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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 and 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 listeners say about Straight Jacket

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Insightful and inspiring

Totally exceptional. The first book I’ve read about growing up gay that has truly resonated with me and my experiences. It offers explanations that has helped me address problems I’ve been too shamed to deal with for years. Because of this book I embarked on counselling which has helped me so much. I think the book is brilliantly written, striking a perfect balance between being informed, interesting, realistic and uplifting. The performance is genuine and trustworthy. I would highly recommend. Thanks

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Disgusting

I am a gay man and this book disgusted me so much that I had to turn it off. It’s not inclusive at all, makes snide comments about sex workers, and anyone who’s sexuality does not fit in the binary of homo or heterosexual. Demonises drug use and rent boys. I didn’t realise it was written by the ex-editor or attitude magazine so it makes sense that it’s content is so backward and Conservative. If you want help in self-acceptance and mental health issues, read books by Meg-John Barker who actually speaks about all people supportively and with respect instead of writing off large amounts of society and demonising our own LGBTQ+ community.

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-Why on Earth overall 🌟🌟 🌟 🌟

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

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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.

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Reading this might just save your life

The most important book I’ve read this year. Reading this might just save your life or the life of someone you love.

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Incredibly powerful book

Highly recommended. Deep, eye-opening, with lots of forgotten history. Everyone should read this, especially family members trying to understand what their loved ones are going through.

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This took it right home for me... .

It was literally the other day that I went on a reclaim pride march when one of my longest friends and also I would say an ally to the LGBTQ+ community ask me what rights are we fighting for... to be fair at first I couldn't articulate an answer until I read this book........ I can't remember crying so much to a book in such a long time Chapter 4 got me in the heart of my 8-year-old self when Matthew talk about facts about down kids........I would always see their dependency on their parent's right up until their death and of course the loss they have endured and it would bring me to tears every time, even now thinking about it and writing it I am crying like a baby.......... the layers and levels of pain and process..... I recommend this book to any human....... am still processing it, Thank you Matthew Tood......

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Great, especially if you're going through it

Mathew todd is a compelling speaker. The topics are heavy so I found it hard to get through. But the content is worth a listen. A little preachy at parts but each to their own.

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Really hard going

The bulk of this felt like a seemingly endless and hopeless recounting of every, undoubtedly true, but also desperately hopeless thing that has every happened to a gay man. Page after page of desperately sad stories. I kept goinyg that the next chapter would be "so look, all of this is true and here's some advice that might help you to validate yourself and step away from this storyline". Unfortunately not.

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Resonates

Totally resonated with me. Very valuable book for anyone going through LGBT Mental Health issues, particularly on the Gay Scene in London

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  • L PATTERSON
  • 25-10-18

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.