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Pageboy: A Memoir: The Instant Sunday Times Bestseller

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As she walked off I did what I could to prevent tears from ruining the makeup." Trouble on the set of 'Flatliners' Elamin: Mel, I appreciate you reading the book. I appreciate you connecting with it, but also being here to share the ways that you connected with it. Thank you so much for your time. I think in so many ways I didn't know what to do. My reaction was just to sort of freeze up. And, from a certain age onward, it just became so consistent. ... I was under 19. ... It's baffling to me why anyone would want to treat anyone that way, particularly someone who is so young and in a vulnerable position and new to that world. ... It's obviously in every aspect of our society and it's really harmful. So many of us shove it away, don't talk about it, are told to just let it go, brush it off, you know? And that can be just so damaging and harmful and I think allows for individuals to keep getting away with their predatory and hurtful behavior. Elamin: When you say "stream of consciousness," is there a narrative arc still to the book, or not so much? I'll prove to you all that I need nothing. The little voice would brag with a creak of a side smile. pg. 78

I could not detect myself. I didn't transform into me - the me I knew I was - like the other boys did. I was desperate to wake up from this bad dream, my reflection making me increasingly ill. Closing my eyes I'd find the memories, the moments of euphoria, of witnessing myself, praying I'd find that again. pg. 144 There was a lot that was difficult here, I was surprised at how much. But I didn't find myself dwelling all that much on the traumas, I really enjoyed how unapologetically queer the book is and clung to that more than anything else. He's very well-read, often talking about books he's read, and it's obviously affected his writing for the better. I can't help but think the plethora of books he's read informed this book. He's fond of quoting Vonnegut. As he navigated criticism and abuse from some of the most powerful people in Hollywood, a past that snapped at his heels, and a society dead set on forcing him into a binary, Elliot often stayed silent, unsure of what to do. Until enough was enough.The audiobook is a good one, though I do recommend speeding up the narration if you normally don't, as he speaks pretty slowly. I normally do audiobooks at between 1.1x and 1.25x speed, but I had this one higher. I resent that we were cheated out of our love, that beautiful surge in the heart stolen from us. I am furious at the seeds planted without our consent, the voices and the actions that made our roads to the truth unnecessarily brutal. pg. 179 This both feels incredibly personal and yet incredibly removed. It's a very purposefully removed narrative voice, cold and crisp, as Elliot goes through details of past experiences, cruelty and otherwise. Some of these stories are incredibly personally, and there's something simultaneously painful and cathartic about reading them. As the book came towards its conclusion, I craved more of an intense emotional connection. It's a very inconclusive memoir, and I think that's on purpose. I wished for a conclusion, but understood this as an artistic choice. If you publish a book, even if it's your own personal journey and feelings and whatnot, I am going to judge it as any other book. If it's not written well, I'm going to say so.

Searing, deeply moving, and incredibly poignant... This isn’t simply a book on what it means to be trans, it’s about what it means to be human." I experienced it a bit like when I made an X-Men movie when I was 18 and it premiered at Cannes. ... I remember just being in this very tight, gold dress and my publicist at the time, like the face just brightening up and people just going on and on about how you look, like you'd accomplished this feat, like I'd [been] given a reward for, like donning what felt like a costume for me, essentially. But it wasn't until Juno where that was just taken to a whole new level and intensely pressured to dress a certain way and act a certain way and not be seen with my girlfriend. He does a good job describing his gender dysphonia over the years from a very young age until well into his adulthood. I was both surprised and not surprised about his feelings of confusion and his levels of awareness. Her irritation with me grew visible," he writes in the book, "it began with a look that could be interpreted as confusion but promptly turned to malice." Mel: I'm biased toward the queer and trans content in it, but I think towards the end he goes out to a cabin in Nova Scotia and is really kind of grappling with the momentousness of coming out as trans and what it's going to mean for him and his life, and how he does just have to do it. He talks about writing this book and writing sections of this book sitting in his favorite chair at the cabin in Nova Scotia. I like to see a little bit inside the process of the book. I think that's very fun.

