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Dangerous When Wet: A Memoir of Booze, Sex, and My Mother

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"A blisteringly funny, wrenching account of wrestling way too close to-and later loose from-booze, sex and drugs and his adorable, infuriating mother. Bravo!" -Mary Karr, New York Times bestselling author of The Liars' Club "Whoever said you can't get sober for someone else never met my mother, Mama Jean. When I came to in a Manhattan emergency room after an overdose to th "A blisteringly funny, wrenching account of wrestling way too close to-and later loose from-booze, sex and drugs and his adorable, infuriating mother. Bravo!" -Mary Karr, New York Times bestselling author of The Liars' Club "Whoever said you can't get sober for someone else never met my mother, Mama Jean. When I came to in a Manhattan emergency room after an overdose to the news that she was on her way from Texas, I panicked. She was the last person I wanted to see on that dark September morning, but the person I needed the most." So begins this astonishing memoir-by turns both darkly comic and deeply poignant-about this native Texan's long struggle with alcohol, his complicated relationship with Mama Jean, and his sexuality. From the age of five all Brickhouse wanted was to be at a party with a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other and all Mama Jean wanted was to keep him at that age, her Jamie doll forever. A Texan Elizabeth Taylor with the split personality of Auntie Mame and Mama Rose, always camera-ready and flamboyantly outspoken, Mama Jean haunted him his whole life, no matter how far away he went or how deep in booze he swam. Brickhouse's journey takes him from Texas to a high-profile career in book publishing amid New York's glamorous drinking life to his near-fatal descent into alcoholism. After Mama Jean ushers him into rehab and he ultimately begins to dig out of the hole he'd found himself in, he almost misses his chance to prove that he loves her as much as she loves him. Bitingly funny, raw, and insightful, Dangerous When Wet is the unforgettable story of a unique relationship between a son and his mother.


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"A blisteringly funny, wrenching account of wrestling way too close to-and later loose from-booze, sex and drugs and his adorable, infuriating mother. Bravo!" -Mary Karr, New York Times bestselling author of The Liars' Club "Whoever said you can't get sober for someone else never met my mother, Mama Jean. When I came to in a Manhattan emergency room after an overdose to th "A blisteringly funny, wrenching account of wrestling way too close to-and later loose from-booze, sex and drugs and his adorable, infuriating mother. Bravo!" -Mary Karr, New York Times bestselling author of The Liars' Club "Whoever said you can't get sober for someone else never met my mother, Mama Jean. When I came to in a Manhattan emergency room after an overdose to the news that she was on her way from Texas, I panicked. She was the last person I wanted to see on that dark September morning, but the person I needed the most." So begins this astonishing memoir-by turns both darkly comic and deeply poignant-about this native Texan's long struggle with alcohol, his complicated relationship with Mama Jean, and his sexuality. From the age of five all Brickhouse wanted was to be at a party with a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other and all Mama Jean wanted was to keep him at that age, her Jamie doll forever. A Texan Elizabeth Taylor with the split personality of Auntie Mame and Mama Rose, always camera-ready and flamboyantly outspoken, Mama Jean haunted him his whole life, no matter how far away he went or how deep in booze he swam. Brickhouse's journey takes him from Texas to a high-profile career in book publishing amid New York's glamorous drinking life to his near-fatal descent into alcoholism. After Mama Jean ushers him into rehab and he ultimately begins to dig out of the hole he'd found himself in, he almost misses his chance to prove that he loves her as much as she loves him. Bitingly funny, raw, and insightful, Dangerous When Wet is the unforgettable story of a unique relationship between a son and his mother.

30 review for Dangerous When Wet: A Memoir of Booze, Sex, and My Mother

  1. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    This memoir of a young gay man's struggle with multiple addictions kept me intrigued to the end. It's a psychological self-study of the downward spiral he faced, while keeping readers both entertained and heart-broken with his decisions in life. Mama Jean was a larger-than-life mother figure who loved Jamie to the end but may have done unintentional harm with her undying devotion. I really enjoyed this book and wish Jamie much success in his future endeavors. This memoir of a young gay man's struggle with multiple addictions kept me intrigued to the end. It's a psychological self-study of the downward spiral he faced, while keeping readers both entertained and heart-broken with his decisions in life. Mama Jean was a larger-than-life mother figure who loved Jamie to the end but may have done unintentional harm with her undying devotion. I really enjoyed this book and wish Jamie much success in his future endeavors.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Hines

