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Eat, Gay, Love

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  145 ratings  ·  32 reviews
In the spring of 2012, Calum finds himself single again after his relationship of six years comes to an end.

Heartbroken, unhappy and unsure of what to do next, he leaves the hometown he has been in all his life to embark on a journey that takes him all around the world, from teaching in a school on the outskirts of Rome to exploring the sex clubs of Berlin, to raising tige
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 9th 2020 by Hodder & Stoughton
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Average rating 4.29  · 
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 ·  145 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Sep 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, queer
First of all, this is a very cute and clever title. And it describes the book perfectly. There's nice food, there's love in all forms, and there's lots of gay.

I didn't know the author prior to the book's release and was excited when I was sent a copy of it for review purposes. It seemed like the perfect summery beach read with a generous pinch of queerness which was exactly what I needed. Basically, we follow Calum from Italy to Germany, India, Thailand, Spain and London while he looks for answe
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow, I really loved and enjoyed my experience reading this book!
TW: Drug Use, Mention of Suicide, Descriptive Drug Overdose, Discussions around Homophobia and intolerance

"Things are indeed improving and yet there still isn't a single country in the world where LGBT+ people are treated as equals in every aspect of life - whether that's same-sex couples being unable to adopt in Italy; gay marriage being prohibited in India; or trans people still being denied the right to legally change their gende
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

Prior to reading this book, I'd seen some YouTube videos of Calum McSwiggan a few years ago when he frequented my favourite youtubers channels. I think it truly shows that from a youtube audience perspective you really don't know what goes on in somebodies personal life and this is the perfect example. On youtube Calum has always been presented as this lovely, wholesome and positive person a
Kristel (hungryandhappy)
*ARC from Netgalley*

I'm so very happy I lost my nonfiction virginity with this book, this memoir. It was emotional, funny, important and full of hope. From the very first pages you know you're in for a very wild and queer ride. I've never read a memoir so I really didn't know what to expect. I got a story of a young man trying to find himself in the world while traveling. He knows he's privileged to be able to just leave everything behind after a break up, and just travel, working a bit, but mos
Reta Anna Maria
Sep 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq
An interesting travel book about the LGBTQ+ people around the world. The first story in Italy was ten time better than Call Me By Your Name.
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
“Gilbert Baker designed that flag in hope of a brighter tomorrow, and it’s a flag that still brings together our community and unifies us under the colours of the rainbow. To some, it may just be a few colours twisting in the wind, but to me it’s a reminder of the millions of incredible people that our community is made up of”

Well did I get more from this book than I expected to get! Callum Mcswiggan takes us on his own personal queer journey around the world to find who he wants to be and what
Jul 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was both excited and nervous going in.
But Callum's book is beautiful, honest and a lovely look at his travels.
There are some harrowing stuff in this book.
Trigger warning: Drug use, Sexual abuse, emotional abuse, harassment and violence.
But despite all that, Callum manages to have a unique and positive outlook on his life. I just want to hug both him and his book.
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Eat, Gay, Love is a book you will either absolutely adore for Calum McSwiggan candour and openness in his personal journey and the people he meets a long the way, or you hate it and think it's far fetched and simplistic. It's a very marmite novel.

The novel is all about Calum exploring his sexuality, and who he is after having his heartbroken. He doesn't hold back when it comes to his feelings, at times he seems like an incredibly likeable guy who you'd have a laugh with on a night out or who you
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I must admit, this is the first travel memoir I've ever read but I can safely say, I loved every word of it.
I've followed Calum online for at least 5 years and have been lucky enough to hear snippets of his travel stories, either in videos or when I've met him. As soon as this was announced, I preordered and could not wait to delve into his wonderful adventures.
As I read each chapter, I felt like I was there myself, experiencing the journey of self-discovery with him and the inspiring people h
David McKenzie
Oct 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Calum McSwiggan spins an interesting, heartfelt, sometimes cringeworthy, tale of his travels in this compelling memoir. The locations are exotic and varied, providing a theatrical backdrop to his very personal experiences. His interactions with the people he meets brought back many fond memories of my own experiences travelling the world, sometimes on my own, and the importance of the people I met.
As Calum says, "... it's the company you keep that makes a home feel like home." That is what he ex
Matthew Tett
Apr 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Calum McSwiggan’s memoir is a candid, upfront account of a significant period of his life, in the post-break-up stages of his relationship.

McSwiggan works as an English teacher in Italy; has some memorable, and sometimes horrific, experiences, in Ibiza, India and Thailand; and ends up in London, learning a lot more about himself and others. Considering he is not yet thirty, it is inspiring to read an account of a man’s life where so much has been accomplished.

