Virtue Is Its Own Punishment is the story of a boy's journey of growth and discovery from childhood through college at Brigham Young University. It is t about religion so much as it is a story of growing up in the culture of small town, Utah, Mormon society. The author is a wry social commentator whose humorous depiction of coming of age will appeal to Mormons, ex-Mormons, and other participants in restrictive cultures. Highlights include full-immersion baptism, beliefs about Heaven, avoiding missionary work, and learning about girls and technical virginity. Ever wondered what it's like to grow up Mormon? This entertaining memoir is a look inside Mormonism in the 1950s when the most pressing concern of boys everywhere is who would get to be Roy Rogers and who would be Gene Autry in schoolyard games. Later, going on a mission is the pre-ordained destiny of 18-year-old boys regardless of their inclination toward missionary work. The author's tumultuous years at Brigham Young leads to a poignant end to the first part of his life, and a shaky new start to the second. This is a story of incence preserved and paradise lost-written by one of America's funniest writers. Encouraged as a boy to be perfect, the narrator finds the path to perfection to be a bumpy road. Which isn't to say he doesn't give it a shot, foreswearing alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and even cola drinks in order to curry favor with his elders, friends and neighbors in the LDS community, and especially with girls. Alas, in college the road only becomes bumpier as romantic fantasies remain just fantasies and the chastity belt begins to feel more like a straitjacket. Without really wishing for it to happen, Richard eventually finds himself on the outside of the institution looking in, a reluctant heretic. But t all suffering is for naught. In fact, when it comes to raw material for an inventive, insightful and irreverent memoir, Mormonism is a treasure trove of raw material.