    I keep finding myself reading memoirs even though after every one I read I'm reminded that I don't really like memoirs. So imagine my surprise when I really, really enjoyed Dangerous When Wet. It was funny. It was sad. And what really surprised me was that it was a page turner. I wanted to see where Jamie's debauchery was going to take him. I wanted to know if and how he was going to come through it. I look forward to the next installment. Well done Mr Brickhouse - you made a memoir believer out I keep finding myself reading memoirs even though after every one I read I'm reminded that I don't really like memoirs. So imagine my surprise when I really, really enjoyed Dangerous When Wet. It was funny. It was sad. And what really surprised me was that it was a page turner. I wanted to see where Jamie's debauchery was going to take him. I wanted to know if and how he was going to come through it. I look forward to the next installment. Well done Mr Brickhouse - you made a memoir believer out of me!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Connie Anderson

    This memoir started out very good. He claimed he had no business being a child. His role models were his parents' .parties, movies, and Tv. His mom was the belle of the ball; the one person who could liven up the party. To say shy was a firecracker would be an understatement. She was always on the go with little Jamie by her side. Growing up, he took in everything she did to get glamorous. She turned him onto Joan Crawford, his movie idol. He took a sip of his Dad's drink before he was tall enoug This memoir started out very good. He claimed he had no business being a child. His role models were his parents' .parties, movies, and Tv. His mom was the belle of the ball; the one person who could liven up the party. To say shy was a firecracker would be an understatement. She was always on the go with little Jamie by her side. Growing up, he took in everything she did to get glamorous. She turned him onto Joan Crawford, his movie idol. He took a sip of his Dad's drink before he was tall enough to reach it. He said that he knew it was just for adults; and it tasted like being an adult. His mom used to let him have his own drink while dining out when he was a young teen. He began drinking more and more until it nearly cost him his life. His mom always told him that he controls his own destiny. He knew better than that. This book was all about him trying to cut the umbilical cord, yet wanting her approval and unconditional love. He kept trying by drowning in alcohol, drugs, and gay sex. Only one thing would make him grow up and take control of his own life. This is one man's brave and courageous memoir, told so that other troubled boys and men can know that he's been through hell, and has come out the other side. He became all the stronger for it. Sharing your life with total strangers is quite a scary gamble to take. His is well worth it for the lessons learned. Families of alcoholics should read this to understand what an alcoholic goes through and why rehab may it may not always work. I won a free copy from GoodReads giveaways so that I could read it and give you my honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Linda Dyer

    I was lucky enough to get an early copy of this memoir. I started reading and couldn't put the book down. I could not wait to see where Jamie's journey took him. Him portrayal of Mama Jean makes her the unforgettable, overpowering lady she was. I can't wait to read more books written by Jamie Brickhouse. I was lucky enough to get an early copy of this memoir. I started reading and couldn't put the book down. I could not wait to see where Jamie's journey took him. Him portrayal of Mama Jean makes her the unforgettable, overpowering lady she was. I can't wait to read more books written by Jamie Brickhouse.

  5. 4 out of 5

    David Collins

    “How do you stop,” sings Joni Mitchell in her song of the same name, “before it’s too late? You choose and you lose if you hesitate.” When Jamie Brickhouse hit rock bottom in the throes of alcoholism, the answer was with help from his formidable Texas Mother he calls Mama Jean. Mama Jean, two parts Auntie Mame and one part Mommie Dearest, looms large in this tale of redemption, but it is the journey, not the end wherein lies the tale in this hilarious, touching and at times frightening new memoi “How do you stop,” sings Joni Mitchell in her song of the same name, “before it’s too late? You choose and you lose if you hesitate.” When Jamie Brickhouse hit rock bottom in the throes of alcoholism, the answer was with help from his formidable Texas Mother he calls Mama Jean. Mama Jean, two parts Auntie Mame and one part Mommie Dearest, looms large in this tale of redemption, but it is the journey, not the end wherein lies the tale in this hilarious, touching and at times frightening new memoir. Jamie, like many gay men, imagined the glamorous, big city life he saw for himself while growing up in the conservative clutches of Beaumont, Texas. With Mama Jean to guide him and at times intimidate him, Jamie made his way to New York and built that life for himself in Manhattan: a great job in publishing, a wonderful boyfriend, A-list parties and most of all the drinking to make all a little brighter. But after a point, the high was not so high and low got mighty low. If you've ever wondered what it would be like to have a boozy conversation with Peggy Lee at 4:00 am or maybe sex with a dwarf in a buddy booth, look no further. I laughed, I cried, I couldn't put it down and you won’t either. By the end, you might even wish you had a Mama Jean in your life to kick your butt.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Heather Petkovsek

