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Sally Field Can Play the Transsexual: Or I Was Cursed by Polly Holliday
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Sally Field Can Play the Transsexual: Or I Was Cursed by Polly Holliday

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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  25 ratings  ·  12 reviews
A 2015 Reader's Favorite Finalist, this tale of sex, loss, redemption and pharmaceuticals in the modern AIDS era that will make you laugh, break your heart, and inspire you. Leslie L. Smith's #SFCPT is a coming-of-age story - a teenage gay runaway turned hustler, David Matthews, is on a journey to find himself and his community. Along the way he is visited by a ghost, meet ...more
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published May 21st 2014 by Pressless, LLC (first published April 18th 2014)
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Doug
Jul 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book through Goodreads First Reader Giveaways (Thank you, Leslie!)

Leslie Smith is a gifted writer and I found this book to be a terrific page-turner, and an emotionally stirring read. As a gay man of the era before the one the main character, David, belongs to, I could not always relate to his perspective or feelings, and I had some major qualms about both his conclusions as regards the 'end' of the AIDS crisis, as well as the use of the 'ghost' character (which was ev
...more
John
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marvellous book. Beautifully written with a distinctive voice and sly humor which work together to convey what was, to me, an important experience. Perhaps personal experience that made empathy quicker for me; AIDS and gay life has been my turf for thirty years. But it would be a mistake to pigeonhole it into into genre-fiction. The central character is a gay man coping with the experience gay men have, but the issues are universal: grief, families, and how to cobble together a bit of humanity. ...more
Tex Reader
3.5 of 5 stars – Nice, Sympathetic Story of the Maturing of a Gay Hustler & AIDS.
(I'm excited to have won this as a Goodreads First Read – so thanks, Leslie!)

This is a sympathetic, quietly humorous story of a young man telling about his coming of age, reflecting on his hustling, best friends and the issue of AIDS/HIV, bringing us from the past to the present.

By quiet humor I mean that it wasn’t laugh-out-loud funny, but a serious story told in a less serious way, like the way the MC used act
...more
Jean Marie Angelo
Mar 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I met the author at a book signing in White Plains last year. I was impressed with his candor and sense of humor. Both are evident in his novel. At the beginning of each chapter the narrator provides a list of items — either concerns, observations, or gratitudes. It acts as a foreshadowing in the story.

This novel takes us through the AIDS crisis and the Gay Rights Movement. I came out the year before Stonewall 25, and some parts of this story are set during that time. My own nostalgia kept me mo
...more
Darnell Hamilton
Jul 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As a gay man that never fully experienced the era of the AIDS epidemic, I find personal stories of those who lived it very telling and educational…to give me a greater/deeper understanding of accounts of the past. This story hits me in the gut as a gay man that has lived a lifestyle and at times questioned my motives for doing the things that I do…whether those interactions are with family or sexual partners, the way I reflect as a man mirrored the way David went through his "growth spurt" towar ...more
Rosemarie
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtq
I enjoyed this book tremendously. It was well written, entertaining, and a page turner. The lead character, David, was confused and conflicted as well as humorous, thoughtful, inspiring, and lovable. I felt that his dead friend and mentor, Robert, was more the alter-ego of David who guided him to become the responsible adult he finally turned out to be. It gives the reader a great perspective on the coming of age gay man in our society as well as an understanding of the AIDS crisis. This is defi ...more
Harry Wingfield
Mar 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
I started writing my memoirs several years ago, and then hit a block in the middle of a chapter. This book inspired me to start writing again. That's probably the highest compliment I can pay to an author. I'll let the other reviewers give insight to the plot, characters and writing style.
Elissa Jane Mastel
Warm, funny, controversial and killer sex scenes. Feels almost autobiographical, well, I know it is but it's a great piece of fiction and an engaging read. I highly recommend.
Empresscalli
Aug 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastically raw journey that simultaneously stirs your own hidden sympathy and makes you/allows you to recharge your empathy. A recommended read for EVERY type of person.
Thomas Larson
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved Sally Field Can Play the Transsexual. I have read a lot of gay-themed novels over the past thirty years and this is one of the only ones to deal with the subject of being and living with an HIV+ status. The story is not maudlin or depressing, it is very straightforward and presents it like it is: men who are poz can and do have “normal” lives. The author’s style is very easy to read and the characters are believable and likeable. It is very funny in parts, very moving in others, very rea ...more
Allan McClendon
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this article! As a 28 year Long-Term Survivor of HIV myself, I can relate to all of these stories on so many different levels. My faith,spirituality,and a new found love and respect for myself is what helped me perservere through those dark times. And now my life is healthier and more manageable. I only just discovered letskickass.org today after reading the article in last months Positively Aware Magazine. I am living in Boston now and look forward to finding out more a ...more
Ashley
May 23, 2016 rated it liked it
There were some really beautiful, on-point passages (mainly talking about Pride and HIV/AIDS). But perhaps the story took on too much -- and the voice at times was so clunky that I had to keep myself from skipping over paragraphs -- to keep it from being great. Still, it was a fast, good read.
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Leslie Smith
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
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Leslie L. Smith received his MA in Educational Theater and a BA in Creative Writing, both at New York University. Most recently PressLess published his acclaimed and controversial novel, Sally Field Can Play The Transsexual, Or I Was Cursed By Polly Holiday.

Smith is the editor of Leaving The Rest: Gay Men On Alcoholism, Addiction, And Sobriety, available from Magnus/Riverdale Avenue Books. He has
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