From an award-winning playwright “who splits the difference between David Rakoff and Larry David” (New York magazine)—a “compulsively readable debut” (Time Out New York) of big-hearted, laugh-until-you-can’t-breathe essays, stories, and riffs on finding love and intimacy in New York City.
Since moving to New York a decade ago, award-winning writer and performer Isaac Oliver has pined for countless strangers on the subway, slept with half the people in his Washington Heights neighborhood, and observed the best and worst of humanity from behind the glass of a Times Square theater box office. Whether he’s hooking up with a man who dresses as a dolphin, suffering on airplanes and buses next to people with Food From Home, or hovering around an impenetrable circle of attractive people at a cocktail party, Oliver captures the messy, moving, and absurd moments of urban life as we live it today. In this uproariously funny debut collection, he serves up a comedic cornucopia of sketches, vignettes, lists, and diaries from his life as a young, fanciful, and extremely single gay man in New York City.
“Oliver has mastered the art of self-deprecation...he can find humor and heart in the unlikeliest of places,” raves Entertainment Weekly. Culled from years of heartbreak, hook-ups, and more awkwardness than a virgin at prom and a whore in church (and he should know because he’s been both), Intimacy Idiot chronicles Oliver’s encounters with love, infatuation, resilience, and self-acceptance that echo our universal desire for intimacy of all kinds.
Oliver (Showgasm) provides a mediocre entry in the genre of self-deprecating New York Gay men looking for love and finding humor instead, though it certainly has its bright spots. His chatty style and candor about sex is entertaining, as when he dedicates an entire paragraph to actor Ryan Phillippe, who "justified and fortified gayness." His comic humiliations, such as his experiences with gagging on a dust-covered sexual device, dating a furry, and getting spanked by a scruffy Italian guy, illustrate what Oliver will do for possible love. He also includes anecdotes about essays about bizarre subway rides and outrageous episodes from his day job at a theater box office. Too much of the book contains uninspired doodles such as a series of odes ("love poems") for attractive strangers he encounters in New York and "recipes" for loneliness, leaving the reader longing for more substance. Oliver certainly has comedic talent, but this haphazard collection quickly wears thin.
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I haven’t laughed this hard at a book in at least a decade. And I read funny stuff! I recommended this to all of my gay friends. We can all relate to these essays. LOVED this.