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Jamie Brickhouse's brilliant wit, priceless sense of humor and soul bearing honesty come together in describing addiction, the limbo period between and recovery and the complicated and boundless love between a mother and son better than you'll ever read. You'll laugh and cry for so many different reasons! The love described in his family and from his partner, "Michahaze", are so powerful that you will never be the same after the despair and brokenness then hope and healing you have been able to Jamie Brickhouse's brilliant wit, priceless sense of humor and soul bearing honesty come together in describing addiction, the limbo period between and recovery and the complicated and boundless love between a mother and son better than you'll ever read. You'll laugh and cry for so many different reasons! The love described in his family and from his partner, "Michahaze", are so powerful that you will never be the same after the despair and brokenness then hope and healing you have been able to live almost with him in every word you read. I will never get over this book and I am glad!! Life changing and life sustaining!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Valerity (Val)

    This memoir took me by surprise. I hadn't expected to feel much empathy for this writer or his book. But I inhaled the book, couldn't put it down, finding the wacky family stuff that happens too good to be true, and all his crazy situations he finds himself getting into, vaguely reminiscent of odd things that do happen to people...some I'm even related to. Very moving. This memoir took me by surprise. I hadn't expected to feel much empathy for this writer or his book. But I inhaled the book, couldn't put it down, finding the wacky family stuff that happens too good to be true, and all his crazy situations he finds himself getting into, vaguely reminiscent of odd things that do happen to people...some I'm even related to. Very moving.

  8. 4 out of 5

    MaiaStar

    This is the type of book that makes you laugh while breaking your heart at the same time. While many memoirs preach, this is simply the story of a red haired boy with big dreams and an overbearing Southern mom. By the end of the book, you'll know exactly what Mama Jean smelled like, looked like, and even sounded like. While the book featured themes of addiction and recovery it's also a story of family with a good dose of NYC and Texas nostalgia mixed in. Loved it, and would recommend to just abo This is the type of book that makes you laugh while breaking your heart at the same time. While many memoirs preach, this is simply the story of a red haired boy with big dreams and an overbearing Southern mom. By the end of the book, you'll know exactly what Mama Jean smelled like, looked like, and even sounded like. While the book featured themes of addiction and recovery it's also a story of family with a good dose of NYC and Texas nostalgia mixed in. Loved it, and would recommend to just about anyone!

  9. 4 out of 5

    M Dishman

    The toughest topic to write about may very well be ourselves but that hasn't stopped Jamie Brickhouse from penning a scathingly brilliant memoir about the most complicated relationships in his life--momma and alcohol. With great hilarity and a fair amount of pathos, Brickhouse recounts his spiral into alcoholism and how his relationship with his mother, Jean, helped and hindered his recovery. This first-time author speaks with an honest and eloquent voice that will hopefully find more to say in The toughest topic to write about may very well be ourselves but that hasn't stopped Jamie Brickhouse from penning a scathingly brilliant memoir about the most complicated relationships in his life--momma and alcohol. With great hilarity and a fair amount of pathos, Brickhouse recounts his spiral into alcoholism and how his relationship with his mother, Jean, helped and hindered his recovery. This first-time author speaks with an honest and eloquent voice that will hopefully find more to say in the future. I'd love to know what happens next.

