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Summary

This is a story about living your truth, embracing who you are and living the life you were meant to live. Whether you're gay or straight, a Christian or a non believer, you'll find relevance in Anthony's tale.

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.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Phil
  • BRIGHTON, United Kingdom
  • 17-02-13

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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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • 24-11-06

Inspiring

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.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Steve Inman
  • 26-10-09

Amazingly Honest

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Steve Horwitz
  • 26-05-09

A GREAT STORY OF ACCEPTANCE

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Jacel
  • 04-08-11

THE BEST BOOK I'VE EVER READ!!!!

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?

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Mario
  • 05-06-12

Very educational and very honest.

Any additional comments?

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Joshua
  • 27-10-11

What a read!

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Master Morgan
  • 14-02-16

An interesting tale, of one man's struggle...

Interesting how one man's life, can be even remotely simular to those dealing with some of the same things. I'd recommend this book to everyone who's unsure how to become themself. In fact I have told several people to get it. Cheers!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 24-11-06

It wasn't easy, but I'm still here!

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Phillip
  • 05-08-10

an honest, gutsy and very personal autobiography

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.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • BryinSiam
  • 15-08-14

Careful what you wish for

Would you try another book from Anthony Venn-Brown and/or David Tredinnick?

Yes.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Underlying themes important to me were: 1. Real selfless caring behaviours were demonstrated by the AIDS Support groups because they were with the sufferers. 2. Forgiveness is needed by all but it is costly to those who have been hurt. 3. Trashing one's marriage, family and community isn't a great job reference.

What does David Tredinnick bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Be prepared for an Aussie accent. The narrator makes the book.

What character would you cut from A Life of Unlearning?

I've heard it said in several films lately, "Leave God out of this." The title is a non sequitur: the author should have instead titled it, "Be careful what you wish for: One Man's Journey to Find the Truth"

Any additional comments?

This is a good example of how in the telling of a story, the principles being argued get justified. Just because we desire something doesn't make it the right choice. The message I get from Venn-Brown is that desires trump promises, which ironically fly in the face of his demand for honesty from others. I can't help but want to read a book from the perspective of the wife he abandoned.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful