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Straight Jacket

Narrated by: Matthew Todd
Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
3 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Random House presents the audio edition of Straight Jacket, written and read by Matthew Todd.

Winner Boyz best LGBT book 2017

Short-listed for the Polari book prize 2017

Straight Jacket is a revolutionary clarion call for gay men, the wider LGBT community, their friends and family. Part memoir, part groundbreaking polemic, it looks beneath the shiny facade of contemporary gay culture and asks if gay people are as happy as they could be - and if not, why not?

Meticulously researched, courageous and life-affirming, Straight Jacket offers invaluable practical advice on how to overcome a range of difficult issues. It also recognises that this is a watershed moment, a piercing wake-up call to arms for the gay and wider community to acknowledge the importance of supporting all young people - and helping older people to transform their experience and finally get the lives they really want.

©2018 Matthew Todd (P)2018 Random House Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"This is an essential read for every gay person on the planet." (Elton John)

What members say

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Falls short of expectations

Part one and part two are well worth listening to with interesing observations on importent issues.

Then in part three the book falls off the cliff. The author is out of his depth when he starts talking about "Recovery", and makes statements where he uses language like "you must" and "you should" on subjects where he is clearly not qualified to offer advice.

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  • Rich
  • 08-04-19

-Why on Earth overall 🌟🌟 🌟 🌟

if performance and story both received 5?
-Can trigger major depression: feeling that I'm f*cked.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Richie S. Moore
  • 11-05-19

Truly, a must read for Gay Men!

A real eye-opener. I had always looked at my own experiences as individual events throughout my life. This book made me realise how much was connected and I still have some unresolved issues around my sexuality. Even if your not seeking help this gives you an accurate objective view of life as a homosexual.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-27-19

I felt cheated...

The first half of the book was brilliant, I could and did identified with so much of what was in it: the shame of not being normal, flawed, dirty, facing discrimination in and outside LGBT community, body image, substance abuse (didn't really struggled here but could relate to it because I know those who did), oversexualization... List could go on... I was quite convinced I will relisten this book many times, but I'm pretty sure I won't.

I won't relisten this book because it doesn't come with solutions how to address and deal with all of the shame buried deep inside of us. Well, the author comes with Long list of 12 steps anonymous groups you could attend if you have and addiction problems, which is pretty useless if you live outside UK. And to those of us who don't have an addiction but still have the trauma, well he says to try a therapy with LGBT friendly therapists, that could be very beneficial in changing your life course he says... But if the title of your book promise to "Overcome Shame" shouldn't you at least try to come with real possible solutions how to address it. It was helpful in that regard at all, highly misleading...

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  • Mrs Cathy
  • 05-16-19

Important read

Not all but a lot a of this book resonated with me as a gay man. It opened my eyes and furthered my understanding about many things and has helped me perceive and improve certain negative behaviours... leading to a happier life!

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  • lhrsydjfk
  • 03-26-19

Wonderful, recommending it to everyone.

Brilliant, so true and so heartbreaking. Lots for everyone - straight, gay, everyone - to identify with. One of the most powerful books I have read in a long time.

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  • Don
  • 02-26-19

The Plural of Anecdote is not Data

The premise of the book seemed interesting but its aims, focus, and purpose are too defuse to form a coherent narrative. The aims are certainly worthy, and for some people the book will certainly speak to their problems. The problem with Todd's premise is that he does not appreciate that his life in London as a prominent gay media figure he does not represent a universal experience. He uses personal incidents to demonstrate universal problems but treats them as typical. He uses stats to scientifically demonstrate points, but often casually states the stats under report issues (without without evidence as to why this is the case). The biggest issue is he never fully decides what the book is. It seems as if he wanted to write an autobiography, a sociology book, a self help book, and a modern history book but in the end the book is a all of these and none of these. This might be of great help to someone who is coming to grips with their sexuality for the first time, or for people with addictive behaviours. For me personally the nuggets of good advice were surrounded by too much padding for the book to be enjoyable.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-31-19

Extremely negative and unhelpful

I read this book as a follow up to Alan Downs’ ‘The Velvet Rage’ hoping it would be a more positive and self-help focused text.

How wrong I was. Instead Todd focuses on extreme cases often in the public media that don’t represent the mainstream experiences of gay men.

Whilst some aspects of the book, gay men will be able to relate to, the audience that Todd is trying to reach such as those who are alcoholics or attend chemsex parties sadly are unlikely to read books or listen to audiobooks that drag on for hours.

I would not recommend this book. It’s a depressing negative read that does not live up to its subtitle of ‘...and happy’.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • glen
  • 02-09-19

Absolutely brilliant!

This book is simply amazing from the first page. It has helped me understand so much about being gay and the toxic shame that I’ve been carrying and how to do the work to release it and live a happy life. I’d recommend it to all !!!!