Liar, Alleged, A Tell-All: Celebrities, Sex and All the Rest by David Vass is a memoir that is humorous, brutally honest, and at times self-deprecating; the story of a gay who came out to his mother at the age of seven. He is one who has been so conscious of being born different at a very tender age and he explains that it wasn't because he was born in a dirt-poor family and raised in a downtown, white thrash neighborhood in Baltimore. He has arrived ten years after the last sibling, a “condom broke mistake in 1950.” This is the story of a gay who, at seven, stopped talking for two years because of a speech impediment, but in his memoir speaks like there is no limit to words. Follow his journey, from the exciting anecdotes of his children to tales about celebrities who didn't just cross paths with him but enjoyed his presence and influence. At sixteen, he started his first job in the world of strip clubs and theatres as a lighting tech. His connections to the mob in the ‘70s, the adventures in prison, and drugs are captured in a tone that melds the laconic with the humorous.
David writes in a tone that is unapologetic, pulling readers into a world that is close by, yet undetected by many. His comments about the social realities of growing up as a gay in Baltimore are elaborate and insightful and he offers a vivid portrait of the intersection between drugs, sex, and the mob and where celebrities fit in. He is unfaced when talking about his role in the sleazy strip clubs in the block: “Harry, Jerry, and Larry, my mob connections, didn’t give a shit who ran the lighting and sound in their clubs, as long as the girls were well lit and looked good and the men kept buying drinks.” Liar, Alleged, A Tell-All: Celebrities, Sex and All the Rest is more than an autobiographical tale; it is the portrait of a historical moment and this author has the extraordinary ability to render that portrait more vivid with characters that are real and social conundrums that are as resonant today as they were to those who lived in his younger years. A great memoir from a gifted storyteller, a writer who creates compelling imagery in the minds of readers and warms their hearts with the balm of his humorous recounting of events. You will be more than entertained by this memoir that features mature themes; the gorgeous prose, the gripping narrative voice, and the finely drawn setting add depth to the narrative.