The Urge to Perform

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Boys Keep Swinging: A Memoir
by Jake Shears
Atria Books. 336 pages, $26.
 
YOU MIGHT expect an autobiography by Jake Shears, lead singer of the musical group Scissor Sisters, to be chock full of pictures of him and the band. You might also expect it to be a fun book, but essentially superficial. You would be wrong on both counts.
What we get instead in Boys Keep Swinging is a compelling story of what it takes to make it in New York, and a wonderful portrait of New York City in the late 1990s and early 2000s. But we also get a fascinating portrait of why someone feels compelled to perform, and what it is about a performer that makes people want to watch him at all.

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Dale Boyer is the author of two novels: The Dandelion Cloud and Thornton Stories.

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