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Sweet Tooth: A Memoir Paperback – March 11, 2014
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From Publishers Weekly
Anderson's second memoir (Tune In Tokyo: The Gaijin Diaries) is a lively and invigorating look at the hormone raging days of adolescence as the author tries to make sense of his overwhelming desire for both candy and men (not to mention man-candy). At age 15, one month after finally acknowledging his attraction to men, Anderson is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. As he grapples with his identity and new found desires, Anderson struggles to maintain control over his physical health. He suffers a series of diabetic episodes and hospitalizations which are told in short alternating chapters. The author recounts these parallel struggles in colorful detail: he describes his "gay porno magazine obsession" as a "deep, dark dungeon of delicious, honey-dipped immorality fondue." This type of dry, self-deprecating humor is emblazoned throughout and helps the reader keep apace as Anderson relays his emotional and physical instability. Staying true to his experiences, Anderson evokes the juvenile tendency toward self-destruction in a way that is simultaneously funny and frustrating. The combination gives readers a visceral taste of the rollercoaster ride that was his young adulthood. (Mar.)
"Chronicling his years growing up in the ’80s gay, diabetic, and living in North Carolina, the book is easy to devour thanks to vividly hilarious tales that shift from glorious self-deprecation to spot-on observations of the changing world around him...entirely relatable. And so deliciously sweet.” —He Said Magazine
“A lively and invigorating look at the hormone raging days of adolescence...Dry, self-deprecating humor is emblazoned throughout...a visceral taste of the rollercoaster ride that was [Anderson’s] young adulthood.” —Publishers Weekly
“Dishy...with a Smiths soundtrack [and] a Sedaris streak.” —Brian Howe, INDY Week
“Tim tells his story with an airy, self-deprecating humor that’s likely to draw you in pretty quickly.” —Ron Hogan, Beatrice.com
“Uproariously self-deprecating.” —The Advocate
"With Sweet Tooth, [Anderson] offers a winning memoir that breaks new ground for the gay coming out narrative." —North Carolina Literary Review
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Tim looks back on those years with a certain fondness and love, but with an eye for mining all the comic potential from the teenage angst and drama we've all experienced, and to some degree, self-manufactured.
His writing is as smart as it is funny, and several times had to put the Kindle down until I'd stopped laughing. It also really brought back the 80s for me, in a John Hughes kind of way, thanks in part to the numerous music and pop culture references of the time.
Here is one of my favorites passages from the book, from which there are many:
"Our hangout sessions went on for a few months until we finally just evaporated into a puff of sexless smoke in her living room, like the dry ice at a Bauhaus concert. No, that’s too sexy. Like the dry ice at a Peter Cetera concert.
So do yourself a favor, go and buy a box of Little Debbie's Fancy Cakes, curl up on the couch with one, or two, or ten, and just read Sweet Tooth. Trust me, you'll love it.
This book is cleverly written and full of references to the golden age of The New Wave and reminds us of how
young people used to have fun before the invention of texting and Grinder. The subject of diabetes is also pivotal to the story
yet Tim manages to keep his audience in a hopeful state that he will ultimately make the right decisions, leave those candy
bars alone and meet a Morrissey Clone who will make him happy. Quite a challenge there but Tim keeps plugging along and when the story ends you wished you could text him just to check in. I absolutely loved SWEET TOOTH and hope Tim Anderson writes another book soon.
The beginning was a tad boring for me, personally, but that boredom quickly faded and made room for the utter fun I had reading about Tim's experiences.
I found myself relating to some events and saying to myself "I've been in that situation before!", and it was comforting to know I wasn't alone, like sharing an experience with a friend and finding out he has a similar one.