Most helpful critical review
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Bold experiment, but found the book repetitive
on October 29, 2012
My hat's off to Timothy Kurek - whatever your take is on the ethics of his idea, I think it was a pretty bold experiment. When I saw the trailer for the book and heard him speak so humbly and eloquently about his experience, I was interested enough to buy it.
I'm a non-Christian lesbian, so I suppose I'm not the intended audience for this book. I certainly enjoyed reading about Kurek's crisis of faith and his subsequent desire to experience what it is to be "the other" in a way that most straight white guys never will. I enjoyed reading about his welcome into the queer community and how it was difficult to navigate and I appreciated that he made an effort to see the people beyond the stereotypes. About halfway through the book, I thought "Well...good on you, buddy."
Towards the end, though, I felt like the story became really repetitive. I found myself just skimming through the last half of the book as Kurek gets depressed and self-indulgent, gets over it somewhat and basically tells the story of him relating to every LGBT person he meets while reiterating that they're just people who deserve to be loved. I barely finished the book.
As a big homo myself, am I offended by his experiment? Not really. To be honest, any attempt that anyone makes to really understand and empathize with other human beings is okay in my book. But for me, it was preaching to the choir, so I lost interest.
HOWEVER, I can see how this book would feel pretty healing for a queer person who grew up with fundies and lost everything and felt like an outcast when they came out. If that's you - read the book! If not, save your time and money and read an interview with Kurek instead.