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Showing 1-10 of 182 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 273 reviews
on March 13, 2013
I was not familiar with Mr. Kilmer-Purcell until I saw "I Am Not Myself Thesedays" on sale in the Kindle store. Now that I've finished reading it, I feel my life would have not been complete had I not read this book. It is an everyday tale of love between a drag queen and a hooker, but it's delivered with eloquence, wit and heart that it transcends any niche one might try to shove it in. The story is told through the eyes of Aquadisiac, a 20-something drag queen who has just moved to NYC. She recounts her lifestyle, her love and her humor in her 1st year in New York. But it really is so much more - it's an exploration of the definition of love, the meaning of normal the idea of rational behavior. A real-life experiment in how to do everything you should not do and how rewarding that kind of reckless behavior can be. Not rewarding in terms of monetary gains, everlasting love or exemplary progeny, but rewarding in the most basic sense of endurance. Living in the s***tiest possible conditions and still surviving - granted that you are in these murky conditions because of some terrible decisions, still you are making it through. This is something I can appreciate as I have and forever will be the good little choir boy so nothing really goes wrong, but this also reduces the possibility of anything exciting really happening. It is good to make questionable decisions, because one should question everything - and if you can't, well, you can read a book about someone who did just that and live vicariously through them like I do.
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on November 20, 2012
I have been a fan of the Beekman boys for several years, so it was natural for me to want to read it and see more of Josh's life; but this is a must read for anyone struggling with identity and/or self-doubt issues.

The courage it took to write this book...to bare one's self to the world; to reveal the destructive choices, the pain, and the ridicule (even self-inflicted), is the epitome of strength and self-preservation.

"I Am Not Myself These Days" will make you laugh, make you cry. It will break your heart yet give you hope. You'll want to shake Josh and scream, "WTF?!" on one page, then yearn to wrap your arms around him and hold him on the next. It's such an emotional roller coaster that you forget it's really someone's life you're being allowed a glimpse into.

Incredible. Incredulous. Profound. To Josh I humbly say, "Thank you for sharing with us that we may be better, stronger for reading. May you have only happiness for the rest of your life...you've had enough heartache. "
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on November 21, 2014
There are very few books that make me cry. This one did, and although in rereading the last third or so of the book I could anticipate the ending, probably the only reasonable ending, it surprised me. Kilmer-Purcell created folks that I became too quickly attached to, both Jack and Aqua. His underlying humor - not only did I cry at the end, I actually laughed out loud various times - is brilliant; his almost photorealism vignettes of New York City and its
night time denizens will remain with me a long time. I was really relieved to find out he - the author - has what sounds like a happy and sucessful real life now.
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VINE VOICEon October 18, 2011
Brief Description: Kilmer-Purcell's first memoir (before the The Bucolic Plague) chronicles his days as a drag queen named Aqua and his doomed love affair with a crack addicted male escort who specializes in S&M. The relationship between Josh and his boyfriend Jack is the heart of the book, and it shines brightly before exploding into a supernova of pain, addiction and loss.

My Thoughts: Kilmer-Purcell seems to have lived enough lives to fill many memoirs. Although it was hard to reconcile the Josh in this book (alcoholic ad man by day and drag queen by night) with the bumbling but persevering gentleman farmer of his second memoir, his wickedly sense of humor and self-depreciation was instantly familiar. Frankly, I'm impressed that Josh survived the days chronicled in this book long enough to transform himself into one of the Beekman Boys. Although this memoir is often really funny and fascinating in a "let's see how the other more flamboyant half" lives sort of way, it is also filled self-destructive behavior that I found both compelling and horrifying. (I must warn you that this book isn't for everyone. If graphic descriptions of gay sex, S&M, or drug use offends your sensibilities, steer clear! Although Jack and Josh don't live anything near a conventional lifestyle, their love affair feels doomed in a tragic Romeo and Juliet sort of way. And just because the heart being broken belongs to a 6-foot drag queen who keeps live goldfish in his corset doesn't make this story any less affecting, emotional or touching.
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on November 18, 2013
Josh Kilmer-Purcell does the most excellent job in introducing his readers to the unfamiliar drag queen/manwhore scene of New York City in the 90s. So often we characterise the people of these industries to be so different from us, the average reader living the average life. But through his memoir, we realise that they're not as un-relatable as we assume them to be - we may not smoke crack, be constantly drunk, have massive orgies at birthday parties like its the norm, but we worry about the same problems. How will I pay my rent, does the man I'm living with love me, or even why can't I just care less about consequences and repercussions of the decisions I make.

