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230 Reviews
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I'm a drag queen. I'm a celebrity trapped inside a normal person's body."
It's New York city in the mid-1990s and our author is an advertising agent by day and a wild drag queen with fish-filled breasts at night. He performs nightly as his Aquadisiac alter-ego, staying out until the wee hours of the morning fueled by vodka, and crams in work the next day before starting all over again. Fortunately, no one can smell the vodka coming out of his...
Published on April 24, 2006 by Jessica Lux

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Memoir... Really?
I didn't get the feeling the author engaged in anything except cruising Manhattan and taking notes, with the excuse of a hangover for not remembering anything. Having attended my share of party circuit happenings, multi-day sex binges and drag queen events, this account reeked of non-authenticity.
Published 7 months ago by Siebert Tenseven


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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I'm a drag queen. I'm a celebrity trapped inside a normal person's body.", April 24, 2006
By 
It's New York city in the mid-1990s and our author is an advertising agent by day and a wild drag queen with fish-filled breasts at night. He performs nightly as his Aquadisiac alter-ego, staying out until the wee hours of the morning fueled by vodka, and crams in work the next day before starting all over again. Fortunately, no one can smell the vodka coming out of his pores. Much of his time is spent reconstructing the night before, figuring out where he is waking up, and trying to remember who he talked to and what he did the night before. His advertising campaigns come in brilliant bursts of last-minute energy.

Then comes Jack, the gay male escort who sweeps Josh's life into a semblance of order. Jack loves Aqua and Josh loves Jack. Mid-way through the book, the reader will realize that all the over-the-top orgies, Jack's S&M clients, the drug use, and the rampant alcohol abuse are just fluff around a true love story. Sure, it's titillating to get a glimpse inside alternate lifestyles, but this is truly the story of two misfits who complete eachother. This is a book that will teach you how a drag queen hides his private parts (an entire chapter is devoted to the deconstruction of the male and invention of the female persona), give you every detail about the process of preparing crack in a NY penthouse kitchen, show you the true friendship that develops between Josh and one of Jack's CEO clients who spends weekends tied up on the penthouse floor, and crush your heart with the agony of loving someone who is addicted to drugs. Josh, with his 10-plus vodka-a-day habit, seems like the messed up one in the beginning, but it is Jack who succumbs to addiction, leaving Josh to helplessly look on.

So we have sex, drugs, and club music, mixed up with a love story that got me in the gut by the end of the book...what more could you need? Josh tops this all off with a hilarious and over-the-top narrative voice. When depressed, he fantasizes about being in a Lifetime movie, so he drinks vodka in bed and walks around the apartment alone making declarations about a marriage, mortgage, or the kids. When he lies for a co-worker, he changes his story half a dozen times to make it more "realistic," nevermind that the facts are completely different. He's not an alcoholic, he's a social catalyst, someone who gets paid to illustrate the chemical process of drinking to other partygoers. When he wakes up to a crack-high Jack standing over him with a knife, Josh complains that he just got the expensive knife for Christmas. Jack changes his mind about the murder-suicide he had planned, and Josh goes back to sleep, reminding him to put the knife back in the rack so it doesn't rust.

As over-the-top as this narrative is, it is in no way implausible (I need to make this statement because James Frey wrote a cover blurb). The story of Jack's present to Josh for his first New York Christmas will touch even the most hardened reader. Truly, this book is Josh's tribute to a man he loved for one unforgettable year in New York city. If you enjoy this, try the darker tale of Ron Nyswaner`s love for a male escort in the book Blue Days, Black Nights.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Captivating Personal Story, March 9, 2006
It's a book that once you pick up, you don't want to put it down. Funny, sad, bittersweet, reminds me of Michael Cunningham and "A Home at the End of the World", not as smooth (could use some editing), but more personal.

At first, I was just interested in the unfamiliar world of male escort and drag queens. Then, through all the drugs, alcohol and prostitution, I saw 2 real people searching for that fleeting happiness. And I realized, as funny as it sounds, I started to care about the love between a crackhead hooker and an alcoholic drag queen.

All in all, a captivating personal journey and a wonderful read.

Don't let the 4 star rating fool you. I only give 5 star to books that I couldn't find any fault, and you can certainly find some areas for improvement in this book. But with me writing 3 to 4 reviews in a year, the mere fact that I am writing one showed how much I liked the book.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your basic "Bright Lights, Big Titt*es", February 7, 2006
On the surface, "I Am Not Myself These Days" appears to be a tale of the drag underworld - and indeed, it doesn't fail to entertain with some hilarious and lurid details. But scratch the MAC foundation just a bit and I found a wonderfully written novel exploring much more universal themes - love, self destruction, self-destructive love and the search for comfort in your own skin. I absolutely loved it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impossible to Put Down, July 15, 2007
By 
Andrew D. Tappon (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I had the book sitting on my shelf for a few months and picked it up last night -- in a desperate effort to rid myself of a bad book I had just been reading.

