Probably over 3 stars but not by much. I honestly got halfway through the book and then got so bored that I set it aside and figured I would come backProbably over 3 stars but not by much. I honestly got halfway through the book and then got so bored that I set it aside and figured I would come back to it eventually...took me a lot of months but I finally decided to just power through. It's a really quick read so I was able to get through the second half in one evening.
There is a LOT of name dropping and quite a bit of jumping over the more unsavory bits of his past. There are some fun "behind the scenes" stories about the making of different films that I enjoyed. It felt like there was a ton of information about making The Outsiders, which I guess makes sense as it was just a big part of the beginning of his career, but when it came to The West Wing there wasn't much outside of, "I wasn't getting paid what I deserved and I wasn't included in group pictures." It was a bit disappointing that it seemed to gloss over the show...you can tell there was a lot more information there to share that wasn't included in the book.
Overall it was entertaining that made me want to pull out a few of his old movies to rewatch them....more
“It has taken me all my life to say this without hesitation: I am proud of both my deafness and gayness, for they are both one and the same to me: I d“It has taken me all my life to say this without hesitation: I am proud of both my deafness and gayness, for they are both one and the same to me: I do not think in terms of whether which is more important than the other. I cannot choose, for they are both entwined in ways impossible to disentangle. Deafness and gayness are both emblems of differentness, the very quality most people are most afraid of being.”
That quote comes near the end of Assembly Required, a fascinating glimpse at what it is like to grow up and live as a man both Deaf and gay. The book is separated into three section: Discovering, Connecting, and Identifying. Each section is divided into mini-chapters which are comprised of small snippets which detail Luczak’s life and experiences. The construction of short bits and pieces makes this a fast and easy read, one that holds the reader’s attention from beginning to end.
There is a bit of repetition between the sections but overall the stories are light yet bursting with meaning, relaying what Luczak has had to overcome throughout his life. For people in the hearing community, this is an enlightening read which provides a view of what it is like to experience the world without the ability to hear. My personal favorite is the “My Technological Evolution as a Deaf Person” section which details each technological advancement that helped to improve Luczak’s life in some way. It is quite informative, and a reminder of how fast technology changes and how the smallest things can make things so much easier for a Deaf person.
Assembly Required is a well written book that is both charming and touching, filled with the life experiences of one man which is definitely recommended....more
“Don’t wait for the ride — don’t hope for the ride. Don’t postpone the ride. Saddle up now, and embrace the journey. Celebrate yourself for who you are this day.
Along the way, remember to try an outrageous act or two. You may find your world is not quite the same.”
The above quote from the epilogue encompasses quite well the underlying message of the memoir collection Not Quite the Same by author Sheila Morris. By recounting points of her own life and the lessons she learned, Morris shows the reader how she was able to accept herself and act outrageously, providing a guide for others to model their own lives against.
The memoir is made up of a collection of short pieces separated into three parts. The first, “Leaving Home,” focuses on college, loves, relationships and a variety of jobs and careers. The second, “Not Quite the Same,” is a look at political figures and organizations that played a crucial role in the rights of both women and LGBT persons. The third and final section, “I Hear Voices Calling Me Home,” looks to family members who made an impact on the author, and provides a glimpse into their lives through their own words. The contents of each section blend together to provide insight into a woman as she searches for a purpose in life and the love of another.
The contents of the sections are short vignettes, each focusing on a different person or time in the author’s life. From a reader’s perspective, it reminded me of a collection of newspaper articles that have been laid out and grouped together. There is no adherence to a strict timeline within the sections or the book overall, and the short pieces jump around in years from young woman to mature adult and in between. At times it can be a bit difficult to keep track of the overall timeline of the events of the author’s life, to piece all of the events back together. Each piece stands quite well on it’s own, as well as part of the collection, so it’s easy to read through as there’s no reliance on previous knowledge that should be gained from earlier sections.
There are serious moments as well as quite a bit of humor, and the author’s voice is consistent within each part. In the second part, the author does an excellent job of explaining the people and organizations that made a difference in many lives and then relating them directly to her own life. The third part introduces numerous letters written by family members. Though it’s interesting to see how each person corresponded with the author, and there is a genuine beauty to communications through written word, the letters slow down the book overall. There are a large number of letters, and they outweigh the words of the author. Here the memoir would have benefited from a bit more of the connection to Morris’s own life that is so prevalent in the previous sections. Thankfully the section ends on a high note with tales of present reunions with people that made an impact on the author’s life that are quite engaging.
Throughout the book, the author tells how she grew up and embraced her true self, including both stumbles and successes along the way. It’s an inspiring story, and one that young lesbians, and young women in general, can most definitely learn from....more