Waymon Hudson

Book Review: Swish

Filed By Waymon Hudson | July 26, 2008 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainment
Tags: Book Review, Joel Derfner, Swish

I had the chance to catch up on a lot of reading while on my recent hiking trip. Swish.jpgSome were okay, others made me want to pull my hair out. There was only one, however, that made me laugh, cry, and cheer all at the same time.

Joel Derfner's book Swish: My Quest to Become the Gayest Person Ever is one of the best books I have ever read. Period.

In Swish, Derfner takes his readers along on his quest to become the gayest person ever- something he might just have accomplished. Written in short essay's focusing on different jobs or parts of his life, Derfner easily masters the art of the personal humor essay in a way that rivals authors like David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs.

Whether he's learning to knit on the subway, going on panty-raids at a GLBT summer camp, using the Internet to meet men (a lot of men), becoming a step instructor, or learning to be a go-go dancer, he reveals himself and his past with humor and incredible insight that will leave you laughing and falling just a little in love with him.

The best part of the book is when he sneaks into an "Ex-Gay" Exodus Conference. He turns the experience into one of the most fascinating, personal, and insightful chapters of the book.

Derfner manages to be witty but not over the top, insightful yet not sappy, and thought-provoking while entertaining. You will find yourself sailing through the book, wanting more stories, and wanting to sit down for drinks with him. All his adventures come from a place we can all relate to- a need to find more, to explore ourselves, push our boundaries, and make connections with others.

I don't gush about books very often, but this is easily the best book I have read in years. Fun, smart, moving, and engaging, it is a collection of experiences we can all relate to, whether we are the gayest person ever or not.

Overall Rating: A++

You can get more information about Joel Derfner at http://www.joelderfner.com.

Watch a video of author Joel Derfner discussing his book below!


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I'm still mad you didn't leave it for me while you were here! You'll have to send it to me now!

I will totally send it to you. It is seriously one of the best reads I've had in years.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | July 27, 2008 4:48 AM

Ah Ha! So you mentally had on high heels while hiking!

I just finished Swish a couple of weeks ago, and while I enjoyed it for the most part, it kind of lost steam for me towards the end. The twist of taking the gay escapades and turning into life affirming introspection was good, but became kind of clich├ęd after awhile.