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I Am Not Myself These Days: A Memoir [Audiobook, CD, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Josh Kilmer-Purcel , Johnny Heller
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 30 2011
I Am Not Myself These Days follows a glittering journey through Manhattan's dark underbelly—a shocking and surreal world where alter egos reign and subsist (barely) on dark wit and chemicals...a tragic romantic comedy where one begins by rooting for the survival of the relationship and ends by hoping someone simply survives. Kilmer-Purcell is a terrifically gifted new literary voice who straddles the divide between absurdity and normalcy, and stitches them together with surprising humor and lonely poignancy. As Booklist raved, I Am Not Myself These Days is "as tart and funny as a Noël Coward play, for Kilmer-Purcell is especially good at dialogue, and, as in Coward's best plays, under the comedy lies the sad truth that even at our best, we are all weak, fallible fools. Again and again in this rich, adventure-filled book, Kilmer-Purcell illustrates the truth of Blake's proverb, 'The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.'"

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From Publishers Weekly

In the go-go '90s, Kilmer-Purcell spent his days as an advertising grunt and his nights hopping around Manhattan's gay clubs as "Aquadisiac," over seven feet tall in a wig and heels with goldfish swimming in transparent bubbles covering "her" breasts. (Not that Kilmer-Purcell wanted to actually become a woman; as he explains to his mother, a drag queen is "a celebrity trapped in a normal person's body.") He meets a cute guy, and soon he's moved into Jack's penthouse apartment—which he pays for by working as a male escort. Kilmer-Purcell gives much of his story a Sex and the City-ish spin, finding comedy in the contrast between his and Jack's sweet, cuddly relationship and the sexual demimonde of drag queens, hookers and masochists they count among their friends. But there's always a dark undercurrent: before the two get serious, Kilmer-Purcell's alcohol-impaired judgment frequently puts him in dangerous situations, but things get worse when Jack starts smoking crack during sex parties and becomes addicted. The exact, unpitying detail with which Kilmer-Purcell depicts his downward spiral makes it impossible to look away, especially since it's not until the final scenes that he allows himself to succumb to sentimentality. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Booklist

To say Kilmer-Purcell lived a double life is an understatement. If his memoir can be believed--and even if it can't be, it's a very entertaining read--he lived double lives within double lives. A talented advertising copywriter by day and a popular drag queen by night, he was also a major alcohol and cocaine abuser and the inamorato/a of a professional male escort. Over the course of six months or so, his complicated life spun out of control as fussy clients, impatient coworkers, clingy drag groupies, love problems, and multiple chemical dependencies got the best of him, not to mention his lover. Parts of his autobiography are as tart and funny as a Noel Coward play, for Kilmer-Purcell is especially good at dialogue, and as in Coward's best plays, under the comedy lies the sad truth that even at our best, we are all weak, fallible fools. Again and again in this rich, adventure-filled book, Kilmer-Purcell illustrates the truth of Blake's proverb, "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom." Jack Helbig
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars great book Feb. 25 2006
Format:Paperback
The writing is great; the story is fabulous and moving. It's hard to believe this is a first book. In some sense, I suppose it is a memorial to Aqua, the author's drag persona, but it's the very strange, very singular love story that I found gripping. Memoirs like this are becoming a popular genre, but I haven't found one that is so human / humane and this is wittier and more profound than most... I was much more fascinated by the author's thinking about his life and relationships than I was by the glamorous Aqua. I would strongly recommend this book and I'm looking forward to the next one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Take a walk on the wild side! June 27 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
This is the 2nd time I've bought the this book, read it a few yrs ago, remembered how much I enjoyed it. Josh Kilmer Purcell, he is a truly talented. Reminds me of the earlier works (his best, imo) of David Sedaris, very funny, snappy wit, insecure & needy , constant self-deprecating & critical, manipulative.
The premise of a junior advertising rep by day, a performing transvestite by night known as "Aqua", water filled bulbs w goldfish inside that flash, on her chest, a tall blonde wig, a go-go look of the 60s. Hence, two sides of the coin lifestyle.
And that drag queen persona, vying for vodka from any willing fan, gets her into a complicated relationship with debauchery & treacherous behaviour, prostitution & drugs. While this wouldn't sound comedic, most of it is, raw but hilarious. Witty, sharp, great writing, & certainly eye-opening. One of the most original & funniest memoir I've read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I Am Not Myself These Days: A Memoir May 16 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed Mr. Kilmber-Purcell's sense of humour. He's had quite a life. I enjoyed the TV show of the Fabulous Beekman Boys where I first hear of him.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Phenom! April 20 2006
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Josh, through this one book, has become one of my most beloved authors of all time. It is an absolute must read for anyone who is even thinking about reading it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Could not put it down Aug. 21 2009
By Zenobia
Format:Paperback
This was the kind of book you can count on shutting yourself in your room for 24 hours and asking your family to kindly fix their own breakfast/lunch/dinner - for once I started there was just no way I could put it down! I even woke up in the middle of the night and had to answer "How is Aqua doing?".

I am a fairly stoic reader and was not expecting to be so moved by this novel, I would have tears running down my face and suddenly a one liner would be thrown in that would have me laughing out loud. Aqua (author Josh Kilmer-purcell's drag persona) though a bit of a mess - ok a lot of a mess - you cannot help but love her dearly. The flash-backs that connect present day to Josh's childhood are beautiful, and without getting to much into giving away the story they really show where Josh derives a lot of his strength from. The love story with Jack steals the show for me personally and left me going "why have I not read gay romance before?".

Amazing that this is a first novel and I am really looking forward to reading his next ASAP!!!
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