Smith’s collection taps into a very contemporary tendency toward both reflection and self-deprecation, awareness and ego. The text sometimes resembles a Netflix comedy special, using observational humor to deconstruct and recontextualize a personal narrative; at other moments, it’s more like a viral tweet with an unexpected punchline. It’s never without an undeniable core of cultured, bougie gayness, with references to Prince, meditation retreats, and socialism. In Smith’s afterword, in which he explains his writing process, the reader comes to recognize the years of study and intention that have gone into this assortment of everyday quips turned unexpected masterpiece.
Some readers may find Smith’s style too raunchy, political, or obscure. Though he and Julius lament their struggles under the Trump administration, they are still well-off white men, and it shows. But Smith turns his privilege and flaws into the book’s strengths. Such an intimate look into two men’s marital squabbles and joys—written only a few years after marriage equality became law in the U.S.—is timely and educational as well as touching. Smith’s quick, lighthearted, and tender quasi-memoir is a snapshot of queer America that will find its way into the heart of anyone with a romantic streak or a funny bone.
Takeaway: Smith’s funny, raunchy, and political musings on gay married life will delight trendy queer readers and anyone with a taste for vulnerable humor.
Great for fans of David Sedaris’s Me Talk Pretty One Day, Sloane Crosley’s I Was Told There’d Be Cake.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A+