HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Just by Looking at Him: A Novel by Ryan…
Loading...

Just by Looking at Him: A Novel (edition 2022)

by Ryan O'Connell (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1356203,720 (3.59)4
Fiction. Literature. Humor (Fiction.) LGBTQIA+ (Fiction.) HTML:From the star of Peacock's Queer as Folk and the Netflix series Special comes a "funny, tender, and beautiful" (Gary Janetti, New York Times bestselling author) novel following a gay TV writer with cerebral palsy as he fights addiction and searches for acceptance in an overwhelmingly ableist world.
Elliott appears to be living the dream as a successful TV writer with a doting boyfriend. But behind his Instagram filter of a life, he's grappling with an intensifying alcohol addiction, he can't seem to stop cheating on his boyfriend with various sex workers, and his cerebral palsy is making him feel like gay Shrek.

After falling down a rabbit hole of sex, drinking, and Hollywood backstabbing, Elliott decides to limp his way towards redemption. But facing your demons is easier said than done.

"With his singular voice and unforgettable wit" (Steven Rowley, author of The Guncle), Ryan O'Connell presents a candid, biting, and refreshingly real commentary on gay life, laugh-out-loud exploration of self, and a rare insight into life as a person with disabilities.
… (more)
Member:Robertgreaves
Title:Just by Looking at Him: A Novel
Authors:Ryan O'Connell (Author)
Info:Atria Books (2022), 300 pages
Collections:ebooks and online books, Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:contemporary, novel, gay, Australian author, ebook, Scribd, currently reading

Work Information

Just by Looking at Him by Ryan O'Connell

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
TV-writer Elliott's 6-year relationship with Gus implodes after he books a session with a sex worker but he learns to be more comfortable with himself and starts to overcome his addictions.

One of those books that is probably funnier if you are part of the milieu depicted but there were too many references to TV shows I don't watch or singers I'm only marginally aware of, if that, not to mention places and brands I don't recognise for me to really enjoy it ( )
  Robertgreaves | Apr 17, 2024 |
I received a copy of this book from Net Galley; this has not influenced my review.
I often find myself reading too many heavy or depressing books. I tend to go in for that sort of thing but still, every now and then I need a palate cleanser before I go back to horror or non-fiction about disasters. That’s what initially drew me to this title, it seemed like something light and humorous.
And it was. But it was also incredibly honest and at times scathing and dark. With all the wit and humor of your favorite YouTube series and all the messiness of real life, this book strikes a delicate balance between humor, emotional honesty, and heavy topics like relationships, addiction, and living in a world not designed for you.
This was a delightful read from an author with a lot to say and a talent for wrapping razor sharp barbs of insight in clever one liners. ( )
  Autolycus21 | Oct 10, 2023 |
I didn't read the synopsis of this book at all before starting it and definitely thought it was going to be a early 1900s queer historical fiction book. Once I realized that was not the case, I entered the book with an open mind but I'm just not a fan of comedy or even raunchy comedy so that's why I gave it such a low rating. Even as a queer person, nothing about it was relatable at all and I didn't find anything really funny ( )
1 vote Moshepit20 | Oct 1, 2023 |
The gay experience from a different point of view with a protagonist who has cerebral palsy as he tries to navigate the adult life of a gay man. I found the novel engaging with its realistic presentation of the difficulties that would easily overwhelm the average person. O'Connell's protagonist manages to overcome them with a unique voice that was both realistic and appealing. ( )
  jwhenderson | Jul 20, 2022 |
Real Rating: 3.75* of five, rounded down

The Publisher Says: From the star of Peacock’s Queer as Folk and the Netflix series Special comes a darkly witty and touching novel following a gay TV writer with cerebral palsy as he fights addiction and searches for acceptance in an overwhelmingly ableist world.

Elliott appears to be living the dream as a successful TV writer with a doting boyfriend. But behind his Instagram filter of a life, he’s grappling with an intensifying alcohol addiction, he can’t seem to stop cheating on his boyfriend with various sex workers, and his cerebral palsy is making him feel like gay Shrek.

After falling down a rabbit hole of sex, drinking, and Hollywood backstabbing, Elliott decides to limp his way towards redemption. But facing your demons is easier said than done.

Candid, biting, and refreshingly real, Just by Looking at Him is an incisive commentary on gay life, a heart-centered, laugh-out-loud exploration of self, and a rare insight into life as a person with disabilities.

