011 |
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For Brent, who wants you to know that he had nothing to do with any events in this story. (But, I assure you, has everything to do with its happy ending.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060817321, Paperback)

I Am Not Myself These Days is Josh Kilmer-Purcell's outrageously intimate memoir of a young man living a double life in the heady days and nights of mid-'90s New York City. As we follow Kilmer-Purcell through alcohol-fueled nights and a love affair with Jack, a crack-addicted male escort, he offers up an alternative universe where normal is "a Normal Rockwell painting that, if you leaned in close, would discover is made up entirely of misfits."

By day, Josh drudges off to a Soho-based advertising firm where he creates ad campaigns for corporate clients. At night, he dons live goldfish to complete the look of Aqua, a 7-foot-tall award-winning drag queen who trolls gay clubs in search of her next drink/one night stand. In between, he spends his time trying to build a stable, loving relationship with someone whose beeping pager is a constant reminder of the pair's almost inevitable fate. Yet even as Josh's escapades get increasingly absurd, Kilmer-Purcell is always there to remind us that the story we're reading is real, and that fundamental human emotions and desires are essentially universal. In the end, everyone just wants to be loved and to fit in somewhere. And while the lesson may seem hokey at times, Kilmer-Purcell's sharp wit rescues the memoir from becoming an exaggerated sob story:

The night before any major holiday is always a blockbuster night at gay clubs. Thousands... across the city fortifying themselves for long trips home where they'll be met with awkward silences, stilted conversations and cousins with whom they'd experimented with decades ago.
From start to finish, I Am Not Myself These Days is an extraordinary journey into an amazing life. To be a fly on the wall is an adventure that should not be missed. --Gisele Toueg

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:26 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

An advertising executive describes how he moonlighted as a drag queen performing in nighclubs, detailing a surreal odyssey into Manhattan's dark underbelly as it chronicles his relationship with his crack-addicted, male-escort boyfriend.

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