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When You Were Me

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3.43  ·  Rating Details ·  100 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
In his long-awaited new novel, master satirist Rodi, author of "Fag Hag, Drag Queen," and "Kept Boy," crafts a compelling and witty romp that adds new meaning to the adage, Be careful what you wish for.

All work and no play have made Jack Ackerly a dull boy. It's also made him very rich. Now, at age 53, he regrets devoting his youth to capitalism over hedonism. Alas he can'
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Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Kensington
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Almost Like Being in Love by Steve KlugerShattered Glass by Dani AlexanderNaked by David SedarisIf It's A Choice, My Zygote Chose Balls by Jeremy HooperI'll Be Your Drill, Soldier by Crystal Rose
Best LGBT Humor
122nd out of 244 books — 416 voters
Freaky Friday by Mary RodgersGender Blender by Blake NelsonIn My Shoes by Adrian StephensSwitchcraft by Mary CastilloIf I Were You by Leslie Margolis
Freaky Friday and other body switching stories
40th out of 51 books — 11 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Stephen
Jun 05, 2011 Stephen rated it really liked it
Freaky Friday, Seventeen Again, they both deal with a favorite fantasy, that of being young and vital again but retaining what we've learned in life's school of hard knocks. This book is a gay man's take on that theme.

Jack Ackerly is a self made millionaire who's worked hard his whole life and now at 53 he feels he's missed his youth.

Corey Szalo is 26, still young and attractive but starting to panic because there are always younger prettier kids on their way up and he's pretty much frittered
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Bob
Dec 29, 2010 Bob rated it it was amazing
Works best when skewering gay mid life crisis. Bloated at over 400 pages. Plenty of extraneous characters that could be excised for clarity and pacing. Too much plot denouement with the witch and the pet dog.

Some wonderful Rodi snarkiness (e.g. so much inherited Victorian furniture crammed into an apartment that it looks like the barricade in Les Miz).

A romp like this should be less than 300 pages. This sizzles when Jack anguishes over his shallow wishes and fizzles when it slams to a halt with
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Lance Rouch
Apr 20, 2011 Lance Rouch rated it really liked it
This is a fun novel that takes a gay twist on the "Freaky Friday" storyline. The switch is between a former workaholic who would like to relive his youth and a twenty-something who is desperate for money. I particularly got into this novel because I've often joked about how fun it would be to trade bodies with a hot young guy and live out all my fantasies. While laughing at how the character's plans don't exactly turn out like they hoped, it allows us to laugh at ourselves and our own gay ...more
Mark
Dec 18, 2008 Mark rated it really liked it
Though this is a familiar formula it takes many expected and satisfactory turns. Though I was thinking the characters take a little long agonzing over steps we know they are going to (it's the premise of the book), it does lend them credibility as characters and depth to the situtaions they find themselves in. Any one in this book could have been a stereotype but the richness of detail keeps them real. I got carried away with it and i love that!
Again, why hasn't this been made into a movie or pl
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Eric Mueller
Dec 15, 2009 Eric Mueller rated it really liked it
What a totally fun "gay freaky friday" story. It started off a little slow but once things got going, it was terrific. A really great ending, too. Rodi is a great storyteller and I've enjoyed all his books; this one is no exception.
V. Briceland
May 20, 2012 V. Briceland rated it did not like it
When You Were Me is a body-swap comedy. But here's the thing about body-swap comedies—and one of my published novels is one of them, so I can speak with a little authority here—nobody really reads them in order to find out how the bodies get swapped. It can't happen in real life, you see, and the more an author tries to make the premise into something logical, something that can neatly be explained, the less it works. So Thorne Smith's Turnabout used a magical little statue that flips its marrie ...more
Trin
Jan 29, 2008 Trin rated it liked it
A queer bodyswap story (!!!), which I found rather enjoyable even when it was, well, kind of stupid. Basically: Jack, the 53-year-old millionaire, swaps with Corey, the 26-year-old aimless quasi-burnout, and more social awkwardness than wackiness ensues. Though slow-paced (it takes almost 200 pages for the switch to occur), there’s something about the narrative that pulls you along. The book’s biggest flaw is, I think, somewhat shaky characterization: I never felt I really got a handle on who ...more
Adam Dunn
May 09, 2012 Adam Dunn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: glbt
Loved this book.

Rodi has often been called "Beach Reading" or "Light", I call him relatable. If you've read something heavy or you have something going on in your life, you can step in to a Rodi book and have a brief vacation without leaving your home.

This book has a great premise, I couldn't wait to read it. A young gay man changes bodies with an older gay man.

There was a long set up to the body swap but I enjoyed the build up and finding out about the characters. I couldn't put this book down,
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carelessdestiny
Dec 30, 2011 carelessdestiny rated it liked it
Shelves: nicely-plotted
This is a Faustain romp of a novel. It's got nicely drawn comic characters, ingenious plot twists, as if the protagonists are seeing themselves in distorting mirrors, even a riff on literacy and the state of the novel in the digital age (delivered by a glamourous, sophisticated man who I couldn't help thinking might be based on a person who's name possibly begins with R). The character that used yiddish words in just about every sentence was a bit irritating (as if we all have obscure language ...more
Kat
Jun 22, 2009 Kat rated it it was ok
I appreciated this book because I must have watched Freaky Friday a hundred times when I was a kid. I even watched the remake with Carrie Fisher. So the personality/body switch plot devise combined with gay male aging angst was enough to keep me entertained by the pool.

Dawn and I started out reading this book aloud, but decided the writing was too chunky. Clearly, the editor did not try and read those names aloud and there was too much alliteration. But I guess I should have expected this from
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Alexa
Aug 29, 2008 Alexa rated it liked it
Shelves: lightreading
How do you make a book about swapping bodies more interesting? Make the "bodies" those of gay men!

I did so love Robert Rodi in high school and I was disappointed to find I do not have the same love of his work now. However, the setting (Chicago) was beautifully incorporated, if a little too detailed, and the story did keep me turning the pages. And the ending came weonderully out of let field.
Norma
Jan 22, 2014 Norma rated it liked it
There really needs to be a better system of rating. I really liked this book - enjoyed the characters and plot, even though it was something that could never happen. I was looking forward to finding out how Robert Rodi would bring this story to a satisfactory conclusion, and I was not a bit disappointed! Wonderful humor, but with definite substance, too.
Christy
Mar 10, 2008 Christy rated it liked it
Freaky Friday, except starring two gay men, one an older, established career man and one a handsome youth just beginning to make his own choices about life. They switch places and learn the lessons they need to eventually go back to their original lives. An odd little story, for sure.
Closetcase
May 03, 2010 Closetcase rated it it was amazing
Robert Rodi has done it again. This is my second book by Rodi and I really enjoyed the different characters. Looking forward to reading others.
Jennifer
Nov 27, 2007 Jennifer rated it it was ok
Shelves: recentlyread
A Freaky Friday for gay men. Somewhat entertaining, but kind of predictable. And the ending was weird.
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Robert was born in Chicago in the conformist 1950s, grew up in the insurrectionist 1960s, came of age in the hedonist 1970s, and went to work in the elitist 1980s. This roller-coaster ride has left him with a distinct aversion to isms of any kind; it also gave him an ear for hypocrisy, cant, and platitudes that allowed him, in the 1990s, to become a much-lauded social satirist.

After seven acclaime
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