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Not Simply Divine

3.31 of 5 stars 3.31  ·  rating details  ·  55 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Divine's former personal manager takes readers through a labyrinth of American subcultures, countercultures, and glimmering nightlife to tell this no-holds-barred story of a man who did anything to become a star. 32 pages of photos.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published August 10th 1994 by Touchstone
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 106)
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Robert Maier
Waters cultists hate Bernard Jay, but he speaks the truth and illuminates the sad plight of Divine more than Waters ever tried.
Although I have only rated this book two stars, I probably enjoyed it a little more than that would suggest. However, it wasn't exactly gripping, or revelatory in any way. It was amusing throughout, how the author kept on referring to the great talent of "his" star, when the book showed just how much can be achieved from so little! Divine's initial "act", when he actually tried to earn a living, rather than just appearing in John Waters' early films, seemed to consist of 10 minutes of shouting " ...more
Beth Ann
Jun 23, 2008 Beth Ann rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Dreamland & Divine Completists
Shelves: film, sold
If you enjoy John Waters movies, and you want to learn more about Divine, don't pick up this tome unless you want to read a bitter hatchet job. Bernard Jay wrote this book a short time after Divine's death, and it reads like a final attempt to wring some dough from the cash cow.

I stress the word cow because Jay emphasizes his disgust with Divine's corpulent body throughout the book. Some gay subcultures may emphasize physical beauty in face and form, but Divine was a drag performer and actor, an
Okay, this is the only biography that I'm aware of about Divine's life. Being a big John Waters fan, I was looking forward to reading this and found it to be adequate biography... but what really hurts the book is the insulting and degrading tone of the author - who was also his manager. It's clear reading this that the author/manager was trying to wring money out of Divine's name right after the man's death with little regard to sensitivity for anyone's feelings.

Jay's tone is arrogant, bitter,
Jules Vilmur
Aug 04, 2007 Jules Vilmur rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: die-hard Divine fans
The first thing I have to tell you about "Not Simply Divine" is that Bernard Jay is NOT a storyteller. He is a competent recorder of facts, and as Divine's long-time manager, he has a wealth of facts at his fingertips, but little talent for turning those facts into a compelling narrative. I picked up this book after falling madly in love with the Antony and the Johnsons track "Divine", and finished the book feeling like that 3.42 minute track gave me more than this 200+ page bio did.
Mar 05, 2010 Warren rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: bios
I was so ecstatic to find a biography of Divine but this was so horribly fatphobic, transphobic and bitter I couldn't glean any of the expected goodness out of it. Bernard Jay, this was a total crime.
Nevada McPherson
With the new movie out about Divine, I remembered reading this book. It's very good and provides a lot of insight into Divine's (and Glenn's--that was his real name) persona and career.
Great insight to the life of the fabulous performer Divine. As you can imagine, it's a very interesting, and often sad, tale, as told by Divine's former manager.
Enjoyed hearing Divine's story but the emphasis on Divine's selfishness and large stature was unnecessary.
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