I got this book because reviews said it is reminiscent of David Sedaris, one of my favorite authors. It is, but is also SO much more. It wasn't a book to be charged through in one sitting. To me, this book was like sitting down to a restaurant meal and discovering, before anything else is served, that the bread is unbelievable---fresh and chewy and solid. You slow down in your eating of it, to savor it (and because you don't know when you might get any more of it). Aside from his humor, and the interesting aspect of getting to see a bit into the private lives of stars, Sam is insightful and thoughtful. The chapters on growing up gay in Oklahoma, his personal journey and the psychology teacher who saved him, were both honest and a revelation to anyone outside that experience. The final chapter about the birth of his son, when he recognizes the complexity of the profound loss being experienced by the birth mother and the profound joy of he and his partner, all unfolding in the same room, underscores the compassionate reflection that is the hallmark of this book.
As a nod to other reviewers I will admit that it is not as laugh-out-loud funny as EARLY Sedaris (such as "Holidays on Ice", although I think Sedaris' latest two books have fallen flat), but Sam's stories have a poignancy and a resonance that Sedaris' lack. Sam makes his points through introspection whereas Sedaris relies on comic satire. Some of the chapters (like that on alcoholism) are so unattractive and soul-baring that one can only believe Sam is (courageously) telling the true story of his life. Similarly, the one called "liver" reminds one of the times when we are "chopped liver" to uncaring others----yet we try to make the best of a bad situation, refusing to give up. Sam's HAM is more like pork belly in the hands of Jose Andres---an upscale dish of comfort food, something akin to Garrison Keillor with a garnish of Sedaris.
Finally, Sam is brave and honest enough to say what so many of us only think: "Am I worthy enough? Do I really have talent or am I fooling myself? Can I get through this situation with any shred of my dignity intact?"....and in so doing, he validates us all. If you're looking for a laugh-out-loud funny book, this may not be for you: but if you are looking for humorous, interesting stories seasoned with honesty and poignancy, this is the book! I was sorry when the last word was read, and I hope for more. (And Sam, if you're reading this---I bet you are---I used to be a Donny fan but you sing Joseph way, way better than he does.)