Less Than Butterflies, a collection of columns originally published here in About Magazine about the gay dating and sex life of About editor-in-chief Anthony Ramirez, is coming to bookstores August 31st, 2018.
(HOUSTON) – When Anthony Ramirez asked me a few days ago to review his book Less Than Butterflies, I was nervous. I like my reviews to reflect my true feelings towards a book, and I didn’t want to have to lie. Let’s face it, he’s my boss and writing a negative review about his book probably wouldn’t keep me in his good graces. So, before I had even started reading, I was nervous. I so badly wanted this book to be good. I hadn’t previously read any of the columns, so I didn’t know what to expect.
The first chapter delighted me. But also, I was thankful. It was a ‘thank god this is good’ moment. Not that I expected any less from Anthony, but still, I was pleased. Less Than Butterflies is a compilation of Ramirez’s sex columns for About Magazine. Each chapter tells a story of Anthony struggling to find success in his own love life. He deals with countless different men and tells in great detail about all the problems he has with them.
“I just sleep with men until they start buying me things; and then I assume we’re a couple or they’ve assumed I’m a prostitute.”
It was comforting to read about another person’s sexual adventures. I know that sounds weird, but hear me out. Reading Less Than Butterflies made me feel less alone, in many different ways. It made me realize things about myself that I didn’t know needed realization. To find that in a book, is wonderful. Reading is something that brings people together, especially when it comes to books like these. Memoirs or collections or even biographies have a funny way of making us, as readers, feel united. Ramirez’s book is no different. He does a great job of bringing us along on each of his adventures, recalling events of sexual misfortune and substance abuse.
The narrative, while real and raw, is nothing short of hilarious. I read it and often found myself sitting alone in my room, laughing out loud. The tales that take place in this book are a fantastic keyhole view into a world that I didn’t know existed. Ramirez does a great job of setting the scenes for his life. Each detail and description had me imagining a new bar or a new street. Setting, I find, is extremely important in books like these, and the description does a great job of adding to the narrative while not taking away from it.
That being said, there are some very real parts in this book. I went into Less Than Butterflies expecting a good laugh. I didn’t expect the raw dynamic shift in storytelling that occurred at the halfway point. We watch as Ramirez traverses the gay sexual scene, where everything is hilarious and light. But then we get an insight into Anthony’s mind, delving deeper into his personality. He gives us stories that shaped him as a human being and content that a lot of people will relate too.
“The life that follows is one stained and tainted by something that can’t be simplified down to an ugly memory, because it’s so much more than that.”
Ramirez doesn’t shy away from any subject in this book. Less Than Butterflies was a book that made me feel less alone. It shed a light on Anthony as a person, and in doing so it made me realize that there are other people out there in this world that are going through the same things that I am. There are other people who sleep around and there are other people who deal with trauma and tragedy. And while Less Than Butterflies does a great job at making people laugh, it will also do a great job at making people think and making people feel.
You can pre-order your copy of Less Than Butterflies here.
You can RSVP to the release party at Guava Lamp in Houston on September 1st, 2018 here.