Diary of a Drag Queen

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 28 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

Like many people, I love drag race and drag shows in general. So naturally when I saw this I had to read this. Such a joyous read by Rasmussen, bursting with colour, emotion and wonder.
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What’s it About? It’s what is says on the tin, this one. It's a year in the life of Drag Queen Crystal Rasmussen, told through their personal diaries. 
What I liked I love that this wasn't what I expected.  I was expecting it to be glamourous and fabulous and full of witty and cutting drag queen escapades. It's not. It's raw and honest and yes ok sometimes it made me laugh but it also made me achingly sad. This book packs no punches - and nor should it. Crystal is telling - with unflinching honesty - what life is like for them, what life is like as part of the LGBT+ community and a lot of the time it isn't pretty. They talk about being punched in the face just because of how they look, of unrequited love and the hook-ups they hope will ease the pain. It's intimate - and by intimate I mean like really really intimate, and also graphic; this is not a book for the prudish. It's a 'tell it how it is' book and I liked that - and Rasmussen is a great writer.
What I liked Less Whilst I didn't have a problem with the more shocking anecdotes, or the sex scenes I couldn't help but wonder if really, they might have been included just for the shock value. I get that they happened and I get that they're part of the story as a whole and that this is a memoir and so it's not really for me to say what should and shouldn't be included but I don't know - I feel like this was part social commentary and part reminiscence about dirty sex and I would have really liked to have gotten to know Crystal themsleves just a little bit better.
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This upset the more reserved side of me - not the subject matter but the language and style of writing.. It does convey the author's feelings of insecurity and attitude towards self-loathing but it too often felt as though it was being written purely to provoke and somehow prove something. However, this brazen approach could be exactly what appeals to some.
Written in diary format this provides little by way of descriptive background but packs in plenty of emotion and feeling. I was particularly touched by the way the author begins to understand how many men can feel constrained by society when his father recounts his desire to wear his black crackly nail polish.
For me, personally, this was very difficult and not very pleasant reading.

Thank you to NetGalley and Ebury Press (Penguin Random House) for this copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This book was a wild ride through a year in Crystal's life, and one you won't regret being along for.
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Part-autobiography, part rumination on queer identity, consent, racism, homophobia, heteronormativity and hyper-masculinity, Crystal Rasmussen’s Diary of a Drag Queen is a hilarious, honest, hugely educational book that is certainly not to be missed. As a gay, queer, femme, non-binary drag queen, Rasmussen lives every moment of their life authentically, not holding anything back, not pretending to be someone they are not to appeal to masses, and that is exactly what you will find within the pages of their book; a no holds barred, authentic, unflinching honest look at a year in their life in all of its gritty, fabulous, whirlwind glory.
Honestly, there is just something about Crystal Rasmussen, their life or their writing style or even just something about their narrative voice, that manages to make them feel like a friend; like you are sitting down and being dished all of the gossip on their life over the past few months over a few margaritas, instead of just reading about them in a book. And, let me be completely honest here, even if I had the opportunity to just be on the periphery of Crystal’s orbit, I would surely have ascended into heaven.
Because, you will laugh; laugh so much that you will not be able to read it on the train, or in a cafe, or even in your own living room when you’re sat with other people. As, even though I would love to sit down with someone and open their minds up to the topics that Rasmussen explores, I do not think that my elderly relatives would be able to handle the true realities of Grindr hook-ups, or sex clubs in Berlin. 
Furthermore, the wittiness and intelligence that they bring to their humour, their frequent rumination about failing at love, or at sex, or at work, or even at life; translates effortlessly over to the more serious topics that are discussed. It is not a textbook, or an overly complex essay collection, instead the book feels like a more ‘woke’ friend giving you the nudge to explore more, to think more, to be more.
And, because of that and so much more, I know that I will always keep this book close at hand because, even if there is no one in my life that is there, or even just no one that understands, I know that Crystal always will.
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I really enjoyed this book.  Incredibly humorous although, be warned, the sex scenes are VERY explicit!  Great read.
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Not a book for squeamish prudes. Nothing held back in this hard to put down journey of self preservation and survival in the life of cross dressing entertainment artist Crystal. My heart goes out to the families and supporting network of friends who witness such harsh choices taken and given by living this life. It goes to some deep and dark places and will show you a life of which you can never have fully been aware unless your path and destiny crosses with this lifestyle. How incredibly brave to have opened up and spoken the truth of  harsh and difficult times in this world of judgement and bigotry. To be loved and to love should be the basic right of every human being on this planet no matter how they appear to others. You will be shocked and moved by the truth and fear and be unbelievably lifted by the humour and comedy underneath the grime.
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I really loved this! I have read reviews suggesting this is too crude or too vulgar, but I think the author does a lovely job of describing the reality of their life as well as the wider political issues facing non binary people, drag performers and the wider creative and arts community which stem from the working classes and rarely see recognition. Rasmussen has taught me a lot- I've laughed, and cried along with them, and I've questioned some of my own thinking along the way. An excellent read.
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How often do you pick up a book to read and it turns out to be very different from what you expected?
  
Thinking along the lines of a book that I read a few months ago, I was expecting a tongue-in-cheek look at the glamorous side of being a drag queen, but this was very much more than that. It’s a stark look at sex, the right to identify as you wish and the prejudices that still arise from all sides of the LGBTQ+ community.

Told in diary format, the reader follows Crystal throughout a period of a year. It is a selection of powerful, amusing and incredibly moving stories that I took with a very large pinch of salt.

“Diary of a Drag Queen” was so intimately told by Crystal and it felt like I was a personal confidante. This made it very easy to like Crystal and therefore the book as a whole.  

The diary style gave the author more ability to choose the parts to be shared or not and for me, some of these appeared to have been included to spice things up for their shock content. This affected some of the vital issues and points that were being made. 
 
