Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Book Review: 'Fried & Convicted' by Fay Jacobs

Delaware author Fay Jacobs easily aligns with those humorists current and past who are astute observers of the human condition in general, unafraid to discuss aging in a humorous manner, tell whopper tales that are in truth actual observations, and at the same time insert enough compassion that she deserves a big hug. She is a champion for the LGBT community, especially the microcosm that inhabits Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, but she doesn't limit her keen insight to her own special collective society: this is a book of her journalistic tirades and exposés and commentary on everyday life that comes from her years as an astute journalist.

This is Fay's sixth book (they sell like crazy because they have the appeal of a Mark Twainism brand of humor) and each of her books is a reproduction of articles she has published in the Delaware Beach Life and Letters from CAMP Rehoboth - along with some added padding that make the book like a comfy curl-up in a comforter, big enough for two to share while giggling and guffawing. Not that her articles are limited to the hometown newspaper in Rehoboth: she also writes for The Advocate, Curve, OutTraveler, The Washington Post, Delaware Beach Life, Baltimore Sun, Chesapeake Bay Magazine, Delaware Today and Wilmington News Journal. This lady gets around.

One of the best aspects of this collection is the emphasis on finding the humor (and embarrassment and longing and all the other emotions that accompany) in aging. Though you have to sit with this book in your lap to get the most from Fays’ signature witty, wise, and often laugh-out-loud commentary about the craziness of contemporary life in the diverse and welcoming resort town of Rehoboth Beach on the Delaware Coast, a synopsis for first timers may help – ‘This time, though, everyone’s favorite “Sit-Down Comic” grapples with the insanity of a high-tech bra, cartoon bladders in prescription advertising, and refusing to act her age.

Fried & Convicted was written over the last few years and culminates with Election Day, 2016. It chronicles the joy of gaining equal marriage rights for same-sex couples, tales of Icelandic lagoons, Provincetown adventures, and much ado about lesbians of a certain age. It tells a few harrowing personal stories, such as Bonnie’s unnerving medical diagnosis, the time Fay went kayaking with alligators, and how she came up with a public relations scheme to rescue her pal’s purloined pooch. And through it all, she finds a way to make it provocative, political, occasionally heartwarming, and reliably hilarious. Featuring Fay’s latest magazine columns plus new, never before published material, Fried & Convicted is a pleasure for longtime fans and new readers alike.’

We need a lot of Fay Jacobs around, but since she is a unique lady we must all grab her books and .... breathe! Grady Harp, April 17
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.