Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Review: Rolling with the Punches by Jamie Kerrick

Rolling With The Punches is what Joey Doulgas's dad always told him when things got rough. He explained that the punches in life were something you always had to deal with. Joey grew to understand once he got older, but it was a life long lesson. We start with a young Joey feeling he was different due to his sexual feelings toward men. Living in a small town in Kentucky only made it worse. There were three things Joey didn't want to be:gay, alone, and alcoholic. He was all three. This is his story, which can only be described as a dramedy for gay recovering alcoholics and addicts because it's both funny and tragic. We follow him as he grows up, goes to summer stock in Virginia, to study in Europe, New York, California, and finally back home. At one time alcohol was his answer to life. But it took over his life and he had to ask for help. But Joey is a slow learner. It takes him nearly 21 years before he found Alcoholics Anonymous and a new way of life. But the punches continued to come. The only difference is, he became aware of how to handle them. Find out how in this entertaining novel. You'll find yourself rooting for him, while identifying with him as well.

Received from the publisher for review.

From this beginning I just knew it would be good:

I didn't want to be born at all. I put my mom through twenty-four hours of labor. The doctor had to force me out. I was clasping onto an artery with both hands screaming. "I don't want to go! I don't want to go! I've been listening. It's not safe out there."

Granted, the gay priest episode was a bit disturbing for obvious reasons. For the author's sake hopefully the line between fact and fiction was drawn a bit closer to the fiction side for this.

This one gets four stars. It was genuinely absorbing and felt very real. It was a fascinating look at growing up as a gay male in the pre Queer as Folk era. Obviously I'm neither gay nor a man, so I can't fully empathize with the main character, but the author brings you as close as you can.

★★★★ = Really Liked It


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