The Tall Boy: A Memoir by Jess Gregg (2015)
Requirements: MOBI / ePUB reader, 3.1 Mb
Overview: Jess Gregg is a masterful storyteller. Drawing upon a lifetime filled with abundant memories, he not only recalls events but can recount even the tiniest details to draw you into his world ever so smoothly. This is his story, colored with the charm of a grown man who has lived a full life but with the poignancy and sadness of a little boy who never could resolve what he thought life should be like. I don’t know what was more striking, being privy to Gregg’s reactions to what actually occurred or understanding what he feared would occur if he were to just be himself.
The Tall Boy is an amalgam of vignettes that gives the reader an understanding of how sexual preference shapes a person’s way of being and thinking, many times with fear becoming a driving force in decision making about where to live, how to socialize, and in whom you can put your trust. The humor throughout is astounding, the way a phrase is so delicately turned leaving the reader either laughing through tears or crying through laughter. This is even more surprising given the sometime cruel nature of some of Gregg’s experiences. And what autobiography would be complete without poking around in the old family attic, and once again Jess mixes tears with laughter. The family stories, themselves, are woven together so well that we get glimpses of family members and their behaviors written so skillfully as to connect them viscerally to the reader’s life, even though the stories sometimes challenged your own biases and stretched your comfort zone.
The Tall Boy is a book I could not put down and when it was finished I was left wanting more. Each vignette is just a mere brush stroke of larger equally compelling story that I hope someday will be painted. The Tall Boy is a sweet, wonderfully rich gift that Jess Gregg has given us from his heart.
Genre: MM Memoir