  10. 5 out of 5

    David Craig

    'Bout time he wrote a book! The droll word-smithery of first-time author Jamie Brickhouse titillates and delights sentence after sentence, page after page, first chapter till the last. This book is a real barn burner: It won't take you long to tear through this Texan's tale of hardcore sex, drugs, booze, carnality, addiction and debasement. Sound funny? In the deft hands of Brickhouse, it is--outrageously so. Along the way are some mighty tasty anecdotes of celebrity encounters (Peggy Lee tops t 'Bout time he wrote a book! The droll word-smithery of first-time author Jamie Brickhouse titillates and delights sentence after sentence, page after page, first chapter till the last. This book is a real barn burner: It won't take you long to tear through this Texan's tale of hardcore sex, drugs, booze, carnality, addiction and debasement. Sound funny? In the deft hands of Brickhouse, it is--outrageously so. Along the way are some mighty tasty anecdotes of celebrity encounters (Peggy Lee tops them all, but they're all good), and shining light, understanding and luv throughout is the Cat-5 force of nature known as Mama Jean, Brickhouse's magisterial mater potens. Friends, climb aboard! This is a helluva journey.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Wilder

    Dangerous When Wet is funny, moving and thought provoking. I can't recommend it highly enough. A definite must-read! Dangerous When Wet is funny, moving and thought provoking. I can't recommend it highly enough. A definite must-read!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Flatten

    Jamie Brickhouse shares his life experiences with brutal honesty and Southern charm and it's an I-can't-look-away combination. This is a great story of personal redemption but with a very real account of the events that culminated in his personal rock bottom. There are some great love stories here between the author and his parents, partner, and friend, and he explores these with a focus on all of the imperfections and complexity that comprise family. The excesses in his life are hard to read ab Jamie Brickhouse shares his life experiences with brutal honesty and Southern charm and it's an I-can't-look-away combination. This is a great story of personal redemption but with a very real account of the events that culminated in his personal rock bottom. There are some great love stories here between the author and his parents, partner, and friend, and he explores these with a focus on all of the imperfections and complexity that comprise family. The excesses in his life are hard to read about but create an understanding in the reader for events to come. He is a great writer and clearly very clever. I'll await his next book and great story telling with frank relief that we won't have to return to the darkness of this first book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Maria Baugh

    This is a funny, touching, Texas-sized story that you have to read to believe! Jamie Brickhouse is a writer with heart. Can't wait to see what he does next... This is a funny, touching, Texas-sized story that you have to read to believe! Jamie Brickhouse is a writer with heart. Can't wait to see what he does next...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Dorsett

    An interesting book. I did not find it "blisteringly funny." It was interesting to me just how much Jamie's partner was willing to put up with. I would like to see that relationship explored in greater detail even though the book was primarily focused on Jamie's relationship with his mother. Not a book to share with your more close - minded friends or your 95 year old grandmother. An interesting book. I did not find it "blisteringly funny." It was interesting to me just how much Jamie's partner was willing to put up with. I would like to see that relationship explored in greater detail even though the book was primarily focused on Jamie's relationship with his mother. Not a book to share with your more close - minded friends or your 95 year old grandmother.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tonya

