Funny That Way: Adventures in Fabulousness

Joel Perry, Author Alyson Books $12.95 (276p) ISBN 978-1-55583-557-6
Perry begins this likable collection of his gay humor columns from Frontiers and Instinct magazines by apologizing for the subtitle forced on him by his editor: ""Can anyone not named Minnelli live up to that?"" he asks. Perry's essays are arranged in topic-specific chapters like ""Food and Sex,"" ""The Arts"" and ""Politics and God."" A little more sexually explicit than his contemporaries David Sedaris and Michael Thomas Ford, Perry opens the book with a tale of his first inklings of being different from other boys: he spent each Saturday watching cartoons and the neighbor boy wash his car in swim trunks; while reading Hardy Boys mysteries he continually imagined himself the meat in a Frank and Joe sandwich. Lamenting the cost of his newest fetish, his ""Leather Boy on a Budget"" is a hilarious send-up of compulsive shopping, gay aesthetics and how a cheap pair of leather pants can ruin a ""Best Buns"" contest. His astute account of Food & Wine magazine as near porno in its decadent descriptions and glossy photos is a sly delight, as is his fear of ""unnaturally beautiful"" gym-goers: ""Where is the gym you go to to get in good enough shape to go to a gym?"" Perry may not be a Minnelli, but there's no shortage of fabulous material in this debut collection that should attract attention in the growing gay humor category. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 12/04/2000
Release date: 12/01/2000
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