This memoir is clearly written and e
Jeffrey Ingold
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt
This is a beautifully emotive memoir from Calum that I think speaks to a universal experience of LGBT people: trying to find yourself in a world that has marked you as an outsider. His stories of travel and meeting LGBT people across different countries is culture shows the power, resilience and passion of a community who has (and continues) to fight just to be able to be ourselves. It’s exactly the kind of story I wish I had been able to read when I first was coming out years ago. It makes me s ...more
Dani Norwell
Mar 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
I listened to this memoir as an audiobook and it was a true pleasure to virtually travel alongside Calum on his many adventures. I loved the first-hand insights into LGBT+ acceptance (or lack thereof), struggles, and experiences in all the countries he visited. I just wish there was more! I wanted to know all of the "characters" he met along the way and all of the stories he shared briefly in further detail--especially the tigers! Of course, life doesn't always allow for that, but I sure hope Ca ...more
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh WOW what a memoir this was!!!

This one knocked it out the park for me what a amazing memoir following Calum after the breakdown of his relationship with his fiancé and feeling really down and low, Calum decides to pack everything up and to look for happiness and travel the world!! Having his Eat pray love Moment (one of Calum’s fav books)

On his travels around the world Calum meets some inspiring people with some truly beautiful and emotive stories of their own lives!!! All of these people he
Travis Phelps
Aug 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I highly recommend anyone who is LGBT+ or even if you aren't to read this book. It was entertaining while being educational. I do wish that there were more chapters spent on most of the locations. Even if it would have been just fluff that would have been okay. There is a Trigger Warning because this book does deal with heavy topics like sexual assault, overdose, suicide, and homophobia. So be advised on that front. All in all a great book. ...more
Feb 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
I went into this book not knowing who what to expect, and was pleasantly surprised! The stories were captivating right off the bat and although specific culture was never developed as much as I wanted it was still a great read and pleasant. Although I would’ve enjoyed a more ending type of ending? If that makes any sense. Also searching up the background behind this book was another journey in on its own...I’d recommend to read it all first as to not detract!
Douglas Johnson
Mar 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I like books that show real people who prefer their gender. LGBT people are rarely described with real facts. This is a complex topic. I wrote an essay at university and had a little chat with the guys on the Buddygays site. It turned out that finding a gay guy was pretty easy. Now it seems to me that I have more difficulties in finding girls)) Maybe I should change my views? ...more
Jacqueline Allan
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
A sincere thank you to the publisher, author and Netgalley for providing me with an ebook copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

This is not my usual genre, I’m more into crime/thriller books and even psychological thrillers too so I am extremely pleased and grateful to them for opening up my mind to something totally different.
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's a good book, well written and full of food for thought.
It's entertaining, moving, well written and I liked the different stories and how Calum faced issues and different cultures.
It's a book full of hope and I loved the message of acceptance.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Katey Lovell
Aug 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
I wasn't aware of Calum McSwiggan before but chose Eat, Gay, Love after seeing it mentioned on Gay's The Word's Instagram.

As the title hints, it has elements of Eat, Pray, Love - travel, soul-searching and a wealth of interesting people Calum came across along the way - whilst exploring what it means to be LGBTQ+ in a variety of places across the globe.

Really enjoyable, highly readable.
Kettu Saarinen
Nov 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fun fact from this book is that India has the same emergency number as Finland: 112.

This was memorable and interesting in its entirety, and I feel like commenting on a particular things doesn't do the book justice. Smoothly written (and as a bonus also educational) dive into the LGBT+ community through a person's travels.
Becca Head
May 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
An incredible book. Calum's writing style is beautiful, every sentence is so descriptive that I felt like I was there with him the whole way through. What an extraordinary life with so many stories; stories that deserve to be shared. I cannot recommend this enough. ...more
Dodes Clork
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
started reading from curiosity and couldn’t put it down - had a small obsession with Calum’s travels and the people he met. Loved this!
Mícheál S.
Aug 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
A journey of a young life and start of something more. Great read.
Bradley Birkholz
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Calum's debut travel memoir is a joyous exploration of queer experiences across the globe, and I couldn't recommend it enough! ...more
Colleen C.
Dec 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting personal adventures of a young gay man travelling the world. Worth the read for sure, especially for anyone identifying in the LGBTQ+ community.
Apr 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book I couldn't put down once I started it. ...more
Apr 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
very well written and a good story full of hope
Minka Guides
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
I loved the first 70% of this book... and then read the last 30% cringing. The ending feels so out of touch with the broader LGBT+ scene that it wouldn't have surprised me if I discovered this was written 15 years ago (I mean, Old Compton St and Soho... really?). Such a shame as the book starts with some beautifully observed pieces about travelling and experiences of other queer people globally. I'm sure some young cis white gay men will find this book helpful or insightful but in the current cl ...more
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