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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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08/08/2006 Archived Entry: "Book review: I am not myself these days"

I Am Not Myself These Days: A Memoir
By Josh Kilmer-Purcell
Published by Harper Collins

Review by Logan

I just finished reading "I Am Not Myself These Days" by Josh Kilmer-Purcell. Typically I'm hesitant to pick up a gay novel or memoir. The others I've read tend to exist for no other reason than their few explicit sex and drug scenes. I find that the words in between are just filler -- poorly crafted filler at that.

"I Am Not Myself These Days" succeeds in ways other gay novels don't. The novelty and candidness of the author's voice had me laughing out loud by the first chapter. While the book deals with tough topics, namely the tragic demise of a bizarre relationship, the unique metaphors and analogies kept me pleasantly amused and engaged. It's Kilmer-Purcell's witty banter with the reader that separates this from other gay novels.

Some may argue that the novel lacks any semblance of a moral lesson or plot. A couple of thoughts on that. First, this is a memoir of a unique set of characters. This alone creates a fascinating larger-than-life story worthy of telling. Secondly, the author does reflect on his and his boyfriend's strengths, motivations, and weaknesses throughout the book. It's these windows into outlandish characters (a drag queen and expensive escort) that humanize the novel and allow less eccentric readers to relate.

If you find the fast and loose world of drugs, sex, and self-destruction a turn off, don't bother with "I Am Not Myself These Days." But if you like clever writing, vibrant characters, and soap opera style relationship demise, then pick up this book. If nothing else, it's a quick, fun read: I devoured it in a day.

(If you like "I am not myself these days" then I also recommend "Christopher" by Allison Burnett.)

Replies: 1 Comment

I loved this book. I found it disturbing/ sweet/ moving/ sad/ humorous/ and demented all at the same time. I had the chance to meet Josh earlier this month and he is such an amazing person.

Posted by VinnieG. @ 08/30/2006 10:00 AM PST

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