HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Try Anything Twice
Author: Josh Jango
Cover Designer: Al Teter
Publisher: CyberActive Media, 2011
Language level: 5
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: no one!
Rating: 0 stars (NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Jango, Josh. Try Anything Twice (published in 2011 by CyberActive Media, P. O. Box 698, Edmonds, WA 98020). It is sometime around 1985, and Josh Smith is a shy, naïve, insecure, twenty-two year old homosexual male who grew up in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC, and has been in a relationship with a somewhat abusive partner named Fred for the past couple of years in Memphis, TN. He loses his job, and then right after that, while on a trip with Fred and some other friends to St. Louis, MO, Fred dumps him, returns to Memphis, and leaves him stranded in St. Louis. He is saved from being taken advantage of by a couple of rough characters when a handsome, friendly, free-spirited, twenty-one year old (seemingly) heterosexual male named Ziggy, an auto mechanic, invites Josh to remain in St. Louis and even offers to let him stay in his small, one-room, one-bed apartment. Josh, who wants to be a writer, is hesitant at first, but Ziggy suggests that they try it out for a week. Despite their obvious differences, will their friendship survive seven days of close quarters plus a road trip to Memphis to get Josh’s things and face Fred one last time?
Now, you may ask, why would I venture to read a book like this, knowing that its subtitle is “A Gay Man’s Erotic Friendship with a Free-Spirited Straight Man”? Well, I would respond that, with all the emphasis in the news today about “LGBT” issues, someone was wondering if a book like this might portray a sympathetic relationship between a “straight” person and someone who is “gay” with the hope that reading it might give one a better understanding of such situations in trying to reach out to homosexuals with the gospel. The answer is no. Aside from the fact that the language is extremely vulgar and there are several instances of drug use, the emphasis in the book is pretty much solely upon the sex—homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, and solo-sexual—in extremely graphic description. Even Amazon gives this headsup: “As a forewarning, readers should understand that this novel contains some sexual scenes which are described in detail.”
One reviewer noted, “Some of the most erotic and arousing sexual encounters I’ve ever read. No, the book isn’t all about sex but it sure has lots of it and it’s hot, hot, hot.” That says a lot. Another one who liked the book admitted that it pretty much “appears to be a string of explicit sexual moments.” Still another, who apparently is into “real gay fiction,” said, “Not my kind of book and probably more suitable for someone looking for a porn fantasy rather than a novel. It is basically a series of staged scenes focused around sex events of increasing intimacy.” The plot may mirror the experiences of the author, Josh Jango, who was raised in the suburbs of Washington, DC, lived in Memphis for a few years, spent some time in St. Louis, and eventually found his way to the Pacific Northwest. I went ahead and finished the book just to see if it contains anything worthwhile but decided that it does not, and I cannot recommend it.