This review quite eloquently sums up a lot of what I think, so, here: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1039578686?book_show_action=true
I agree that Muñoz is a great close reader, and those segments where he's only doing that were so great. If this book had been just a document of queer histories and art criticism, I would give it a higher rating. (The chapter on stages is brilliant and effective!) But everything else this books tries to do is so utterly boring to me. As the other reviewer states, it's certainly good at challenging the "majoritarian, normative, capitalist pig focus of the gay world today". But to me, that's part of what annoys me both about this book and about queer theory: it's too committed to being in conversation with and challenging "traditional" and "normative" culture in basic ways. And to write a book that is largely a manifesto about pursuing a "queer utopia" that is not prescriptive, not rigidly defined, and freeing, fails spectacularly in my eyes through this lens.
Muñoz seems committed to a certain vision of utopia that is tied to his own particular idea of what is both "good" and also "challenging". At one point he (jokingly, to be fair) calls out a person he knows nothing about as being supposedly uninterested in the act of defying heteronormativity for basically no reason, which I think captures what bothers me -- it's more important that a work actively defies "straight culture" than perhaps accurately captures the lived experience of actual LGBTQ+ people. (Don't get me started about the confusion between "queer" and"LGBTQ" that is inherent to this sort of work...) The autobiographical bits, while fascinating and grounding, do reveal a heavy bias in the author towards scenes he personally participated in. To me, these sorts of queer scenes are antithetical to the sort of "queer utopia" that the loftier sections of this book yearns for. (In the words of Tony Wei Ling: "We can’t choose only one fantasy to call up better futures.") A lot of queer work I've seen is concerned with sorts of things Muñoz offers in his close readings, but doesn't properly scan as being against "straight time" (which roughly but not exactly can be read as "heteronormativity") and would probably not interest him personally. Which is dangerous when you're so close to the subject you're discussing academically.
That's another thing about this book: it's atrociously written. I'm against most kinds of academic writing because they're too concerned with themselves to be accessible to the sorts of people who would actually be interested in reading them. It is especially egregious (self call-out: i also clearly like big words lmao) here because it's a book that speaks about and should be speaking to the sorts of people who aren't academics. It's also annoying because in the good bits (the art criticism and the autobiographic bits) he drops the pretense and writes in plainer language. To some extent, the academic language is necessary for putting his thoughts into a larger context, but most of the time it's (in my opinion!) totally unnecessary. (Several times I read through two or three pages of jargon, and at the end of it, realized that the actual point being conveyed could have been summarized into a paragraph.)
ALL OF THIS BEING SAID: It was a worthwhile read, even if I disagreed with a lot of it. There are certainly important ideas here, and I would say I largely agree with most of Muñoz's overarching points: how queer art so often grasps at an imagined, more hospitable future; how the establishment will only ever be suitable to gay people who are capable of "assimilating"; how we need to collectively abandon "straight" ideals to imagine a world where these different modes of living can be fully realized. But it was just such a miserable slog, and the book tried to do too many things that I saw as being in direct violation of each other that I just... don't like it. But if you already thought this was a book worth reading, it is still probably a book worth reading.