On the surface, Anthony Venn-Brown was a happily married father of two and an evangelist preacher for the Assemblies of God Church; but he was living a lie. Tired of feeling torn and fragmented, he confessed and came out, and the results of that confession took him on a lonely journey that made him who he is today.
©2004 Anthony Venn-Brown; (P)2005 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.
I had read reviews of ex-New Jersey Governor James McGreevey's autobiography, "Confession" when I ran across Venn-Brown's book. The two books make interesting bookends on the whole issue of society coming to grips with high-profile leaders as they are part of and ultimately change the political and social dynamics of our society.
They share a lot of characteristics - men in very public lives, married, with children, always struggling with their homosexuality and denying it to themselves and expressing it in furtive ways.
Venn-Brown's experience is all the more powerful because not only was religion a conflicting factor in both of the these men's lives, Venn-Brown was a leader in the evangelical movement. He ultimately decides that he can no longer stay in his marriage (unlike the recently disgraced Ted Haggard in the US) and sets out to learn to love himself.
Ultimately, this means getting rid of the baggage that society and religion regularly imputes to the character of members of the gay community.
The summary “This is a story about living your truth, embracing who you are and living the life you were meant to live”, prompted me to want to read this book.
I was not disappointed. Once I started listening to it I could not put it down.
Anthony comes across as telling his story in a very open and honest manner. His courage and determination to live a life of authenticity and integrity are truly inspiring.
As a gay man and father I have felt some of the same struggles in my own life and reading about Anthony’s journey has given me inspiration to stay the course and continue to strive to live my life in the way it was intended.
I have been a Christian most of my life and have struggled with being Gay all my life. This book was so honest and heart breakingly real. I really identified with his struggle and I think everyone should listen to or read this memoir.
A LIFE OF UNLEARNING is a must read for any person who has ever had to overcome struggles in his or her life. Anthony Venn-Brown became a hero to me. I can't say much more. I cried...I laughed...and I understood the true meanng of "unlearning". Tony, if you are reading this review, I consider you a genius. You brought to reality the story of my life.
Anthony Venn-Brown is my new fave author after finishing his audiobook. The greatest thing is that, i added him on my facbook page and he's so nice to acccept my friend's request.... Such an honor!!!
Sadly, this is the only book I could search from the web he wrote...
Is there anybody who knows his other books just in case he has?
Is Christianity more valid than mythology? Didn’t the Bible start as an oral tradition? Ignoring these and many other questions is what we westerners tend to do; we still conform to superstition and traditions as if there were facts. The author dares to show us unapologetically how he preached these beliefs vehemently and without regard to the havoc that they play in many people’s lives and, in this case, in his own life. The intimate look into the internal drama of trying to get rid of his homosexuality using any means available, natural or supernatural, even going thru an exorcism and reparative therapy without any success. The detail and the depth of the narration surprised me as the author doesn’t intend to be liked or if he does, did not achieve it, until the very end.
I finally ended up grateful to him for having written the book, it took guts to be this honest.
Whew! Where do I begin?! I'll start out by saying that I consider myself a fairly conservative evangelical Christian (especially when it comes to the topic of homosexuality) who experiences homosexual desires on a daily basis. I downloaded this book yesterday and I almost have it finished. There's so much I want to say. Tony does have a divine gift for communication. I listened to the first few chapters and regretted buying it. I listened more and was glad I did. I found myself transfixed by this story and identify with SOOOO MUCH!!! I found myself quite entertained by the fact that this book has the unprecendented trait of meandering between a book containing so much Christian truth and, then without warning, downright gay erotica. The details of Tony's sexual encounters throughout his life were downright arousing and yet I somehow feel like a better Christian after reading nearly all of the book (I have about two more hours to go.) I feel for Tony. I was angered by how he was treated by the assemblies of God and totally can identify with the spiritual abuse he has suffered. However, I am perplexed at how he could arrive at the conclusion he has. Maybe I'm not though...I know from personal experience what spiritual abuse can do to someone's Christian walk. If those people do not repent, they will be severely judged for what they've done. On the other hand, it seems very obvious to me, that Tony has made some very tragic mistakes (mistakes I've made myself [and quite recently at that]) and has paid and is paying a dear price for them...Oh Tony, how long to hug you for about 5 minutes
Hats of to Anthony for doing this book and there is much to be commended in this story. Overall I appreciate the book but I didn't finish it. I felt a little bit like I was listening to a speech and found it hard to connect with it.
I am still haunted by the story as I myself have lived through many of the experiences that Tony addressed in the book. It takes guts to be this honest with the world and I commend him in doing so. Some parts are a little bit raw, but necessary to communicate the depths of the truths that is being told. I wept many times while listening to this book because of the raw emotions the came forward and bubbling up in my own life. I especially liked the letter written to Laura Slezenger that they talk about at the end of the book what a powerful statement! I will recommend this book to anyone that I know that is struggling in the same ways and plan on listening to it many more times than just once.
Enjoyed the story. well presented and the reflections were helpful. Good book to read if coming to terms with being gay and growing up in a Christian environment.
"Inspiring and Triumphant!"
If ever a book about overcoming adversity should be read, then make it this one. Anthony Venn-Brown lays bare his soul in this deeply moving and powerful account of his journey towards seeking and ultimately living out his truth. He writes of his pain in living a closeted and disparate life as a gay man within the church, with a bravery and candour which is humbling, it held my attention from the 'get go' at once both heartrending and heartwarming, it's message is clear - 'after all the pain and exploration, we arrive where we started and know that place for the first time'.- Should be on any gay man's reading list regardless of whether they are out and proud, struggling alone in the closet or somewhere in between. This book is about hope, resolution and discovering faith in it's truest sense, which often means simply letting go of and deconstructing much of what we have been indoctrinated with.
Superb narration from David Tredinnick, whose rich toned voice, understated style and warmth of delivery makes this story all the more poignant and heartfelt. Brilliant!
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