All in all, I really enjoyed this witty, thought-provoking and entertaining book and I think it was a very worthwhile read.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my own request, from Penguin Random House UK, Ebury Publishing via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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Crude, rude and yet utterly fabulous. 

I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this novel and Crystal Rasmussen does like to keep you on your toes and make you wonder what they're going to tell you next. It was an easy read with the short (and sometimes sharp) diary entries which made the pages and time fly by. It's also funny and made me chuckle out loud at times. 

It's not for the prudish and it's not for anyone expecting an unfiltered look at life as a drag queen (there's more than just wigs and glitter involved). There were times I did find the entries a bit selective on what they told us (but isn't that the case with the majority of autobiographies and biographies?) and did feel a bit repetitive at times. 

Not for everyone. Only the fabulous.
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Drag Queen's are my guilty pleasure and I couldn't wait to read this! If you are in any way prudish then this is not the book for you, told in diary format we follow Crystals trials and tribulations on the drag scene.  There were moments that it didn't feel like it was a genuine diary that it felt far fetched and made up for comedic relief or shock value, and also being a Diary the author was able to pick and chose what to share which a lot of where merely for the shock value I feel, but none the less this book had me in tears of laughter one min, then shock, then serious the next.
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This book is not for the faint hearted. It contains countless graphic sex scenes, some of which are pretty stomach churning. To be honest, I'd have preferred to learn more about Rasmussen's drag work than hear about yet another Grinder hook up.

However, there's also a lot of vulnerability here, as well as political discourse on sexuality and gender and an engaging sense of humour that makes this worth persevering with.

Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC without obligation.
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I was so excited to read this book. I didn't know of Crystal until I came across a tweet about the book but I am all in for any books by drag queens! Especially UK ones. We only really hear of American drag queens so it was a nice change to see that one of ours was being given a platform. 

It took me a long time to get through this though. I found that there is a lot of pages containing detailed sex that Crystal has had or seen. Very detailed, so if youre delicate...this might not be the book for you. I expected to read more about how Crystal got into drag, about life as a drag queen but instead it read like a real raw version of 50 shades. I also found there was a lot of emphasis on "privilege" and a lot of talk about white people which didn't actually bring much to the overall story. 

I feel that the target audience is probably gay men and maybe thats why I didn't get it? I have to admit, im giving 3 stars because of the piece by Crystals grandmother. Such a beautiful, touching tribute to have in the middle of the book.

The way the book is written, diary style, is actually enjoyable. Ill keep my eyes out for a second book that ill hopefully enjoy more.
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Written in a diary format over the course of a year Crystal Rasmussen holds absolutely nothing back. Nothing.  

Going in I knew the book was focused on sex and I thought I was pretty open about that kinda thing but turns out I'm actually a bit of a prude (this is coming from a bi twenty-something). I also found it got extremely repetitive - half way through I ceased to be shocked by her revelations. 

Her need for constant sexual satisfaction is clearly the main theme of the book but it also provides a great insight into everyday queer experiences, which either straight CIS people, or those who can 'pass' for straight CIS would not have encountered. One very raw part of the book centres around her being attacked by a man - after saving the said man from being hit by a vehicle. Hearing how that attack effected her, especially when it came to living her truth was gut-wrenching. 

I think my main problem with this book was that I just didn't like her. I don't know if the reader is supposed to dislike Crystal or if this was just me? Amazingly it didn't have anything to do with the sex but more so her attitude to everyday things. Woe betide having having to make a pack lunch for work or wake up early everyday for work. 

I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Absolutely brilliant book, though it will not be everyone’s cup of tea. So I am a cis het, who knew? I was curious to learn what it means to be non-binary, I’m not sure I’m any closer to that, but an amazing book with a rollercoaster of experiences. The book is full of amazing people, great friendships, a lot of glitter, and also some absolutely gross episodes (which were generally funny), but also some crushingly horrible episodes. We are all the same, we want to fit in, but also stand out, we want to be loved and successful, and this book describes a life very different to mine, but still very recognisable.
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I think you should just find loads of adjectives in the dictionary and write them out to describe this book. Funny, sad, outrageous, scatological, sexy, crude, endearing, annoying... well you get the idea. Crystal is from the north of England and the humour of the area comes through even when they are in America and it's gay scene and drag scene. Crystal is an excellent writer and you certainly get the flavour of the life but it does seem repetitive sometimes and also sometimes I wanted to slap them. But then loads of other times I wanted to give them a hug and say that love is out there.

Not for the faint hearted as very frank about gay sex and the scene but also very honest about the search for love, understanding and belonging. Well worth the read if you want to understand more about a life on the edge.

I was given a copy of this book by Netgalley in return for an honest review.
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I loved this book- such an important book for our times, yet delivered in such a funny, poignant, witty way. It’s all about being true to yourself, family and friendship. A brilliant read that truly delivers.
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Thank you for the opportunity to read this for review consideration. I will not be publishing a review for this book.
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If you are looking for a glamorous Drag Race style sequins and dreams, this is not it. 

This is the no holds barred, brutally honest, account of a person dealing with all the rough that comes with the sort after smooth of life. 
Between self depreciating humour and hysterical anecdotes are the jarring realities of being a member of the LGBTQ+ community, the discrimination and prejudices, public abuse, love, and of course sex. 

The diary of Crystal follows a year of chasing dreams and finding their way, even when it doesn't work out.
I laughed, I cried, and I fell in love with them. It was like have a TMI chat over tea, or cocktails, and talking about all the things you only do with your friends.
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A simply fabulous book. It elicits a wide range of emotions from the reading and manages to be challenging to the reader, without being challenging to read. I flew through the pages and was devastated when there was no more. Brilliance.
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