Reviews

Thought-provoking, confronting, amusing and unceasingly honest
“It’s Life Jim” is an account of one man’s lifelong journey to reconcile the truth of his personal identity as a gay man with his belief in the spirituality inherent to humankind and the nature of the divine within the narrow confines of the tenets of Pentecostal Christianity.
Thought-provoking, confronting, amusing and unceasingly honest “It’s Life Jim” takes the reader through the author’s impossible struggle to build a life that he felt to be real and meaningful within a structure that insisted something about his fundamental nature was at best flawed, at worst demonic.
After spending the greater part of his adult life torn between two irreconcilable instincts and burdened by his constant sense of duty to be who he was expected to be as a father a husband and a Christian the reader finds the author confused, conflicted and driven to the brink of absolute despair.
It’s not until personal tragedy strikes the authors family leaving the author very nearly a broken man that he begins to pick up the pieces and start over and from there the healing begins.
More than being just the story of one man’s journey, “It’s Life Jim” is an epistle to those many people still struggling with the conflict between sexual orientation or gender identity and living within the confines of a belief system that tells them that part of their core identity is sinful and wrong and must be rejected.
Quite apart from the book itself the events that transpired immediately following its publication are worthy of note. The leader of one fundamentalist denomination who most New Zealanders weren’t aware even had a presence in New Zealand responded to the books release with an abusive homophobic rant culminating in his suggestion that the author should kill himself. For many New Zealanders this illustrated the way in which the LGBT community still faces extremes of prejudice and discrimination that they had not been witness to previously. The media furore and public outrage at the comments made to the author served to remind the general public that although New Zealand has come a long way in thirty years with regards to legislation that there are still small pockets of our society in which intolerance and hatred are not only practiced, but actively promoted.
For these reasons I regard “It’s Life Jim” as being a must read for anyone with an interest in either its subject matter or New Zealand literature in general.
For anyone still fighting the battles the author fought to bring him to the point at which he penned his book – to hear that their struggle is not unique, that they are not alone, that they are not unworthy, that there is a way through – it could literally be a life saver! ~ Tipene Ward


Wow!
Wow! Where To Begin?!!!! This book is so soulful and resonating, and I feel that it will give the well-needed reinforcement for people who are on their own journey, coming out in such difficult environments. It is SO genuine, so raw and so empowering to see what you have come through Jim, and the no-holds-barred writing approach really gives a sense that there is nothing but sheer honesty in this book, which is what really provokes people to make positive change. Am greatly anticipating reading more of your work Jim. Thankyou so much for the gift of this book to us. Your work is amazing and everything you stand for. Bravo! ~ Gen Gen


Very Encouraging
Really enjoyed reading this book. Jim was very open about his life, his fears, concerns, joys, questions. If we are honest we will admit to having some of the same thoughts and questions. In the end it boils down to being who God made you to be, accept God’s love and do not worry so much about the doctrines and ways of religion. Living for God is living a life of love. Loving God and loving others. Very encouraging message of love and acceptance.


Despite being honest to the point of embarrassment, Jim’s sense of humour and sense of the religiously ridiculous will have you laughing at most of his predicaments…although I cried with frustration at a few too. You’ll end up feeling like he’s a mate you’ve known forever. Well written, very informative and a great handbook to help others.