Review: Good As You: From Prejudice to Pride, By Paul Flynn

Posted on Jun 27 2018 - 9:00am by Claire Herbaux

Some books turn out to be completely different from what you imagined.

This one was a struggle for me to finish.

If you follow our Reader’s Corner segment regularly and see positive reviews, it is because I try and pick books I will enjoy so I can recommend them, not that it isn’t genuine; as busy women too, we want to be able to recommend things you’ll enjoy..

So here is by honest opinion on Paul Flynn’s Good as You.

It wasn’t what I had in mind when I picked it out. I chose it so we could celebrate Pride month, indeed celebrate, enjoy, have fun. To me, it was meant to be a happy book; lined of course with some serious content around the history of homosexuality in this country, but overall upbeat.

Think of Queer as Folk or Beautiful People. Both have some hard hitting narrative at times, but it is entertainment.

Instead, what I found myself reading were long versions of interviews Paul Flynn conducted in his journalistic career. Each chapter is lengthy and contains sub chapters and I struggled to finish them.

To someone who wasn’t alive when the start of this book was set, and who may not know all the people involved, there was little guidance as the chapters went on.

That said, when it came to sections of the book with things I could relate to, it was much easier to read.

The chapter on HIV and AIDS was by far the best as it explained a side of the disease many born after the 1970s and 80s may not be familiar with – the day to day life in the midst of a disease which wasn’t even named yet. It gave me an insight into how the book may read to someone who understands every reference.

Sadly, that wasn’t me and I was reading on (I do always aim to finish, as I feel I cannot honestly review a book otherwise) but I would have preferred shorter sections on individual celebrities, more personal insights, and sassier writing. Although it is a chronology and deals with some of the darker times of gay life in Britain, isn’t it meant to ultimately meant to celebrate pride?

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