One of These Things First by Steven Gaines

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One of These Things First Read Online Free - The author of New York Times bestseller Philistines at the Hedgerow, Steven Gaines, has written a funny and touching memoir of a young boy's coming of age in a Manhattan psychiatric clinic, described as a hybrid of Running with Scissors and Girl Interrupted.

In March of 1962, the author, who was fifteen-years old, managed to "escape the hawk-eyed scrutiny" of three saleswomen in whose care he'd been left, went to the back of his grandfather's store, punched the glass pane out of a window and sawed his wrists and forearms on the shards of glass remaining in the frame. Narrowly avoiding death, he was hospitalized and, on the brink of being committed to a state hospital, begged his grandfather to bankroll a stay at the exclusive, private posh Payne Whitney located on Manhattan's upper eastside. With self-confessed delusions of grandeur, Gaines, as a patient, comes to understand that his homosexuality is the underlying cause of his suicide attempt. While he undertakes conversion therapy with a young psychiatrist, he becomes the willing apprentice of various celebrities who are also patients at the hospital. With a rare mix of poignancy and humour, Gaines shows an uncanny ability to conjure up a rollicking narrative woven with great moments of insight, separating himself from other memoirists by his sheer ability to tell a story.

Title : One of These Things First
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1883285690
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 272 pages


Kristina rated it ★★★☆☆

July 16, 2016

This memoir is the dark, yet funny account of the author's suicide attempt and subsequent stay at a psychiatric hospital in 1962 when he was fifteen years old. This was a good book, just not what I would consider a great book. As he recounts his time in the hospital and even growing up, he seems...

Michelle rated it ★★★★★

August 26, 2017

One of These Things First: A Memoir-- is a richly detailed and delightful coming-of-age story that begins in 1962 of the writer as a gay youth. Steven Gaines (1946-) is the author of 12 books, that include the Beatles, Beach Boys, Calvin Klein, and others. As a journalist and radio broadcaster, o...

Jennifer rated it ★★★☆☆

November 22, 2017

Follow my blog for recommended reads. In the memoir, One of These Things First, Steven Gaines, a gay, 15 year old boy from a conservative Jewish family in the 1960s, humorously shares a bizarre account of his teenage years in Brooklyn and a stint at Payne Whit...

Lorilin rated it ★★★★☆

September 19, 2016

Steven Gaines is 15-years old when he sneaks into a back room in his grandparent's small clothing store, breaks the glass of the room's one small window, and then calmly and firmly saws his wrists over the jagged shards still stuck in the frame. With his last bit of strength, he walks out into th...

Andrew rated it ★★★★☆

August 13, 2016

I started my own coming-out process at around 19, though nothing is ever sharply or simply delineated that way. Maybe it began when it dawned on me that "gay" applied to me, or when I stopped telling myself that maybe there was a girl out there who would make me certain I was bisexual (never happ...

Nancy rated it ★★★★★

May 04, 2016

Steven Gaines'(nee Goldberg) darkly comic and often poignant memoir 'had me' from the first page. He opens with a cast of eccentric relatives and neighbors in his Brooklyn neighborhood, with the dawning realization that he is gay and his attempted suicide at age 15. Things really get interesting...

Coleen (The Book Ramblings) rated it ★★★☆☆

October 07, 2016

This was a slow read for me, but I did enjoy it. I think a lot of it had to do with the beginning and reaching that point in the novel when it really started to get going. It's a dark and witty memoir of Steven Gaines, someone who I had not heard of until I received this novel in exchange for an...

Doug rated it ★★★☆☆

September 22, 2016

Although most of this memoir about the author's attempted suicide at age 15, due to his unhappiness over his nascent homosexuality, and his subsequent stay at the Paine Whitney mental hospital moves quickly and is fairly interesting, it feels padded in some places and rushed in others. A lot of t...

Mandy rated it ★★★★☆

August 29, 2016

A wonderfully touching and witty memoir of a boy growing up in Brooklyn and gradually realising that he is gay – and this at a time when this would not have been acceptable. Although he endures some real suffering, eventually trying to commit suicide, this is essentially a life-affirming book and...

Paul rated it ★★★★☆

September 05, 2016

This has some parallels with David Sedaris's life and character: young gay boy with extreme OCD who likes to hide out and observe what's going on around him without anybody knowing. Like Sedaris hiding in his mother's closet and listening to her antic statements to herself in front of the mirror,...

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