Friday, June 1, 2018

Book Review: 'Excuse Me While I Slip into Someone More Comfortable' by Eric Poole

California author Eric Poole opened some much needed doors with his first memoir WHERE’S MY WAND: ON BOY’S MAGICAL ALIENATION AND SHAG CARPETING and he continues that path with an extension of his memoir EXCUSE ME WHILE I SLIP INTO SOMEONE MORE COMFORTABLE. Eric has written for the Huffington Post, CNN, and The Advocate, and spends more time than he would like penning commercials for everything from McRibs to tampons to TV shows about celebrities boxing. He lives in Southern California with his partner of 16 years.

There are, thankfully, an increasing number of books about ‘coming out’ – accepting the gay inner person as a complete being and not hiding in the shadows of raised eyebrows. We are opening hearts and minds to the LGBTQ members of society and the result is a welcome mat into stage, screen and television series.

Eric Poole takes this journey in a different way. No morose moments of self-loathing here – just a celebration of coming to grips with the real Eric Poole. Hw is first and foremost a tremendously talented humorist, able to make the most uncanny situations bubble with humor. But at the same time Eric’s journey from St. Louis to Hollywood is a family drama executed with a terrific tongue in cheek humor that he retains until the end of his book.

The synopsis does the plot outline justice – ‘In 1977, Eric Poole is a talented high school trumpet player with one working ear, the height-to-weight ratio of a hat rack, a series of annoyingly handsome bullies, and a mother irrationally devoted to Lemon Pledge. But who he wants to be is a star…ANY star. With equal parts imagination, flair, and delusion, Eric proceeds to emulate a series of his favorite celebrities, like Barry Manilow, Halston, Tommy Tune, and Shirley MacLaine, in an effort to become the man he’s meant to be—that is, anyone but himself. As he moves through his late teens and early twenties in suburban St. Louis, he casts about for an appropriate outlet for his talents. Will he be a trumpet soloist? A triple-threat actor/singer/dancer? A fashion designer in gritty New York City? Striving to become the son who can finally make his parents proud, Eric begins to suspect that discovering his personal and creative identities can only be accomplished by admitting who he really is. Picking up at the end of his first acclaimed memoir, Where’s My Wand?, Poole’s journey from self-delusion to acceptance is simultaneously hysterical, heartfelt, and inspiring.’

This is a book to delight everyone who loves fine humor and it is also a book that is so supportive that every person struggling with gender identity or acceptance will benefit from finally fitting in with a hero. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, May 18
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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