Bob Paris became famous as the first openly gay Mr. Universe and grew even more famous when he and Rob Jackson, his lover at the time, published Straight from the Heart,
a memoir of their life together. Paris has now gone solo with Gorilla Suit.
A cross between a personal memoir and a cultural history of bodybuilding, Gorilla Suit
details Paris's desire to radically change his body, what that meant to him as a gay man living in a homophobic culture, and his decision to leave the sport once he discovered how seductive its destructive qualities were. Gorilla Suit
is not an emotionally wrought literary memoir, or even a tell-all exposé; rather, it is a well-written, perceptive, and ultimately joyful story of a gay man's discovery of what it means to love his body.
From Library Journal
Until recently, bodybuilders have gotten less respect than Rodney Dangerfield. They use diet, exercise, and drugs to sculpt their bodies into improbable masses of muscles. Being in contest condition used to make Paris (Natural Fitness, Warner Books, 1996) feel like a "little boy walking around in a gorilla suit." Yet in 1994 he contemplated coming out of retirement and returning to competition. To draw us into his world, he uses the story of how he became a bodybuilder and discusses the current state of the sport. Paris's work is both an insider's look at a unique subculture and a firsthand account of how a suicidal gay teenager from a dysfunctional family turned himself into Mr. America. This belongs in most sports and biography collections.?Terry Jo Madden, Boise State Univ. Lib., Id.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.