    "A blisteringly funny, wrenching account of wrestling way too close to—and later loose from—booze, sex and drugs and his adorable, infuriating mother. Bravo!" —Mary Karr, New York Times bestselling author of The Liars’ Club "Whoever said you can’t get sober for someone else never met my mother, Mama Jean. When I came to in a Manhattan emergency room after an overdose to the news that she was on her way from Texas, I panicked. She was the last person I wanted to see on that dark September morning "A blisteringly funny, wrenching account of wrestling way too close to—and later loose from—booze, sex and drugs and his adorable, infuriating mother. Bravo!" —Mary Karr, New York Times bestselling author of The Liars’ Club "Whoever said you can’t get sober for someone else never met my mother, Mama Jean. When I came to in a Manhattan emergency room after an overdose to the news that she was on her way from Texas, I panicked. She was the last person I wanted to see on that dark September morning, but the person I needed the most."So begins this astonishing memoir—by turns both darkly comic and deeply poignant—about this native Texan’s long struggle with alcohol, his complicated relationship with Mama Jean, and his sexuality. From the age of five all Brickhouse wanted was to be at a party with a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other and all Mama Jean wanted was to keep him at that age, her Jamie doll forever. A Texan Elizabeth Taylor with the split personality of Auntie Mame and Mama Rose, always camera-ready and flamboyantly outspoken, Mama Jean haunted him his whole life, no matter how far away he went or how deep in booze he swam.Brickhouse’s journey takes him from Texas to a high-profile career in book publishing amid New York’s glamorous drinking life to his near-fatal descent into alcoholism. After Mama Jean ushers him into rehab and he ultimately begins to dig out of the hole he’d found himself in, he almost misses his chance to prove that he loves her as much as she loves him. Bitingly funny, raw, and insightful, Dangerous When Wet is the unforgettable story of a unique relationship between a son and his mother. --My thoughts. I normally don't like memoirs. Then I read one, and I remember this is why. But this one was different. Mama Jean... Crack wasn't on the agenda that night. What a statement. As far as memoirs go, this is one that is so honest and raw as the back cover states, if you are looking for something truthful, look no further!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    By way of full disclosure - I know the author well, but as anyone who has met me knows - I don't mince words or proffer false praise. I give five starts because I was truly impressed with Brickhouse's first work of substantial length. Dangerous When Wet is a fantastic memoir that will have you turning pages well into the early morning hours - about the same time the author would drag himself home on more than one unfortunate occasion. It takes a great deal of introspection and maturity to admit By way of full disclosure - I know the author well, but as anyone who has met me knows - I don't mince words or proffer false praise. I give five starts because I was truly impressed with Brickhouse's first work of substantial length. Dangerous When Wet is a fantastic memoir that will have you turning pages well into the early morning hours - about the same time the author would drag himself home on more than one unfortunate occasion. It takes a great deal of introspection and maturity to admit one's foibles and enormous courage to do so in public on topics that are difficult for even the most liberal and enlightened circle to embrace. Brickhouse not only displays daring and insight, but does so with a sharp wit and finely crafted prose that reminds you of much more seasoned writers. The tales of alcoholism, mommy issues and coming to terms with sexuality have been told countless times - but the theme is not stale in Brickhouse's treatment. Glimpses of glamour comingle with dalliances of debauchery, forcing the reader to examine the multiple facets of a life lived on the fringes of celebrity - a life under constant critique by a mother thousands of miles away and a partner who loves despite Brickhouse's openly displayed flaws. The roller coaster ride that is this memoir will have any reader laughing and crying, and sad to see the last page turned as the sun rises. I highly recommend.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michael Wright

    Full disclosure, Jamie is an old friend and high school classmate. He's written a stunning memoir of alcohol abuse and family dysfunction exacerbated by growing up in a town and a time where it's wasn't unusual or difficult for a high school freshman to drink like a depressed sailor. The crux of the book is his relationship with alcohol and his mother. He captures what it's like to have your identity wrapped up in your drinking and the mourning that comes with the loss of that piece of you when Full disclosure, Jamie is an old friend and high school classmate. He's written a stunning memoir of alcohol abuse and family dysfunction exacerbated by growing up in a town and a time where it's wasn't unusual or difficult for a high school freshman to drink like a depressed sailor. The crux of the book is his relationship with alcohol and his mother. He captures what it's like to have your identity wrapped up in your drinking and the mourning that comes with the loss of that piece of you when you stop drinking. If you've ever wondered what the difference is between being dry and being sober the heartbreaking chapters on his recovery, relapse and recovery will sear it into your mind. His relationship with Mama Jean is spectacular. She would absolutely be played by Shirley MacLean if they made the movie 10 years ago. Jamie's relationship with his mom is borderline destructive, but the deepest of his life. The overriding question is can his love for his mom ever match in the intensity of her love for him. Highest recommendation.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Crutchfield

    This book absolutely captivated me. I was getting the kids down early so I could get back to Jamie's escapades. The author gave such an honest, funny, and heartbreaking account of his journey through addiction, love, and anonymous sex. Anyone who has carried the burden of alcohol or drugs will find his story utterly authentic. You journey with the author to his rock bottom, and wonder at his bravery in exposing his not always pretty, but always entertaining, crash. I highly recommend this book - This book absolutely captivated me. I was getting the kids down early so I could get back to Jamie's escapades. The author gave such an honest, funny, and heartbreaking account of his journey through addiction, love, and anonymous sex. Anyone who has carried the burden of alcohol or drugs will find his story utterly authentic. You journey with the author to his rock bottom, and wonder at his bravery in exposing his not always pretty, but always entertaining, crash. I highly recommend this book - you won't want to put it down.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    DWW is both shockingly honest and très gay hilarious! I admire the author's willingness to take us down the rabbit hole (and quite a hole it is) then deliver us on the other side to dust ourselves off and reflect on the power of human resilience to overcome even the most powerful obstacles... not the least of which was his Mama Jean. Boyz and Booze had nothin' on her! DWW is both shockingly honest and très gay hilarious! I admire the author's willingness to take us down the rabbit hole (and quite a hole it is) then deliver us on the other side to dust ourselves off and reflect on the power of human resilience to overcome even the most powerful obstacles... not the least of which was his Mama Jean. Boyz and Booze had nothin' on her!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Ryan

