When veteran entertainment journalist Michael Ausiello is on the set of The Americans he exchanges text messages with his husband, Christopher “Kit” Cowan, who is at the doctor’s office. There is a growth and then a biopsy and then the diagnosis. Suddenly Michael and Kit are dealing with the unthinkable. Kit has a rare form of cancer.
“Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies” is the intimate as-real-as-it-gets memoir that chronicles Michael’s love affair with the Smurfs, Diet Coke, television and of course Kit, who died in 2015 at the age of 42.
To read this book is to celebrate the messy parts of life, and not just the matters of life and death. The Good: “The size and shape of our bodies created the coziest, most soul-enriching canoodle … so much so that Kit took to whispering ‘click’ in my ear once we were fully attached.” The Bad: “From bouts of infidelity and codependency and sexual dysfunction and pot use and just general malaise of being together for more than a decade.” And the Ugly: “After overcoming a few messy speed bumps, I became a [colostomy]-bag-changing champ.” One of the most endearing things about Ausiello’s storytelling is that it is unapologetically open and honest.
I guarantee that every human being who reads what Ausiello has written here will walk away feeling less alone. There is so much here that resonates and lingers. And I have every reason to believe that one day Kit will look at the thousands of words Michael has written, and he’s going to so proud that his Bodge was brave enough to do this.
Best paired with two bottles of Prosecco, a bag of dark-chocolate nonpareils and Pinkberry with a side of peanut butter.