The story starts in small town America where two young men travel to San Francisco to find fame and fortune. Along the way they meet crazy preachers, gangsters, a grand aunt of a transvestite and find love.
One of my favorite parts is the outing of a corrupt and sadistic faith healer, as I understand it based on the practices of a real preacher who was ripping off his congregation. The book is worth a read just for this sub-story alone, although there are many other excellent sub plots that carry through the book
The author has clearly researched the book well, in a recent visit to San Francisco I was able to find a few of the notable sights.
An absolutely delightful tale of two sheltered young men from middle America venturing to the shining city searching for more. In their attempt to settle into San Francisco they find themselves caught up in a hilarious sequence of events that snowballs out of one, spontaneous decision to pretend to be gay for momentary convenience. As a result, they quickly find themselves wrapped up in a bizarre and exciting world that teaches them (and us) valuable lessons about love, life, and humanity.
This is a beautifully crafted story. It took me into a world I knew nothing about and then whipped me around on an extremely fun ride. I was left with an overwhelming sense of well-being and a renewed appreciation for the diversity of mankind.
I read this in a single sitting on the front porch on a sunny fall day roughly a year ago. I laughed out loud, I read for pages on end with my mouth literally agape, and on more than one occasion I sobbed like a baby. When done, I sat quietly in bliss watching the wind in the trees with a huge grin on my face. It was as if the entire world were giving me a big warm hug. If Amazon were to let each reader give only one book more than 5 stars, I most surely would be using mine right now.
This is a fun and entertaining book that begins with two young men stuck in a small town in Kansas who decide to go to San Francisco to find women. Once in San Francisco they end up finding a whole lot more than they could have ever imagined, especially after meeting Stella, a down to earth drag queen with whom they become close friends.
The story, with its eclectic cast of characters, takes the reader on an adventure where secrets are revealed, frauds are exposed, friendships and love flourish, all with an interesting twist at the end. All the while the author weaves in philosophical points mainly through the voice of Stella, who is not only fun, but wise.
I found it a delightful read and I highly recommended it.
This is one of the funniest books I've ever read. Brian and Tony are two friends from rural Kansas who have had enough of the small tow, and decide to move to the big city -- San Francisco. They meet up with a flamboyant drag queen, a mobster, and the assorted denizens of the city in an adventure that leaves one laughing. The characters in the novel are very well written, and after a while you really start caring about them. They are very believable, in what is probably the most unbelievable city in the country. This is a very very excellent read, and very touching as well.
It opens in Garcy, Kansas, population 236, in 1993, the year best friends Brian and Tony graduate from the high school in a neighboring town, where they're the only members of the graduating class from their town. There are no other young people around, and in particular no girls for miles in every direction. Brian in particular, fears he'll never get laid ... and Tony suggests they solve their dilemma by moving to San Francisco, where so many of the men are gay that all the girls will be left over for them. When they announce this to Brian's mother Eunice, she assumes they're both gay, and smotheringly, hilariously, begins her own personal gay pride mission, complete with rainbow flag, which she waves proudly as the bus pulls away. The boys have some truly hysterical adventures, pretend to be a gay couple, become best friends with an elderly drag queen, get caught up in an ex-gay and holy roller group ... well, I don't want to give all the poop away.
The author has a David Sedaris-like touch with humor, but it's not just a comedy. In a way it's a triple love story - there's a romance, there's the love story that is San Francisco - and for anyone who has ever lived in that city, it was like reading a tribute to a dear friend, and there's the love story of friendship. As the story unfolded, I don't know what I did more, laugh or cry. The characters are wonderful - I loved the smothering mother, Eunice, the marvelous Stella Delish, the limo driver, lovely Lizbeth, and both the young boys. I loved the crazy string of adventures that resulted from a well-meaning lie, and the especially the surprise ending.