Book #51

Sarah by J.T. Leroy

Cherry Vanilla, twelve years old with a penchant for short leather skirts and make-up, has one ambition: to become the most famous 'lot lizard', or truck stop whore, in the business. With his blonde curls and naked ambition he is determined to be more woman than most and to match his idol, rival and mother, Sarah - also working the lot. Cherry is recruited by Glad - the most sophisticated pimp there is. Glad dresses his boys in the finest silk from China, feeds them gourmet food and teaches them to tell what a trucker wants by the look in his eye. It is only when Sarah leaves Glad's protection that he discovers just how perilous his chosen profession can be.

I was so excited about reading this. It just seemed such an odd, sick kind of book, with a cult reputation - the kind that particularly appeals to me. I had read that it was a semi-autobiographical account of the author's life, and this spurred me into acquiring the book as quickly as I could. However, it seems that the author of this book is in actual fact a woman who has never experienced any of these things! How fraudulent. I even skipped this one past other books in my 'to be read' list just so I could dive into it as soon as I could. All this was a bit silly, though, because I've ended up severely disappointed.

The plot is compelling in places, but none of the characters are developed in any way. When characters from the beginning of the novel came back into the story at the end, I struggled to place them.

I'm confused as to how anyone could have considered the writing in this to be autobiographical. Nothing in this book rang true for me at all, it almost read like someone's memory of a dream they'd had months ago, where they fill in the parts they can't quite remember with sheer hyperbole.

It's easy enough to get through, and you are driven to read on by the complete oddities you are exposed to. However, it really feels to me like a waste of good reading time, and I wouldn't recommend this to anyone I liked, and I feel like a bit of an idiot for being excited about it in the first place. I should probably stop taking book recommendations from self-appointed cool kids.

If you're interested at all in the literary hoax that was J.T. Leroy, I found the literary article quite informative. But to be honest, the entire hoax is almost as boring as Sarah.

51 / 66 books. 77% done!