Read Sally Field Can Play the Transsexual: Or I Was Cursed by Polly Holliday by Leslie L. Smith Online


A 2015 Reader's Choice Finalist, this tale of sex, loss, redemption and pharmaceuticals in the modern AIDS era that will make you laugh, break your heart, and inspire you. Leslie L. Smith's #SFCPT is a coming-of-age story - a teenage gay runaway turned hustler, David Matthews, is on a journey to find himself and his community. Along the way he is visited by a ghost, meetsA 2015 Reader's Choice Finalist, this tale of sex, loss, redemption and pharmaceuticals in the modern AIDS era that will make you laugh, break your heart, and inspire you. Leslie L. Smith's #SFCPT is a coming-of-age story - a teenage gay runaway turned hustler, David Matthews, is on a journey to find himself and his community. Along the way he is visited by a ghost, meets a transsexual nurse, and experiences a budding romance. Together these events change David's understanding of the grief he carries. This witty novel is also a touching look at what it is to be gay in today's world. It's also a saga about the last 25 years of gay sex and AIDS culture. Smith's characters look at difficult questions: safer sex, barebacking, personal responsibility, and current HIV prevention methods - it asks why gay men bareback even though HIV remains a threat among gay men. Discover why the Bay Area Reporter says #SFCPT is "an irresistible page-turner, that is inspirational without becoming treacly."...

Title : Sally Field Can Play the Transsexual: Or I Was Cursed by Polly Holliday
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780996023320
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 294 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Sally Field Can Play the Transsexual: Or I Was Cursed by Polly Holliday Reviews

  • Doug
    2019-06-01 09:10

    I received a copy of this book through Goodreads First Reader Giveaways (Thank you, Leslie!) Leslie Smith is a gifted writer and I found this book to be a terrific page-turner, and an emotionally stirring read. As a gay man of the era before the one the main character, David, belongs to, I could not always relate to his perspective or feelings, and I had some major qualms about both his conclusions as regards the 'end' of the AIDS crisis, as well as the use of the 'ghost' character (which was eventually reconciled by the end of the book). Regardless of these minor quibbles, I found David's journey and transformation (which reads as, and apparently is, largely autobiographical) to be quite gripping, as well as amusing in parts, and well worth the time spent.

  • John
    2019-06-05 06:13

    Marvellous book. Beautifully written with a distinctive voice and sly humor which work together to convey what was, to me, an important experience. Perhaps personal experience that made empathy quicker for me; AIDS and gay life has been my turf for thirty years. But it would be a mistake to pigeonhole it into into genre-fiction. The central character is a gay man coping with the experience gay men have, but the issues are universal: grief, families, and how to cobble together a bit of humanity. It does what the best gay fiction does: shows how the struggles of gay people are the struggles of us all. It meant a lot to me.

  • Tex Reader
    2019-06-05 13:09

    3.5 of 5 stars – Nice, Sympathetic Story of the Maturing of a Gay Hustler & AIDS.(I'm excited to have won this as a Goodreads First Read – so thanks, Leslie!)This is a sympathetic, quietly humorous story of a young man telling about his coming of age, reflecting on his hustling, best friends and the issue of AIDS/HIV, bringing us from the past to the present.By quiet humor I mean that it wasn’t laugh-out-loud funny, but a serious story told in a less serious way, like the way the MC used actors to replace the people in his experiences. This is helped by Leslie Smith’s style of being straightforward and casual, making the plot, action and his MC and friends likable and understandable. The MC’s maturity and character development is well done and matches the steady pace of the plot.I had just finished reading Mysterious Skin, yet another hustler story with a similar MC (but in a different style and IMO slightly better than this one), and like MS, this one is true to the reality and psychology of a young man struggling with issues, such as the YA process of maturing, the memory loss resulting from childhood sexual abuse, and the AIDS experience in the 90’s, which is moving. I do have to differ with how the MC portrays our having “gotten past the AIDS/HIV era” – the fear of having gotten AIDS is still a big deal, even if it’s no longer a death sentence. At the same time, it’s nice how Smith brought us up to date to modern times on AIDS issues, lending an interesting perspective shared by a younger generation and a pro-PrEP view of that controversy.I did have one main disappointment: the device the author used to tell the story – yet another stereotypical story of a teen (good looking, of course) who ran away from a bad home to NYC (of course), became a successful hustler (what else?), and found a sugar daddy (of course, one who was kind and didn’t use but understood the young man), etc. It’s just one of a number of stereotypes we over-sexed gays have to overcome, which is at cross-purposes to points made in this book. There seems to be way more of these stories than there are gays who have actually had such an experience, and as such for me, it made it harder to relate to the characters. Still, I know it’s also about the journey and how it’s told, and Smith does a job here, and the emotions, relationship experiences and growth make it more relatable. In all, I enjoyed and was moved by the story, about both the MC’s journey, and about the AIDS/HIV journey.

