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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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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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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

2 people found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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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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    3 out of 5 stars

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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Disappointing

I enjoyed the beginning of this book and then it didn't seem to go anywhere. Some of the issues raised I could relate to in part but I couldn't totally see where the writer was coming from.

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Maybe you don’t know you have problems)

The book is tough, fair enough. So is the burden, which many gays are having through their life from birth. Gays are pretending not to be gays still, and it’s a heavy thing to have, even if we don’t think about that. The author goes to extremes sometimes, but that doesn’t mean that if you are far from the extreme everything is ok. It’s just accumulating and it’s the question of time, you can confront the issue in every moment of your life, the sooner the better.
Nevertheless, everyone should start to work with issues, even without acknowledging they have them , ASAP.

I definitely agree with the author, that almost every gay or any lgbtqi person could face the issue they should pretend to be someone else to be safe . But that process is detrimental in itself and only facilitates to the accumulation of unresolved problems at the end.

You won’t find the definite truth or all answers in this book. However everybody can find something similar, that means something should be done with that.

The author witnessed firsthand a lot of misery, as his position only contributed to acknowledging what is really happening (attitude editor).

The good side- whatever your position or living situation, there’s still a hope. Through reading/listening you can find something you faced already.

You could hear already you need help.. but only you can help yourself in appropriate time, so if you are reading this book- you are searching for answers- half part of the pAth actually.

I would say this book can be an introduction to confronting the issues. The issues can be various- alcohol etc. the roots are also will be different for everybody. I was lucky (it’s a joke of course), to have narcissistic parents and BPD partner in addition to difficult gay childhood. So depending on situation, somebody will need psychiatric help (which is ok), or CBT, or anonymous organizations. Just do it. Without hasty, one problem at the time.

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Relentless and Grim

I didn't find myself spoken about in this book. I couldn't really find where it was going. Just horror story after another. Not much hope in this book

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brilliant and essential

one of the most powerful and honest books I’ve ever listened to about the lgbt experience. painful and harrowing at times it’s hopeful and moving. an essential read

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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.