This novel is funny, tragic, thought provoking and has left me emotionally distraught. The characters are witty and interesting, and most importantly as human as it possibly can get. The author impressively writes his experiences in a matter-of-fact style, highlighting what I think is an important theme of the memoir: that it isn't about how you feel about the events in your life but rather, that what happens happens and there's little you can do to change it regardless of how angry, broken, or hurt you are by it.
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on December 22, 2013
I came to Josh Kilmer-Purcell's memoir I Am Not Myself These Days backwards, first reading his later memoir The Bucolic Plague : How Two Manhattanites Became Gentleman Farmers: An Unconventional Memoir, then seeing him and his partner on the reality show The Amazing Race and finally reading his first memoir, where he details his former life as a NYC drag queen living with a high-end male escort.

Yes, you read that right. High-end male escort. And a drag queen.

I could sum up the book with stories of Kilmer-Purcell's outrageous outfits involving live goldfish as his alter-ego Aquadisiac, or the book's startling opening: a prologue involving his boyfriend holding a knife to him. None of them tell the real story, however.

Reading the memoirs backward gives the reader a different view of the author. You already know where he ends up. While the shock of the prologue is somewhat diluted with that knowledge, you're left even more interested. After all, how did he get from the vodka-soaked drag queen nearly killed by his drug-fueled boyfriend to where he is now?

Kilmer-Purcell has a voice most writers would kill for; you feel when you are reading as if you are sitting down with your best friend and he's telling you his life story without dragging anything out. The book is a quick read, but not fluffy, and he manages to encapsulate the early '90s club scene in a way that should be familiar to those who lived it as well as understandable for those who find it bizarre and somewhat frightening. The writing is so vivid that at times I felt like I had stepped back in time and was immersed in very similar scenes to those he described (although I can honestly say I have never encountered a drunk Andy Dick in a men's room).
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on July 30, 2014
Interesting look into the subculture of LBGT. While it was somewhat shocking it wasn't gratuitously so. Just enough description to tell the story, and to put the reader into the mind of the main character. Not a life that I can understand, but it opened my eyes to some of the motivations and prejudices that I didn't realize.
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on June 18, 2015
So happy this author's bio has stated he has survived and achieved in his advertising career and has a significant other. His books ending is being ignored. I'm focusing on the positives. Being a lifelong Wisconsin resident, I can safely say, Josh's experiences are completely alien to me. But, his story is a rollercoaster read. There are super cool highs and devastating lows. Couldn't put it down. Also loved the character that Laura was. For a truly unique reading experience, I highly recommend reading this very different romance novel.
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on October 16, 2016
This was a good book and a very fascinating read. I liked the rawness and honesty in this story it was quite different from a lot of other books and it makes you think about things differently. However i found it a bit repetitive at times. I would recommend this to people from all walks of life so that you can broaden your perspective on different topics and learn something new.
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on July 17, 2014
The best part of this some-times frightening, often sad story is finding out the surprising real-life identity and current incarnation of the narrator Aqua. While I must say that many guys in our discussion group that reviewed the book liked it, I found the amount of drugs, drinking and partying to be unfathomable, and the relentlessly sad, shallow relationships to be pitied.

Sometimes, we stumble on extreme characters with far-fetched or difficult stories to relate in their narrative, and we embrace their unique personhood and tough experiences; I found myself unable to do that with just about all the characters in this book.
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