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Swish: My Quest to Become the Gayest Person Ever Hardcover – May 13, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Joel Derfner writes what we all feel but aren't brave enough to say. SWISH is the best book about gay sexuality I've ever read."
- Elton John
“Reading Swish is like having a marathon phone call with your gay best friend—assuming your friend is hilarious, brilliant, and completely honest. Which he probably isn’t, so you should read this book.”
—Marc Acito, author of Attack of the Theater People
Praise for Gay Haiku:
“Just the author’s foreword in this little pink book is the funniest three pages I’ve read in ages.”
“A world of hilarious juxtapositions, melancholy reflections, and stingingly smart observations.”
—In Los Angeles
“Go out and buy five copies; it will never be returned if you lend it to friends.”
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
'Oh my God, you should have seen/read the amazing characterization/acting/cinematography/special effects... you simply must go see/read this book/movie/play/production!' Yay!!!
'I have a rather large literary stick up my yahoo and am therefore qualified to relate all the technical achievements and defects of said book/movie/production... yadda, yadda, yadda.'
In the WaHoo! Department... let me just say two things. I read the book cover to cover.... and I frequently had to hold a pillow over my face so that my out-of-control laughter would not wake anyone else in the house.
I am a gay man and I do live, to a certain degree, within the world that Joel Derfner describes. So I suppose that biases me a tad. But make no mistake, the humor is born, not from the triteness of the gay experience, but out of one man's incredibly resourceful coping mechanisms while living with multiple personality issues, like OCD, a pathological need to be accepted and fear of ever - under any circumstances - offending anyone... about anything. In other words... this is true courage in action.
Technically speaking... as a fellow author; all I could think after finishing each and every paragraph, was how I had to go back and rework my own writing. (ever damn word and sentence) My Derfner is a literary artisan who uses words with efficiency, precision and aplomb.
If all of that is a little too 'high brow' and you require a perspective a tad more mundane. Think of the character 'Jack' from TV's 'Will and Grace', only with a brain and something insightful to say.
The highest praise I can think of after reading this book; "I wish Joel Derfner was a personal friend of mine."
Go, Read... you won't be disappointed.
If the humor's not enough for you, Joel's book is bursting with profound insights that explore the vagaries of being a gay man today, the universal weirdness of relationships and dating, and the raw--and enlivening--terrain of being an artist. Joel is truly a literary soulmate, and SWISH is a book I will come back to and read for years to come.
Is it about life as a gay man? Yup.
But that's really not the whole story. The heart of the book - for me - was about Joel's mother. His relationship with her, the way he tries to reconcile his love with the terrible things they experienced together (and that she said) broke my heart.
This is a very grown-up book. It's the kind of book where no one's really that great, much less perfect, but everyone receives a fair share of compassion from our gentle narrator.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like the author's ability to make you feel like you're being talked with instead of feeling like you're reading a journal. You will laugh a lot. You might cry. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Alexzander Joseph
This is a fun read, a peek into the life of a creative, smart guy. It is a primer for a young gay guy.Published on August 18, 2013 by George Zahrobsky
What does it mean to be "the gayest person ever?" The most homosexual? The most queer? It's not an answerable question because it's inherently absurd, but that absurdity is the... Read morePublished on August 23, 2012 by Daniel A. Finkelstein
This is a great book, enough said. As Joel says, the book is about insecurities, so yes, this book is for everyone.Published on September 22, 2011 by DJ
I pretty much enjoyed reading this book, it was not a waste of time. Really well written.
Although sometimes it was too detailed and sometimes I really thought: 'Joel,... Read more
I ordered the book for my daughter as a gift. Was here in 3 days and in perfect condition. She's gonna love it.Published on November 17, 2010 by Bonnie Gentry
"Swish" is a very well-written book. While it seems to be about the gay experience, it is that but in the way that it is about the human experience, and the various hurdles... Read morePublished on September 27, 2010 by Sharon
This is one of the funniest and most intelligent gay memoirs to hit the stores in recent years. That said, however, there's something disturbing about the author's criteria for... Read morePublished on July 28, 2010 by Holden Caulfield