My Razzle Dazzle: An Outsider's True Story represents an unusual blend of autobiography injected into a novel format as it tells the first-person story of a young man who develops a passion for roller derby and becomes determined to evolve into a professional Derby skater.
His move to San Francisco, designed to further his career, leads to an unexpected series of growth-inducing experiences as he moves from an isolated Wisconsin farm childhood during the 1960s to a more connected big-city adult life in the 1970s, following his dreams and becoming open to a wider world than he could have imagined.
In some ways My Razzle Dazzle is unexpected. Its dual focus on the protagonist's Derby dreams is often in stark contrast to the narrator's sexual awakening, his encounters with discrimination, and his ability to accept (and even embrace) his homosexual identity. While some readers might comment on the novel's overlap of themes and possibilities, preferring one focus over the other; in reality life is not all that cut-and-dried, either. Human sexuality and coming of age awakenings are all set against the backdrops of wider perspectives, as My Razzle Dazzle so succinctly and deftly portrays.
The ultimate story thus lays not so much in a singular avenue of exploration as in bigger picture thinking about the impact of life choices, obsessions, and interests. Against this backdrop, My Razzle Dazzle shines, offering audiences a multi-faceted saga that rings true to the ebbs and flows of life itself; from the politically charged atmosphere of the anti-Vietnam protests to the protagonist's own confrontation with prejudice, his gay identity, and social change....Continua