    This is one of the best memoirs I've ever read. Childhood, adulthood, ambition, addiction -- all handled with the skill of a novelist. How did Jamie Brickhouse do it? Very carefully, I suspect, but he makes the telling of this winding, moving, and often hilarious tale look easy. I highly recommend DANGEROUS WHEN WET. It's a very tender knockout of a book. This is one of the best memoirs I've ever read. Childhood, adulthood, ambition, addiction -- all handled with the skill of a novelist. How did Jamie Brickhouse do it? Very carefully, I suspect, but he makes the telling of this winding, moving, and often hilarious tale look easy. I highly recommend DANGEROUS WHEN WET. It's a very tender knockout of a book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kathy P

    Full disclosure: the author is a friend of mine; we grew up on the same street and went to school together. However, the stars are completely for his accomplishment with this memoir. I found it to be phenomenally engaging. The early chapters concern Jamie's childhood in a boring East Teas town with his father, a solid, steady figure with a pragmatic, perceptive sense of humor, and a more challenging but very colorful mother. Jamie realized that he was gay quite early on, but in that time and pla Full disclosure: the author is a friend of mine; we grew up on the same street and went to school together. However, the stars are completely for his accomplishment with this memoir. I found it to be phenomenally engaging. The early chapters concern Jamie's childhood in a boring East Teas town with his father, a solid, steady figure with a pragmatic, perceptive sense of humor, and a more challenging but very colorful mother. Jamie realized that he was gay quite early on, but in that time and place, it just wasn't something to be talked about. His honesty about the process of claiming his identity, and his worsening struggles with drugs and alcohol, is gripping. I loved that the earlier chapters are quite chatty, almost casual accounts of his experiences, but as the book progresses, the insights become far more profound, and the craftsmanship of his writing more pointed and focused. To me, this mirrors his growing self-understanding and his realization that he needed to take back control of his future (from his mother; from the alcohol; from his own inhibitions and hesitation to fully pursue the writing career he had been headed towards his whole life). Jamie does not give short shrift to any of the people who helped him along the way, and the love and gratitude he feels for these people is very much evident in the book. The last few chapters, I could not put this book down, even though I already knew how the story would end. This is a highly impressive first effort, and I certainly look forward to reading more of his work.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Moryah

    I received this book in a goodreads giveaway. Memoirs are one of my favorite genres and memoirs that focus on struggles with substances and sexual "misadventures" are my favorite kind. This book was interesting and flowed well. It did not wow me though. Jamie is a likable guy even during all his struggles. Mama Jean is a powerhouse female. The cover claims that Augusten Burroughs should move over because he has company, this statement I would not agree with. Is this book a good read that will le I received this book in a goodreads giveaway. Memoirs are one of my favorite genres and memoirs that focus on struggles with substances and sexual "misadventures" are my favorite kind. This book was interesting and flowed well. It did not wow me though. Jamie is a likable guy even during all his struggles. Mama Jean is a powerhouse female. The cover claims that Augusten Burroughs should move over because he has company, this statement I would not agree with. Is this book a good read that will leave you feeling good? Yes. Is it the shock and awe filled laughter ride that "Running With Scissors" was? Not to me.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Vbraun

    I absolutely loved this book and was sad when it was over. The author paints an amazingly vivid picture of his larger-than-life mother, his journey from small-town Beaumont to NYC, and his struggles with alcohol. The book combines an amazing sense of humor with an incredibly brave willingness to tell it like it is. I think everyone will find something to relate to in this book (all families are dysfunctional, right?), and those with force-of-nature mothers will relate even more. Do yourself a fa I absolutely loved this book and was sad when it was over. The author paints an amazingly vivid picture of his larger-than-life mother, his journey from small-town Beaumont to NYC, and his struggles with alcohol. The book combines an amazing sense of humor with an incredibly brave willingness to tell it like it is. I think everyone will find something to relate to in this book (all families are dysfunctional, right?), and those with force-of-nature mothers will relate even more. Do yourself a favor and buy this book - you won't be disappointed.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Karen Mcdermott

