Book Review of GuRu by RuPaul

Goodreads Rating: 3.70
Published: 10/23/2018
Page Count: 208
Book URL:
FOREWORD BY JANE FONDA A timeless collection of philosophies from renaissance performer and the world’s most famous shape-shifter RuPaul, whose sage outlook has created an unprecedented career for more than thirty-five years. GuRu is packed with more than 80 beautiful photographs that illustrate the concept of building the life you want from the outside in and the inside out. If you think this book is just about "doing drag," you are sorely mistaken because for…
3.3Overall Score
  • Covered Subject
  • Cover Art & Photography
  • Impact
  • Organization
  • Pacing
  • Writing

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GuRu is RuPaul’s third book in the memoir genre, but this is the first of his that I’ve read. If you don’t know who RuPaul is, he’s an American drag multi-super talent who hosts and produces RuPaul’s Drag Race, amongst many other projects. I discovered this show a few seasons back and have been enjoying it’s cheeky content ever since. I especially enjoy the costumes!

If like me you also like Ru and the costumes, then you will probably like this book. It’s filled with beautiful full color photographs of Ru in perfect drag, perfect outfits, in perfect lighting with little snippets of wisdom sprinkled on top. While this book is a quick read, because it’s relatively inexpensive and so beautiful to look at, I do think it is worth the buy if you are a fan of RuPaul and know what you are getting.

NOTE: I have chosen to use the pronoun he/him/his for RuPaul. It is known that RuPaul is indifferent to gender-specific pronouns so I choose this only for the sake of this review. Ru has been quoted as saying, “You can call me he. You can call me she. You can call me Regis and Kathie Lee; I don’t care! Just as long as you call me.”

Quick Review

– A charming collection of thoughts, quotes, and advice on life from the one and only RuPaul, told from his unique perspective.
– This is a quick and fun read, you can easily read this book in an hour or less.
– The book is just one chapter which is basically one very long monologue.
– While the book is short and a very fast read, in the end it does have a lot of substance. It left me feeling uplifted and ready to tackle life.
– If you are a fan of RuPaul I would recommend this book.

If I had to describe this book in two words: quotable and uplifting.

**MILD SPOILERS** Click black text to reveal spoilers.

In Depth Review

This is a fun and fast read that will leave you feeling uplifted, even if you are not a fan of RuPaul. If you ARE a fan however, I think you would really enjoy this and find it very entertaining and delightful. It is a charming collection of thoughts, quotes, and advice on life told from RuPaul’s unique perspective. There is not a lot to this book – you can easily read it in about an hour. But even with the sparse amount of text it still manages to get the job done, and left me feeling inspired. The book is one long chapter that reads like a monologue of a play you might see off broadway in some gloriously small production. The monologue is sprinkled with loads of beautiful images of RuPaul in perfect drag. While RuPaul doles out life advice he also let’s you get to know him a little. He talks about how his career progressed, how his drag took on it’s current form, and even about religion, meditation, and spirituality. There’s a little bit of everything in here, all with a message of compassion and love.

Reading Reactions

While reading GuRu I took note of my reactions – any thoughts or feelings that came up. These reading reaction posts will always contain major spoilers, and are intended for readers that have already finished the book being discussed.

Read my reading reactions to GuRu by RuPaul.


While reading GuRu I also took synopsis notes. A synopsis is basically a retelling of the story without all the details, and so will also always contain major spoilers, and is intended for readers that have already finished the book for the purpose of discussion.

Read my synopsis of GuRu by RuPaul.

eBook Review

  • The eBook version is 208 pages which seems like it may be a novel sized book. This is not that – the pages are filled with large, full color images and there is actually not a lot of text.
  • Guru has a gorgeous cover with RuPaul in a red gown striking an arresting pose, in full drag of course.
  • The best part of this book are the endless full color photographs of RuPaul in various drag looks. Absolutely and endlessly beautiful.
  • The eBook was easy to navigate and is a fast read.
  • The fonts are colored with different colors for significant thoughts and ideas, which is fun. Since this is an eBook you can change the actual font to one of your choosing.
  • There is only one chapter in this book, GuRu, and a few other normal book sections, such as the introduction and acknowledgments, etc.
  • The last section in the book Become Your Own Guru is a list of “musts” in film, books, and albums. Recommendations range from Funny Face, Death Becomes Her, The Exorcist, A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, and Blondie to Bowie.

NOTE: I read an eBook version of this book which I read in companion with the audiobook, both that I checked out at my local library.

Audiobook Review

I highly recommend listening to the audiobook while flipping through the physical book or eBook for the pictures. RuPaul narrates the audiobook himself and it. is. delightful. He does read rather slowly, but it’s musical, fun, and of course there is that laugh. His voice paired with the images in the actual book is really great together.

  • Narrated by RuPaul himself.
  • Ru has an American accent and reads as himself.
  • The pace of this audiobook is read painfully slowly. However, this made it really easy to speed up much faster while still sounding really good.
  • Overall I found the audiobook version delightful and would highly recommend it (it’s just not complete without the images however).
  • 01:15:44 in length.

Favorite Quotes

“To all you sweet, sensitive souls out there in the world—
look for the light in the world, in people, in places,
in art and music. Light will lift you up.”

“We will explore the path of the seeker. The one who dares to feel more, to experience more, and to fearlessly love more. Together, we will uncover ancient sacred “realness” that is tried, tested, and found true.”
“You are an extension of the consciousness that guides the universe, for which there is no name because it cannot be defined. That’s why all the superficial things you list as your identity are in reality your “drag.”
“Clear out the blockage that keeps you playing small, keeps you listening to the negative stories in your head, keeps you in the darkness, and move forward into the light. You have the power to move on if you’re willing to let go of the limited perception you have of yourself.”
“People are looking to fill that void with some outside source, but that empty feeling can only be filled from within.”
“The biggest obstacles I’ve ever faced were my own self-imposed limitations.”
“You’re actually stronger than you allow yourself to be.”
“If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”

Musical Suggestions

I enjoyed this book while listening to the playlist Stormy Sundays chillhop by Damon Broussard on Spotify .

Learn More About Guru by RuPaul

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