  • Jean Marie Angelo
    2019-06-18 05:15

    I met the author at a book signing in White Plains last year. I was impressed with his candor and sense of humor. Both are evident in his novel. At the beginning of each chapter the narrator provides a list of items — either concerns, observations, or gratitudes. It acts as a foreshadowing in the story.This novel takes us through the AIDS crisis and the Gay Rights Movement. I came out the year before Stonewall 25, and some parts of this story are set during that time. My own nostalgia kept me moving through the story. Some passages are wonderful:"We would not be washed away...In those days after each Gay Pride Parade, we would stand taller. We would be nicer to each other. We would demand more from those who tried oppress us, not just for ourselves but for all of those who were different. For all those who had not yet found a voice."In the end, though, I just thought the story took on way too much. We have a dying family member, a lover who has died of AIDS — but who returns as a ghost — while we also have childhood sexual abuse and AIDS activism. It is like Terms of Endearment, meets Ghost and Longtime Companion.

  • Darnell Hamilton
    2019-06-03 12:00

    As a gay man that never fully experienced the era of the AIDS epidemic, I find personal stories of those who lived it very telling and educational…to give me a greater/deeper understanding of accounts of the past. This story hits me in the gut as a gay man that has lived a lifestyle and at times questioned my motives for doing the things that I do…whether those interactions are with family or sexual partners, the way I reflect as a man mirrored the way David went through his "growth spurt" towards true adulthood.It is pieces of literature like this that make everyone aware that as homosexuals we are not as easy to figure out as some may think…we have layers, layers that need to be pulled back to get to the core of how we are defined as people first…not being defined by who we take to bed and how we do it…all that is extra…it does not make us who we are…this book reminded me of that.

  • Rosemarie
    2019-06-16 09:26

    I enjoyed this book tremendously. It was well written, entertaining, and a page turner. The lead character, David, was confused and conflicted as well as humorous, thoughtful, inspiring, and lovable. I felt that his dead friend and mentor, Robert, was more the alter-ego of David who guided him to become the responsible adult he finally turned out to be. It gives the reader a great perspective on the coming of age gay man in our society as well as an understanding of the AIDS crisis. This is definitely a must read.

  • Harry Wingfield
    2019-06-24 07:12

    I started writing my memoirs several years ago, and then hit a block in the middle of a chapter. This book inspired me to start writing again. That's probably the highest compliment I can pay to an author. I'll let the other reviewers give insight to the plot, characters and writing style.

  • Elissa Jane Mastel
    2019-06-20 04:58

    Warm, funny, controversial and killer sex scenes. Feels almost autobiographical, well, I know it is but it's a great piece of fiction and an engaging read. I highly recommend.

  • Empresscalli
    2019-06-01 13:19

    What a fantastically raw journey that simultaneously stirs your own hidden sympathy and makes you/allows you to recharge your empathy. A recommended read for EVERY type of person.

  • Thomas Larson
    2019-06-07 12:24

    I loved Sally Field Can Play the Transsexual. I have read a lot of gay-themed novels over the past thirty years and this is one of the only ones to deal with the subject of being and living with an HIV+ status. The story is not maudlin or depressing, it is very straightforward and presents it like it is: men who are poz can and do have “normal” lives. The author’s style is very easy to read and the characters are believable and likeable. It is very funny in parts, very moving in others, very realistic in others, and with a bit of magical realism thrown in too. But most of all, it is insightful. Insightful about life, death, being gay, male lust, loneliness, connectedness, and just being alive. The story is told is something of a continuous present day/flashback manner by the protagonist David, who is somewhat of a mess through most of the book until his apotheosis/revelation towards the end. He is likable throughout but I was very glad when he was awakened to the fact that his life could and should be productive and crate a positive impact on others. A note about the sex scenes in this book: the way in which Leslie writes about man-to-man sex is so accurate and descriptive that he captures the feelings and sensations perfectly. These scenes are very erotic but not pornographic, which I think is a remarkable achievement for an author. I want more books like this from this author so please, Leslie L. Smith, tell me you’re working on the sequel!

  • Allan McClendon
    2019-06-17 10:28

    I really enjoyed reading this article! As a 28 year Long-Term Survivor of HIV myself, I can relate to all of these stories on so many different levels. My faith,spirituality,and a new found love and respect for myself is what helped me perservere through those dark times. And now my life is healthier and more manageable. I only just discovered today after reading the article in last months Positively Aware Magazine. I am living in Boston now and look forward to finding out more about your organization and gatherings. Blessings to you and all of the work that you have been doing!

  • Ashley
    2019-06-18 12:04

    There were some really beautiful, on-point passages (mainly talking about Pride and HIV/AIDS). But perhaps the story took on too much -- and the voice at times was so clunky that I had to keep myself from skipping over paragraphs -- to keep it from being great. Still, it was a fast, good read.

  • Leslie L.
    2019-06-15 11:15