I have followed Kenneth and his professional career for years. After finally taking a class with him "live and in person", and hearing tidbits of his "life stories"...I coundn't wait to dive into this book! WOW! It's so fascinating to meet someone like Kenneth..and then be able to learn about his life story and how he came to be where he is today...because of those experiences. He is a wonderful story teller...and I particularly enjoyed him sharing very personal details of who he is...and why. We all have stories in our lives that have shaped who we are as adults... Thanks for sharing your story Kenneth! I learned a lot and so appreciated you sharing your story and the lessons your life has taught you!! Great lessons for us all!
Having met the author after following his career for quite some time, I knew I had to read his novel about his life; to know how he grew up and why he now felt 'grown up'. The twists and turns in his life was amazing and sad. It shows one can make it in a very tough industry with extreme perseverance and yet survive the challenges, especially of his lifestyle. In person, he is as entertaining as an inspired instructor as an author who has you laughing and crying. His devotion and his passion in both fields endure him to you.
I was truly interested in how he acquired his skills and specifically, his inspirations. His skills I understand from constantly experimenting and perfecting, going outside the box with a vision to perfect techniques and invent a few himself. His creations amaze me from the simple use of a painter's mask to create a fashionable beauty. He continues to live on the cutting edge with different applications that bespeak his ability go much further than most designers and technicians for the arts and couture applications. He mixes the 'far-out' with amazing practicality. In his profession, he is a self-made man because he was teachable, experimental and knew how to recognize and nurture a mentor relationship to the ultimate and giving credit when due.
This book kept me always quickly returning to it just to find out what was happening next. I read each page with an open mind which gleaned far more for me in a variety of educational paths. Even though it felt like fiction, I knew it wasn't which made you feel the same emotions so well described of his life. He met the task of weaving his personal and professional life into a fascinating brocade of finest silk from restructured burlap into an insurmountable couture creation.
I own "All Grown Up Now" and appreciate the frank narrative of Mr. King. I've long admired Mr. King and his sewing/couture talents, reading the articles he has written, watching him on televised sewing shows, taking his classes on Craftsy and owning his books; but I had no idea about how he got to where he is now, nor the rocky road he had to travel. Many facing the struggles of being "different" can relate to King's story on several different levels. The lengths he is willing to go to protect/care for his friends is extraordinary.
Having grown up in about the same era, I can relate to many of Kenneth's stories, even though his experience was probably much worse than what many of my friends experienced, being in California where attitudes have always been more progressive. I so admire his determination to define his own life and applaud the success he has found for himself. I was privileged to attend one of his sewing workshops and found him to be as delightful in person as he was in his book.
I was so excited about this book. I’ve known Kenneth was gay, and although I don’t agree with his lifestyle, I was interested in his rise to fame and expert status. While his career stories were fascinating, the stories about his sexual encounters were way too many and detailed. I couldn’t even finish the book because I got tired of reading about who he was jumping in to bed with next.
There was somewhat more about the gay lifestyle than I anticipated, but I needed this education. I was interested in Mr. King because I sew, have books and articles by him, and grew up in Kansas with much family in Salina. As an adult I sat in a mall there many years ago and smoked a cigar. I got a lot more attention than I expected probably because I'm female. I GET what it is like there. 😩😀
Kenneth is quite the raconteur in his classes. Reading his autobiographical novel is just like listening to Kenneth talk--always witty, even when discussing serious and challenging parts of his life. The ending is a total shocker that I didn't see coming! The novel is long and could use some editing in parts--there were some sentences that were repeated--but overall it's like having Kenneth right there in the room with you, telling you his life story up through his days in San Francisco. I wish the book covered why he left SF and journeyed to NYC...subject for a short autobiographical story perhaps??
Wonderfully engaging, and a great read. If you know Kenneth from his creative work, you'll enjoy this even more. He writes with a very fresh, intimate voice. It's as if he's personally telling the story to you, and you'll be hanging on every word. I wish he would write more. I think he could easily transition to fiction with great results.