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Candy Barr: The Small-Town Texas Runaway Who Became a Darling of the Mob and the Queen of Las Vegas Burlesque Hardcover – May 21, 2008
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[A] compelling, brutal tragedy set against a country's loss of innocence. (Publishers Weekly)
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Top Customer Reviews
At times I was confused about the whereabouts of her child. The birth of her daughter is briefly mentioned, leaving me wondering about Candy working as a dancer during her pregnancy. During later events, the presence of her daughter wouldn't seem to fit in with the events.
Most of the events in the book were told to the author by Candy Barr, which accounts for some of the confusion.
Her life in prison is the most fascinating era. During this time she wrote a (later self-published) book of poetry, leveraged the prison's desire for her to perform in the annual rodeo in exchange for a job in the prison library, and grew as a person.
The best part of the book, on the part of the author, is compellingly describing Candy/Juanita's heartfelt passion for dancing, and how her natural talent at it helped her to overcome the obstacles to join the ranks of the most famous exotic dancers of all time.
If, like me, you like reading everything you can get your hands on about the lives of exotic dancers, or you're interested eventful life stories, this is a worthwhile book. It is not a romanticized tale of stripping or "burlesque." Very little glitz, glamour and rhinestones.
A quiet recluse during her final years, Juanita passed on in 2003 at the age of 70 near her hometown of Edna, Texas. She was a true survivor of a sordid life, as so many of her contemporaries long ago disappeared. What authors had to work with were based on a series of awkward telephone interviews, with Juanita providing similar responses of "I can't remember." It's not an excuse for such lazy investigation. Schwarz and Rustam appear to have rushed this biography, lacking the slightest detail of locations and names. Readers will stumble through pages of irresponsible insinuation involving conspiracy and underworld crime, but very little in the way of facts or corroboration. "Candy Barr" is a below-average mess, hammered out without a hint of interpretation.
By comparison, Texas Monthly magazine (...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Remarkable book. Not only a captivating and heartbreaking tale of the life of the greatest stripper of all time, a woman who was a genuinely extraordinary dancer (find her on... Read morePublished 16 months ago by David S. Jenkins
This is one of the worst written and edited books I have ever had the misfortune to read. The writer's style is pure sludge. It is repetitive and then some. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Gil Martin