I RECEIVED THIS DRC FROM THE PUBLISHER VIA NETGALLEY. THANK YOU.

My Review
: No one, looking from the outside in, will ever know what others are enduring, surviving, overcoming...or hiding. The author's got a track record of blowing the doors off handy hiding places...go watch his first show, Special, if you're in any doubt...and he's brought his unsparing honesty to bear on fiction about the supremely ableist gay-male world. Being a gay male, that's what he knows, so that's perfectly fair. It's a solid, explanatory fact that the author, writer for and star in the Peacock revival of Queer as Folk as well as the creator of the Netflix series Special based on his differently-abled-gay-guy memoir I'm Special and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves, is also the partner of Jonathan Parks-Ramage of Yes, Daddy fame.

This, then, is a Personage within QUILTBAG creativeland. I expected that I would be treated to outstanding stories told in superbly structured chapters.

I didn't get that.

I did get the expected honest and unflinching, no-bullshit presentation of Elliott's struggles with what I'd call impostor syndrome, fear of rejection, and a huge self-confidence deficit stemming from being gay and having cerebral palsy. I got hefty doses of snark and sarcasm; I got unblinking acknowledgment of the harm divergent career paths and the temptations of sudden financial freedom present in a couple's life. I got the eternal, and unwinnable, struggle of people to be monogamous when there is a vast smorgasbord of yummy side dishes available in any number of technologically assisted ways.

It was a lot of fun to read the author's one-liners, eg: "Lately I’d been feeling more and more that monogamy, like capitalism or keto, wasn’t sustainable, but I couldn’t be sure Gus was on the same page." It was not quite as much fun to have the funny one-liners be the book. It's like reading a really hilarious Twitter thread. (Seriously...seventy-four chapters is way, way too many for three hundred-ish pages.) After a while, enough with this...I'm working harder than I think I should have to to get the laffs. It's the comedy set that goes on too long, the Saturday Night Live skit that refuses to end.

It's also the man's first novel, these are common problems with comedic first novels, and there's not one thing in here that I didn't think belonged; it's just that it belonged in a slightly different structure. There's a great deal of sexual material and a great deal of discussion, in what I found slightly cringe-worthy (ie, dismissively dealt with via humor) terms, of substance abuse. It really highlights a very significant issue I felt as I got deeper and deeper into Elliott's story: He's really blind to his white cismale privilege. He's disabled, and an addict; but he deals with those problems from a very, very high platform that puts him in reach of all kinds of support and help.

Lamenting the innocence of 2012 wasn't a great idea, either, Author O'Connell. Things were easier? For men like us, maybe, but things are only getting better too slowly for others not white, not male, and not well off. We're still MILES ahead in this miserable race called "being American." Using self-deprecating humor to deflect negative awareness of one's privilege isn't a viable strategy in this day and age. (Maybe that's what the author meant about 2012 being easier?)

On balance, then, while I laughed and even found a lot of the self-reflection (primarily done at the end of the book) moving, I was too aware of some problems with the way this book was conceived and executed that, quite honestly, I didn't expect to see in 2022's publishing environment. ( )
1 vote richardderus | Jun 9, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Fiction. Literature. Humor (Fiction.) LGBTQIA+ (Fiction.) HTML:From the star of Peacock's Queer as Folk and the Netflix series Special comes a "funny, tender, and beautiful" (Gary Janetti, New York Times bestselling author) novel following a gay TV writer with cerebral palsy as he fights addiction and searches for acceptance in an overwhelmingly ableist world.
Elliott appears to be living the dream as a successful TV writer with a doting boyfriend. But behind his Instagram filter of a life, he's grappling with an intensifying alcohol addiction, he can't seem to stop cheating on his boyfriend with various sex workers, and his cerebral palsy is making him feel like gay Shrek.

After falling down a rabbit hole of sex, drinking, and Hollywood backstabbing, Elliott decides to limp his way towards redemption. But facing your demons is easier said than done.

"With his singular voice and unforgettable wit" (Steven Rowley, author of The Guncle), Ryan O'Connell presents a candid, biting, and refreshingly real commentary on gay life, laugh-out-loud exploration of self, and a rare insight into life as a person with disabilities.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Current Discussions

None

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.59)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 1
2.5 1
3 3
3.5 1
4 7
4.5
5 3

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 205,873,121 books! | Top bar: Always visible