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Just by Looking at Him: A Novel
Just by Looking at Him: A Novel
Just by Looking at Him: A Novel
Audiobook6 hours

Just by Looking at Him: A Novel

Written by Ryan O'Connell

Narrated by Ryan O'Connell

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars



About this audiobook

From the star of Peacock’s Queer as Folk and the Netflix series Special comes a “funny, tender, and beautiful” (Gary Janetti, New York Times bestselling author) novel following a gay TV writer with cerebral palsy as he fights addiction and searches for acceptance in an overwhelmingly ableist world.

Elliott appears to be living the dream as a successful TV writer with a doting boyfriend. But behind his Instagram filter of a life, he’s grappling with an intensifying alcohol addiction, he can’t seem to stop cheating on his boyfriend with various sex workers, and his cerebral palsy is making him feel like gay Shrek.

After falling down a rabbit hole of sex, drinking, and Hollywood backstabbing, Elliott decides to limp his way towards redemption. But facing your demons is easier said than done.

“With his singular voice and unforgettable wit” (Steven Rowley, author of The Guncle), Ryan O’Connell presents a candid, biting, and refreshingly real commentary on gay life, laugh-out-loud exploration of self, and a rare insight into life as a person with disabilities.

Editor's Note

Scathingly funny…

Elliott, a television writer with cerebral palsy, tackles internalized homophobia, ableism, and self-destruction — despite claiming to know better — in this scathingly funny novel. O’Connell’s fans will enjoy the memorable one-liners and raw vulnerability often seen in his popular Netflix series “Special.”

Release dateJun 7, 2022

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O’Connell is the Emmy-nominated creator, writer, and star of Netflix’s Special, which is based on his memoir, I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves. He’s also written for other TV shows like Will & Grace, Awkward, and Peacock’s Queer as Folk revival, which he also stars in. He lives, laughs, and loves in Los Angeles with his partner, Jonathan Parks-Ramage. 

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Reviews for Just by Looking at Him

Rating: 4.134831460674158 out of 5 stars

89 ratings4 reviews

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    Started off self deprecating and full of eye roll quotes only white queer men would relate to but loved that it forced me to look at how I perceived my own thoughts on past relationships and sexual freedom.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    4 for the book itself, a strong 5 for the guy who narrated the book, I laughed like crazy and his voice made a huge impact for the story; perfect!
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Really liked the book. The audiobook can be annoying at times, he yells a lot and basically uses the same voice for all characters which takes you out a bit.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    This book was raw and funny and real. It showed what it's like to live life with a very visible disability, and what its like to struggle with addiction and come to terms with the fact that you've lost yourself.

    I loved the character development of Elliot throughout this book. The way he learned to accept himself and love his body for what it is. His struggle with alcohol was relatable and real, as was his journey to accepting himself for who he was.

    The representation in this book was fantastic. Queer rep, disability rep, depression and anxiety. This book has so much of what so many people face and that made it all the more enjoyable.

    The pop-culture references were cringe, though, oh my God. It might just be because I'm not too into pop-culture and don't spend much time online, but still.