Bad Kid

by David Crabb

HarperPerennial, 2015

“The author’s story wonderfully captures the awkwardness, strife, and even terror of his experience as a gay teen; it is also upbeat, endearing, and achingly funny. A vivid and dramatic slice of adolescence.” --Kirkus Reviews

"The manic energy and overblown drama of adolescence crackle off the page. Not everyone had to face what he did, but all can empathize with Bad Kid.”--Booklist

"Crabb presents this hormone-fueled roller-coaster ride with humor and sensitivity, and draws moving portraits…. His evocation of postpunk bands, brutal skinheads, and Goth attire will resonate with those who experienced the era, while his sexual anguish and fumblings are all too universal." --Publishers Weekly

“I expected a memoir from David Crabb to be funny; what I wasn’t prepared for is how touching it is. It’s a story of finding oneself in adolescence for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider.” --Teddy Wayne, author of The Love Song of Jonny Valentine and Kapitoil

“Crabb winds up taking us to the sweet spot of literature: the truth. I rarely laugh or cry when reading. Bad Kid moved me to both.” --Brad Gooch, author of Smash Cut

“You simply won’t find a more hilarious and captivating storyteller than David Crabb. His tales of a misspent youth are jaw-dropping, but clearly, his head and heart stayed gold.” --Kevin Allison, writer and performing member of MTV's The State

“How can this author’s painful coming-out story-set in Texas be so utterly hilarious? Only David Crabb could transform loneliness and awkwardness and heartache into a laugh-out-loud, ‘90s-music-blasting, eyeliner-dripping joy ride. Bad Kid is a must-read.” --Diana Spechler, author of Who By Fire and Skinny

"Bad Kid manages to do what so many books claim, but then, frankly, fail to do: it makes you laugh, and then, through a perfect turn of phrase or, perhaps, the perfect reference to the perfect song, it makes you cry. Crabb moves masterfully from the heart-breaking to the hilarious, from the profane to the exalted."
--Sara Barron, author of The Harm in Asking and People Are Unappealing

Paste Magazine Top Ten Book of 2015

About the Book

Filled with the music and popular culture of the late-eighties and early-nineties, Bad Kid is a hilarious, poignant story about a boy growing up gay (and Goth) in south Texas at a time and in a place where it was hard to be one, near impossible to be the other. In the summer of 1989, three Goth kids crossed a street in San Antonio. They had no idea that a deeply confused fourteen-year-old boy was watching. Their dyed hair, velvet capes, and eyeliner were his first evidence of another world—a place he desperately wanted to go. He just had no idea how to get there. What saved him was a group of outlandish friends who reveled in being outsiders. David found himself enmeshed with misfits: wearing black, cutting class, staying out all night, drinking, tripping, chain-smoking, idolizing The Smiths, Pet Shop Boys, and Joy Division and learning lessons of infatuation and love and drugs and sex. The result is an impossibly comic and shockingly honest ride along the path to discovering who you are.

About the Author

David Crabb is a performer, writer, teacher & storyteller in New York City. He is a Moth Story Slam host and three-time Moth Slam winner. His solo show “Bad Kid” was met with critical acclaim from The New York TimesMTVFlavorpillNY Metro and many others, and named a New York Times Critics’ Pick. The show has been performed in NYC since 2011 & completed a sold-out run in Virginia in 2013. “Bad Kid” will play in Texas and California in 2014.

David was one of 7 performers chosen by Time Out New York for their 2013 New York Comedy Festival line-up. The Wall Street Journal praised him as a performer capable of guiding a crowd “from belly laughs to pin-drop silence.” David became a touring performer with The Moth’s "On the Road" last year and will appear on NPR’s The Moth Radio Hour in 2014.

He has performed and directed shows at NYC’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (UCB) & the People’s Improv Theatre (The PIT). David has taught storytelling with Kevin Allison’s The Story Studio, Manhattan Comedy School, Washington DC’s Story League & NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. The New York Times showcased one of his classes. David also serves as a writing mentor for veterans across the country with The Writers Guild Initiative’s Wounded Warrior Project.

David is the co-creator/producer of the live storytelling series ASK ME. He has been a member of NYC’s Axis Company Theatre since 2003, developing original material in New York, Paris and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. He most recently performed in the company’s Drama Desk-nominated “Last Man Club.”  He received an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1999.