    Amazing! Dangerous When Wet is both charming and funny memoir and a brutally honest look at the personal cost of addiction and loss of self.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    Dangerous When Wet, is Jamie Brickhouse’s memoir of growing-up, coming out, and sobering up, all in the long shadow of his glamorous, hard-nosed Mamma Jean. The crux of Brickhouse’s trial-by-fire is a contest of wills between Mamma Jean’s sky-high expectations for her youngest son and Brickhouse’s own larger than life aspirations: imagine a bitch’s brew of silver screen dreams and small town gay bar glamour. As a teen growing up in Beaumont, Texas, Brickhouse becomes adept at slipping away to sa Dangerous When Wet, is Jamie Brickhouse’s memoir of growing-up, coming out, and sobering up, all in the long shadow of his glamorous, hard-nosed Mamma Jean. The crux of Brickhouse’s trial-by-fire is a contest of wills between Mamma Jean’s sky-high expectations for her youngest son and Brickhouse’s own larger than life aspirations: imagine a bitch’s brew of silver screen dreams and small town gay bar glamour. As a teen growing up in Beaumont, Texas, Brickhouse becomes adept at slipping away to said gay bar, where he pickes up his first whore (gratis, thank you very much), not to mention his inaugural bout of venereal disease. He also harbores dreams of moving to New York and making a name for himself on the stages of the Great White Way. But Mamma Jean, wanting only the best for her boy, will hear none of it. By the time Jamie finally slips her grasp for the big city thrills of New York, he’d already given up his acting dreams -- which Mamma Jean deemed too impractical -- for a career in publishing. But he more than makes up for it by indulging his love of booze and men. The highs are many. His career takes off and brings him into the glitzy orbit of Joan Collins, Elaine Stritch and others. Eventually, the nights of boozing and cruising set him up for a precipitous fall and a final, touching, coming to terms with Mamma Jean’s kind of love. The advance praise promising a “blisteringly funny“ride is dead on, but it only tells half the tale. Brickhouse will indeed crack you up with this account of his rise and fall in New York City. But when he hits bottom and begins his harrowing journey back to Mamma Jean, he’ll also leave you in tears.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Wes T.

    Dangerous When Wet is one of those memoirs that has it all. Tragedy, comedy, family, friends, sex, and booze. Brickhouse delivers from start to finish in this emotionally charged book. I simply could not put it down! He is elaborately detailed, and his writing is beautifully articulate. With Mama Jean at the helm, this is a story of love in its’ purest form. Filled with glorious references to music and movies of the golden age, this is a must read!!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Meg McAllister

    Over the years I've had the pleasure many times to work with Jamie Brickhouse during his stints as head of publicity at both the Perseus Book Group and HarperCollins. He's smart, he's witty and he's a lot of fun to work with. As a general rule, I'm not a huge fan of memoirs. I'm not that much of a "voyeur" and it's often difficult for an author to be completely frank and objective when the story they are telling is their own. But as Atticus Finch said in To Kill A Mockingbird, "you never really Over the years I've had the pleasure many times to work with Jamie Brickhouse during his stints as head of publicity at both the Perseus Book Group and HarperCollins. He's smart, he's witty and he's a lot of fun to work with. As a general rule, I'm not a huge fan of memoirs. I'm not that much of a "voyeur" and it's often difficult for an author to be completely frank and objective when the story they are telling is their own. But as Atticus Finch said in To Kill A Mockingbird, "you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view." Reading Jamie's new book, Dangerous When Wet (St. Martin's Press) was an eye-opening look into a man I admire greatly, but you don't need to know Jamie to fall in love with this book. Dangerous When Wet is wickedly funny and irreverent. I can hear Jamie's voice in my head when I read about his larger-than-life mother (Mama Jean) and as he relives some of his more outrageous experiences. Who knew I could still blush at my age! But the book is also heartbreakingly poignant as Jamie recounts his struggle to embrace his own identity while growing up in conservative Texas with a mother who at turns was overindulgent and overbearing. His move to New York City and his rise to publishing PR prominence; rubbing elbows with an elite and eclectic cast of characters. His dangerous liaison with alcohol. His highs, lows, self-destruction, redemption and rehab. Phoenix rising from the ashes is an apt description. In sharing his very real frailties and flaws, even if you don't know Jamie Brickhouse, you'll feel like you do and you'll like him. You couldn't ask more from a memoir or a first-time author than Jamie Brickhouse delivers in Dangerous When Wet. It's scandalous, scintillating, complicated, messy and real. The book is like sitting in the front car of a runaway rollercoaster. Enjoy the ride!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brian Ketay

