Just finished my friend Tony Dushane’s Confessions Of A Teenage Jesus Jerk. What a great read. Funny, heartfelt, and pre-pubescently painful. The book immerses you into the teen years of a horny Jehovah Witness. If you think being a teen is tough, try being a teen as a Witness where every prurient thought, let alone action, is considered a sin. Armageddon is on the horizon and masturbating can get you disfellowed. Mine fields all around. The first half of the book is a real eye opener to the ways of the Jehovah’s, which I knew next to nothing about prior to this read. The second half gets painful as Gabe, DuShane’s main character, loses contact with his lifelong friends and begins to discover the world around him. Poetry and punk rock become Gabe’s salvation, but the need to return to the fold is strong. The tension between lusting after worldly desires, yet being true to your religious upbringing is at the heart of this book. The resultant inner-turmoil feels real, honest, and raw. If you’re a sucker for coming of age stories, check it out.
Dushane reads at Phoenix Books in SF on Thursday April 15, 6-8 pm, 3957 24th St., SF, CA 94114