This book will be released in a month, exactly, and I'm counting the days to read it. I can't wait! But I would rather remember, I’d rather the hurt than not—at least I got it love you, at least I felt your love for me.” I felt like a huge weight lifted, immediately, like overnight, because that really was just so challenging and insufferable, being as closeted as I was, and for as long as I was. I didn't come out till I was 27. But that wasn't the end of the story. stars from me because narratively, it doesn’t flow as cohesively as it should when jumping from the past to the present day. It is his story to tell, and I respect Elliot immensely, but I would have rather read his experiences growing up more linear. I see a lot of others agreeing here. More editing to shuffle around these chapters would have really helped here. If this has been down, I easily could have rated it higher.

I would pass a giant photograph of her, the poster for her latest film. Her beauty is dangerous, I'd think, it'll cause a car crash," he writes. For the most part, the prose is always at least competent, and ofttimes quite stirring; at other times, he reaches for something more poetic or flowery, and it lands with a clunk. But again, the story he wanted to tell is heartbreaking, and his anguish at coming to terms with his true self and owning that is both inspiring and admirable. I learned a lot about the trans experience I was not aware of, and if that's not worth 4 stars, I don't know what is... With Juno’s massive success, Elliot became one of the world’s most beloved actors. His dreams were coming true, but the pressure to perform suffocated him. He was forced to play the part of the glossy young starlet, a role that made his skin crawl, on and off set. The career that had been an escape out of his reality and into a world of imagination was suddenly a nightmare. This is a well written and at times poetic book. The descriptions of people, places, relationships, and to himself are vivid and well said. Mel: Exactly, and it's not just me. That's the case for thousands of people. Elliot writes in the book about one of his queer possibility models, a family friend named Julia Sanderson, and the fact that I think he as a public figure and this book will serve as that for queer and trans kids and show them yeah, the book is heavy — it's got a lot of abuse and hardness in it — but it also has so much joy and so much trans possibility in it. And I think that that is just so exciting for people to be able to see, to read and to be able to connect with.

As many have pointed out, the author eschews a linear retelling of his life, in favor of bouncing around in time and attempting to tie things together thematically, or just as it occurs to him. Had I not just finished Andrew Rannells' new book right beforehand, which uses a similar template, that probably would have irked me more. But it IS sometimes difficult to tell just where you are timewise, especially as the actor rarely pinpoints such tales with what he is working on at the time, which might have provided welcome signposts to where in his life/career we are. Kate Mara’s pseudo open relationship with that guy from the handmaid’s tale was NOT tea that I expected from this book. The thought of confronting him, setting any boundary at all, made me feel like I was going to shit blood. pg. 155

It made a drastic change in my life, but the sensation I have in terms of the relationship with my gender was not going away. ... I felt so much more comfortable in many ways with queer-women environments, with queer women, but then there would also be this aspect where, in a certain way, things would start to feel worse in moments, because I expected to feel at home. I expected this sensation of, "Oh finally," and I still knew something about me was different. I still think this is a very important book and I would urge anybody to read it, regardless of your own sexual orientation or gender identity. Please retain Elliot’s experiences here, I beg of you. You can listen to the full discussion from today's show on CBC Listen or on our podcast, Commotion with Elamin Abdelmahmoud, available wherever you get your podcasts .Mel: Yeah, that quote comes from a section where it's a little bit before his coming out as gay in the mid-2010s and about how he's privately queer and living a very queer life, and then having to watch straight actors win awards for playing queer roles, and seeing how this industry has continued to repress his queerness, his gender, his expression, and the kind of double-sidedness of that and the hypocrisy of that. I think it's a really good way of summing up something that we talk a lot about — about queer and trans folks in entertainment, and how you watch people win an Oscar for playing gay while you yourself have to stay closeted. That's a really hard experience to go through. Playing a character that was partially starved to death allowed me to lean in to my desire to disappear, to punish myself. ... Wearing swim trunks for the first time, chest out and with my scars visible, was indescribable," he writes and says that the smile on his face was "as massive as they come." A 'world-renowned photographer' treated him with malice

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