I didn't put it down except to sleep and shower.

No need for the recap -- that has handily been done by others before me -- just know that if you pick this book up, you'll be caught up in a whirlwind of laughter, sadness, relatability in ways you would never imagine and harsh truths.

I was fortunate enough to have the paperback with some extra materials, including a follow-up about "Jack" that just about shattered my heart.

I look forward to new materials from Kilmer-Purcell.

A very quick, easy read that will utterly surprise you.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WISH I'D DONE THAT, October 31, 2006
this book had me hooked from the beginning, and wishing i had had the courage/balls/lack of values to do many of the things that purcell claims he did. i use the word claims because in the aknowledgements/thanks intro of the beginning, he thanks james frey's(of a million little lies fame)wife, and goes on to say that he spent 2 weeks holed up at their long island home writing, leading me to wonder how much creative license he used. guilt by association-maybe. he does however put a disclaimer in the beginning labeling the book "truth in drag".

my hat is off to him for his attitude and sense of humor. anyone who is able to pull off alcoholic like drinking and functioning in a work environment that requires creativity, therefore actual thinking, has my respect. i was not able to do it.

he is inspiring in many ways, for gays and staights alike. he moved to the big city and did what he wanted. he was not intimidated, or at least, didn't let his fears stop him. he had his fun and then moved on.

i've lived in nyc almost my entire life and envy how he took advantage of it the way i never have.

i don't think i could be friends with someone like purcell. but as many problems as i have with his moral fiber, i'm jealous of him just the same.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Laughing on the Hindenburg, January 13, 2006
I wish I could say that I could relate in no way to this story. It is really a great read. If you have ever stepped into a gay bar or known someone with a dramatic "flair" you will find some familiar moments too. I laughed out loud and winced at the same time. Buy, borrow it, read it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a great memoir..., August 19, 2006
I share many reviewer's sentiments that this book was primarily a fun, witty, hilarious tale. I would not, however, just check it off as a good beach book with little depth.

Many of us reading this book might not be gay. Many more of us reading this book might never have the experience of being a metro drag queen who falls for a top-shelf male escort. I'd be willing to bet, though, that there were many moments in reading this book when readers forgot about the fact that their life looked absolutely nothing like the main character's. This is because Kilmer-Purcell is a sensational writer (dual meaning intended). Somehow, his offbeat, completely bizarre experiences remind us of our own lives, the people we know, the suffering we share. Kilmer-Purcell has accomplished something only great writers can: his writing is so good that, to the untrained eye, it looks easy. It looks like he didn't have to work very hard at all to write this book. I ask anyone who thought it superficial to go back and read between the lines. This memoir bursts with heart, and it's funny as hell to boot.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great fish tale, February 8, 2006
I never knew I had so much in common with a drag queen! The internal dialogue that goes on in this memoir is what I found the most appealing. He's got the courage to say what everyone has thought and the humor to get away with it. The writing is seamless: Even when the author breaks off into internal dialogue or a pensive moment, he brings you right back into the action. You're with him in a penthouse apartment one minute and in Japan in the next, never knowing how you got there, but enjoying the ride just the same. What's most incredible is the degree of normalcy that grounds Josh and Jack while the world around them is one few of us have seen.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Memoir In Drag, February 7, 2006
Fantastic book. Excellent narrative that manages to cover some themes and topics that aren't necessarily well-documented (the 90's, drag queen culture, NY scene) while covering themes and topics that are universal (the dynamics of loving people who are bad for you, doing things that are bad for you, being things that are bad for you).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Fantastic!, February 7, 2006
By 
John K "landslide078" (Houston, TX United States) - See all my reviews
When I first started reading the back cover it sounded interesting and fun, and then I saw that it was a memoir so I knew I had to read it.

I really enjoyed the book. At first I was thinking that I wouldn't have anything in common with Josh and wouldn't be able to relate to anything in the story. Then I started reading and realized I was wrong.

I liked how even though all of these crazy things are going on it all still felt normal, like he redefined normal for himself and those around him. I also really enjoyed the fact that even though all the crazy things were going on, it was still a pretty normal love story. Not only a love story but I story about trying to find your way in a new city.

It reminded me a lot of how I felt when I first moved to Houston and was trying to adjust to the new surroundings.

I appreciated the honesty of the narrative. At the heart of the book is still a very touchy love story, and a story about those hard decisions we have to make in love.
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I Am Not Myself These Days (P.S.)
I Am Not Myself These Days (P.S.) by Josh Kilmer-Purcell
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