Thursday, June 19, 2014

G361 Sweet Tooth A Memoir

Title: Sweet Tooth, a Memoir

Author: Tim Anderson

First copyright date: 2014

Type of book: Diabetes, homosexuality, being gay, acceptance, high school, relationships, hiding self, 1980s up until 1990s? travel, New Jersey, disco and drug culture

General subject matter: A young man who has obsession with sweets discovers that he has diabetes as well as the fact that he's gay.

Special features: N/A

Price: $14.95

ISBN/ASIN: 978-1477818077


What’s a sweets-loving young boy growing up gay in North Carolina in the eighties supposed to think when he’s diagnosed with type 1 diabetes? That God is punishing him, naturally.

This was, after all, when gay-hating Jesse Helms was his senator, AIDS was still the boogeyman, and no one was saying, “It gets better.” And if stealing a copy of a gay porno magazine from the newsagent was a sin, then surely what the men inside were doing to one another was much worse.

Sweet Tooth is Tim Anderson’s uproarious memoir of life after his hormones and blood sugar both went berserk at the age of fifteen. With Morrissey and The Smiths as the soundtrack, Anderson self-deprecatingly recalls love affairs with vests and donuts, first crushes, coming out, and inaugural trips to gay bars. What emerges is the story of a young man trying to build a future that won’t involve crippling loneliness or losing a foot to his disease—and maybe even one that, no matter how unpredictable, can still be pretty sweet.

Author's Purpose:

"To a boy whose ideal snack was Little Debbie Zebra Cakes, the existence of a disease like diabetes seemed like the dark work of a mean God." (1)

"'Mom, there's something wrong with me,' I said when I finally reached her. Well, there were several things wrong with me, but probably better to take them one at a time." (10)

a. Why did the author write on this subject rather than on some other subject?

I'm honestly not sure why this book was written. I could only guess that perhaps he wrote it as sort of a way for other people in his position to appreciate that they live in 21st century where being gay is more acceptable rather than in the past where you're forced to hide it. If he wrote it for comedy, I didn't really find it funny.

b. From what point of view is the work written?

The book was written in first person narrative from Tim's point of view.

c. Was the author trying to give information, to explain something technical, to convince the reader of a belief’s validity by dramatizing it in action?

I think the author was trying to explain something technical as well as give information because he does go into a great deal on how diabetes impacted his life as well as what being gay was like for him, and how it seemed both similar and dissimilar to being straight. (Will never forget the scene where he is on a date with a girl...)

d. What is the general field or genre, and how does the book fit into it? (Use outside sources to familiarize yourself with the field, if necessary.) Knowledge of the genre means understanding the art form. and how it functions.

The general field or genre the book belongs to would include an autobiography/memoir, diabetes and being gay in 1980s and 1990s as well as trying to struggle with those issues at once.

e. Who is the intended audience?

I would guess the main audience would be those who share his orientation as well as those people who are at risk for diabetes, or who have family history of diabetes. My parents could really never articulate the horror of having diabetes, but after reading Tim's struggles with it, let's say he did a really good job on articulating why diabetes can be such a frightening disease.

f. What is the author's style? Is it formal or informal? Evaluate the quality of the writing style by using some of the following standards: coherence, clarity, originality, forcefulness, correct use of technical words, conciseness, fullness of development, fluidity. Does it suit the intended audience?

I think the style is more informal and I feel that he tries a little too hard to be funny. When I read a small portion of it to my friend Jennifer, the beginning of it, she mentioned that he sounded angry and he was trying to be comedic. I guess I didn't really understand or appreciate the sense of humor in the book. The narrative itself is engaging.

g. Scan the Table of Contents, it can help understand how the book is organized and will aid in determining the author's main ideas and how they are developed - chronologically, topically, etc.

The book has both prologue and epilogue plus eleven chapters and He's Lost Control sections, which I didn't really understand and felt they detracted from the book. If they somehow tied in to the previous chapters, I'd probably understand their purpose.

*Prologue Some candy talking
*Losing Streak
*The Honeymoon Period
*The Boy with the Thorn in His Side
*Getting Away With it
*I Started Something I couldn't Finish
*Meet Me at the Coterie, Where We Will Enjoy Avocados, the Village Voice and Beer Over Ice
*Like Bret Michaels, but Gayer
*Meeting with the Moon Goddess
*Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now
*Strangeways, Here We Come
*This Charming Man

g. How did the book affect you? Were any previous ideas you had on the subject changed, abandoned, or reinforced due to this book? How is the book related to your own course or personal agenda? What personal experiences you've had relate to the subject?

Similar to Tim, I tend to be obsessed with eating sweets, although my sweet tastes go to more richer and fulfilling chocolate one can say. For a long time I was told that if I continued to eat sweets, then I would develop diabetes. The only thing I knew about diabetes is that one can eat sweets during low blood sugar and that's it. Reading Tim's memoir, I finally understood the horror of having diabetes and what I was being told. Also, I would guess I appreciate the fact that I was exposed to strange fruits and vegetables from an early age.

h. How well has the book achieved its goal?

I'm not really sure what the purpose of the book is: If its written as an entertainment value then the goal is achieved; if its written to educate about GLBT history or about diabetes, then it did a good job as well. But if its all three, the book seemed to stretch thinly.

i. Would you recommend this book or article to others? Why?

Hmm, hard to answer. The book is written well and it is entertaining, but I would imagine if you're looking to read something then I'd recommend, but if you're looking for something in-depth, I don't think I'll recommend the book.

a. Theme: The theme is the subject or topic. It is not necessarily the title, and it is usually not expressed in a complete sentence. It expresses a specific phase of the general subject matter.

Through perseverance things can become manageable and turn out for the best

b. Thesis: The thesis is an author’s generalization about the theme, the author’s beliefs about something important, the book’s philosophical conclusion, or the proposition the author means to prove. Express it without metaphor or other figurative language, in one declarative sentence.

Ultimately we are more alike than different

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Purchase Links

This is for TLC Book Tour

Tim Anderson’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, June 2nd:  Wordsmithonia
Tuesday, June 3rd:  James Reads Books
Thursday, June 5th:  Sarah Reads Too Much
Sunday, June 8th:  Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Monday, June 9th:  The Reading Date
Tuesday, June 10th:  Books and Beautiful World
Wednesday, June 11th:  Good Girl Gone Redneck
Monday, June 16th:  Bookish Ardour
Tuesday, June 17th:  Between the Covers
Wednesday, June 18th:  Tempest Books
Thursday, June 19th:  Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Monday, June 23rd:  Patricia’s Wisdom
Wednesday, June 25th:  Booksie’s Blog
Thursday, June 26th:  Sara’s Organized Chaos
Friday, June 27th:  Perks of Being a JAP
Tuesday, July 1st:  …the bookworm…
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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