    I couldn't put this book down, to say the least…I skipped a lunch, missed my stop on the subway twice, was late for a dinner date…I couldn't stop. What’s more, I was truly sad to read the final word…and not as much for the more somber events of the story; I simply loved readying this book. Like a perfect episode of SNL or a great concert…you just don’t want it to end. For anyone who has ever known Jamie (I had the pleasure many years ago in college), it’s no surprise that his autobiographical “D I couldn't put this book down, to say the least…I skipped a lunch, missed my stop on the subway twice, was late for a dinner date…I couldn't stop. What’s more, I was truly sad to read the final word…and not as much for the more somber events of the story; I simply loved readying this book. Like a perfect episode of SNL or a great concert…you just don’t want it to end. For anyone who has ever known Jamie (I had the pleasure many years ago in college), it’s no surprise that his autobiographical “Dangerous When Wet” is super funny. Jamie has an ingenious (and sometimes fearless) knack for pointing out the hilarity in every-day situations, people’s quirks, and otherwise mundane scenarios using a perfect choice of words and analogies that set great writers apart from the rest of us. But dig a little deeper, and you’ll find a poignancy that is both unique to Jamie’s life story and magically universal. Anyone who has ever struggled to overcome intense personal fears and inner demons (i.e., everyone) in order to grow personally and professionally will appreciate Jamie’s story. Perhaps his greatest achievement here is in lightening up the heaviest of subject matter without losing any of its gravitas. Similar writings can seem annoyingly self-important or overly self-deprecating; “Dangerous When Wet” is neither…just a brilliantly written and joyfully readable. Jamie, please don’t stop writing!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Terri

    Yes, it is a good first sentence for a book: "Whoever said you can't get sober for someone else never met my mother, Mama Jean." But the story quickly grows tedious and well, boring. The front and back cover are peppered with praise from all sorts of people you'd think you could trust. And the comparison to Augusten Burrougs as in, "Move over, Augusten Burroughs. You've got company," promised a lot with nothing to show. Jamie Brickhouse discovers in elementary school that he likes boys; he also dis Yes, it is a good first sentence for a book: "Whoever said you can't get sober for someone else never met my mother, Mama Jean." But the story quickly grows tedious and well, boring. The front and back cover are peppered with praise from all sorts of people you'd think you could trust. And the comparison to Augusten Burrougs as in, "Move over, Augusten Burroughs. You've got company," promised a lot with nothing to show. Jamie Brickhouse discovers in elementary school that he likes boys; he also discovers that he needs to keep his preference a secret. His Mama Jean ends up being the money maker in the family starting with a regular job, then becoming a top real estate seller in Beaumont, Texas and then entering the world of stock trading. His dad is a pretty lackluster eventual stay-at-home dad. Brickhouse's story is not engaging; it's the simple story of a gay guy who drinks too much who grew up with an outspoken mildly flamboyant mother. It is not "blisteringly funny" (Mary Karr) It is not "wickedly intoxicating" (Paul Rudnick) and it is not "studded with gems of hilarity" (Josh Kilmer-Purcell) It's just a so-so story about a guy who needs to get his life together. The only reason for Augusten Burroughs (author of Running With Scissors) needs to move over is to help Jamie Brickhouse find the door.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gayle Pritchard

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Jamie is a talented writer who brings you into his story with vivid descriptions and, especially in the early chapters, a child's-eye view of the world. He raises the spectre of his larger than life mother in such vivid detail, I felt could almost see her throughout the memoir. The tenderness with which her illness and ultimate death is handled is touching. Finally, Jamie's story offers a glimpse into a big-city world, foreign to many readers, but made accessible and relatable through his wit. Jamie is a talented writer who brings you into his story with vivid descriptions and, especially in the early chapters, a child's-eye view of the world. He raises the spectre of his larger than life mother in such vivid detail, I felt could almost see her throughout the memoir. The tenderness with which her illness and ultimate death is handled is touching. Finally, Jamie's story offers a glimpse into a big-city world, foreign to many readers, but made accessible and relatable through his wit.

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