La Dolce Musto: The Zaniest Writings by the World's Most Outrageous Columnist

Michael Musto, Author . Carroll & Graf $15.95 (344p) ISBN 978-0-78671-879-5

Revealing as much about himself as he does his subjects, the out, proud and flamboyantly gay Musto mixes frivolity and furor in the gossip columns collected under the same title as his weekly Village Voice column dating back to 1984. The pieces range from firsthand observation of a 1985 Reagan presidential inaugural ball to scathing commentary on Mel Gibson's recent DUI arrest ("I had no idea that an open bar is all it takes to turn Mother Teresa into a hair-plugged Hitler"). Musto's strongest pieces include "The AIDS era: life during wartime" (1990), his urgent thoughts on the epidemic; "Rosie's b.s. isn't cutie patootie" (1997), in which he outs Rosie O'Donnell; and "Did I blow my chances with Anderson Cooper?" (2005), his persuasive argument for writing about celebrities' sexuality. His travelogues in Bangkok and Moscow, coupled with interviews with stars including Liberace ("pianist envy") epitomize his style: full of adulation, cattiness and sexual innuendo. Musto's snarky, dishy tales of New York nightlife will speak most to those who know the players, but when his topics are more accessible, (e.g., his blow-by-blow coverage of the 2006 Academy Awards in "Oscar flirts with the gays"), Musto's witty ridicule is pithy. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/27/2006
Release date: 01/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
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