Strangely enough, while I’ve seen some drag shows in real life and on TV, “Chicago Blues” is the first book I’ve read where it featured main characters/ scenes prominently in this role. I’m not sure this is a book I would have picked up on my own out of the blue, and I can say that would have been a big mistake on my part. “Chicago Blues” starts soon after the first one ends, but this time we are more inside Jimmy’s experiences and are they ever eventful! Shocking, titillating, eye-opening and sexy, dirty and dangerous… Jeff Stookey artfully draws us into this world of old-era Chicago in a way that felt so deeply personal and intimately connected with everyone, from the bad and their problems, to the troublemakers in town, and of course the story with Erica/Eric and Jimmy was riveting. I also feel like I have a greater appreciation for the drag culture in a way I didn’t before – Stookey does incredibly well with the detailing and ‘life’ from the writing to the time period and the places they are, to the characters and even their choice of words, drinks, and weapons. It was real, raw, ugly, beautiful, heartbreaking, heartwarming, and wrapped up one ‘chapter’ of Jimmy’s life, now we just have to see how it all ends in “Dangerous Medicine”.
(reviewed the day of purchase)