• All the Rage

  • A Partial Memoir in Two Acts and a Prologue
  • By: Brad Fraser
  • Narrated by: Brad Fraser
  • Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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All the Rage

By: Brad Fraser
Narrated by: Brad Fraser
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Publisher's Summary

A Canadian playwright's rise to fame amid the terrors of the AIDS era.

Brad Fraser suffered an impoverished and abusive childhood, living with his teenage parents in motel rooms and shacks on the side of the highway in Alberta and Northern British Columbia. He grew to be one of the most celebrated, and controversial, Canadian playwrights, his work produced to acclaim all over the world. 

All the Rage chronicles Brad Fraser's rise as he breaks with his past and enrolls as a performing arts student. He is pulled into the newly developing Canadian theatre scene, where he shows great promise. But his early career is one of challenge after challenge, some of which result from his upbringing and prejudice against his queerness. But just as many challenges arise from his combative personality and willingness to challenge the establishment. Few Canadian artists have been as abrasive, notorious, and polarizing as Fraser was in his youth.

Woven through this tale of artistic development is his journey as a queer man coming into himself during the most exhilarating period in the Gay Liberation Movement, and the dawn of a global health crisis. What should have been a triumphant time in a young, successful playwright's life was blighted with the terrifying emergence of AIDS, and the sickness and death of comrades and lovers.

This is both the story of an artist's evolution and an important work of gay history that has rarely been recounted from a Canadian perspective. Written with Fraser's trademark wit and candor, All the Rage is unsparing, sometimes shocking, and always enthralling.

©2021 Brad Fraser (P)2021 Doubleday Canada

Critic Reviews

A CBC Best Canadian Nonfiction Book of 2021

A 2022 Audie Award finalist 

"Brad Fraser's new release...manages to make an intensely personal story bigger than merely the reflections of the famously bad-boy playwright from Edmonton who went on to success as a writer in cities from New York to Los Angeles. Framed through the lens of the AIDS crisis, All the Rage gives context to the lives of gay men in Canada in the 1980s and '90s. At the same time, Fraser...charts an inspiring path for people who wonder how they will ever make their way in a world that doesn’t want them." (The Edmonton Journal)  

"Playwright Brad Fraser's new memoir fans the flames of his provocative legacy." (Quill & Quire

"Brad Fraser tells his own story with all the honesty, integrity and unwillingness to compromise that we know and love from his plays." (Kelly Oxford, director, screenwriter, best-selling author)   

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Revealing and surprisingly poignant

I’m not going to lie, I know the author a little. Just via social media, but it was enough to prepare me for a raw and often visceral behind the scenes look at his life. I also expected it would be deeply introspective and unflinchingly honest. Mr. Fraser does not disappoint.

Going in, I knew nothing about the Canadian arts scene and only a surface level insight on gay culture in the 80s and 90s. There was no obvious reason for me to be interested in this memoir, but I found it fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable, albeit a bit uncomfortable as good memoirs often are. It’s also funny, dark, and sad. There’s a line, early in Part 6 that stayed with me: “For the first time in my life I inhabited both my body and my mind at the same time.” In a way, that’s what this memoir did for me. I felt it in an almost physical way as the author describes his trauma, insecurities, successes, failures, and yes—his rage. His words tapped into those emotions from my own life and I was both somehow living the author’s experiences and living my own.

This memoir also provided a much appreciated insight into living during the AIDS crisis as a gay man and navigating the divergence it creates within his own community. I found that insight to be some of the most valuable takeaways from this book.

There is so much to absorb in this memoir and it ended far too soon as I was eager to hear more. I highly recommend this as both an entertaining behind the scenes memoir and as a touching tribute to friendship, love, and loss.