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Legal Tender: True Tales of a Brothel Madam Hardcover – September 1, 2008

8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Laraine Harper left a positive mark on the Nevada brothel industry. It takes a very special individual to oversee a covey of strong willed working girls and her sense of humor and ability to make the best and the most out of any situation is reflected in her writing. --Wayne Bridge,CEO, Sin City Chamber of Commerce --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

Wow. Talk about Nevada "off the beaten path". In Legal Tender, Laraine Russo Harper gives readers a tour of the state's legal brothel industry. Find out who pays for what -- and why -- what's on the "menu" and that it's really true; some men do pay just to talk. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Stephens Press LLC; y First edition edition (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932173943
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932173949
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,582,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Neil Schulman on January 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
I briefly met the author Laraine Russo Harper in Spring 2006 when I was in pre-production for my film Lady Magdalene's which is partly set in a legal Nevada brothel, and was interested in using that brothel as a filming location. Ultimately we weren't able to film there but my production designer and I attended one of the public receptions Laraine writes about in her book and we were able to walk away from the night with lots of great ideas we used in dressing the sets and locations we did end up using.

I did a lot of research on legal Nevada brothels while writing the screenplay for Lady Magdalene's earlier in 2006, and I wish I'd had Legal Tender to read when I was doing my research. It would have saved me a lot of time.

From my own research I knew about half of what Laraine Russo Harper writes about in her book on the topic of Nevada brothels. It's the half I couldn't get at -- even by interviewing several women who'd worked as legal prostitutes in the brothels -- that makes this book so valuable.

This book is, in many ways, a psychological profile of the legal sex industry in Nevada, and you learn a lot about why Nevada appears to be different from the other 49 states in its attitudes not only about prostitution but a lot of other social issues. This book gives a clear sense of how the political consensus that makes Nevada more libertarian in its social policies than other states has been maintained in an age where social conservatism and feminist liberalism have often combined to define inter-office dating as sexual harassment, sex-for-cash as oppression of women, and where gay politics has redefined a gay lifestyle as being just fine for anyone except, apparently, Roman Catholic clergy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dave Schwartz VINE VOICE on December 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
In Legal Tender, former madam Laraine Russo Harper recounts the six years she spent running an unnamed Pahrump brothel. It's an often-amusing collection of anecdotes about her time in the sex business.

Harper was recruited to run the brothel by a friend who had been impressed by her tact and commitment as a casino host. After visiting the dingy trailers that comprised the sex palace, Harper accepted and began a thorough renovation, transforming the brothel into a full-service resort.

Most of Legal Tender revolves around Harper's struggle to bring class to the tacky brothel scene. One chapter recounts the eccentricities of various "ladies" employed in the brothel, while another discusses the foibles of the customers. It's told in a humorous vein that tends toward the sophomoric side. Also, much of the humor is at the expense of the customers, or at least their personal hygiene and fashion sense-not exactly a selling point to the potential patron.

The details of how the brothel works are interesting from many perspectives, but Harper isn't content to just tell us about life as a madam. Instead, she wants us to believe that brothels are beautiful, egalitarian oases of fulfillment: "The ladies," she writes, " did not judge a person based on their looks as we, as a society, tend to do. It was a business and everyone was a potential customer." Harper goes on about how it doesn't matter what kind of car you drive or what you do for a living: the brothel ladies are there to make you happy. Couldn't you say that about any business? I'm sure the folks at Trader Joe's don't ring up my order because they like the cut of my jib. They've got stuff to sell, and I've got money. If I didn't give them money, they wouldn't let me walk out of the store with my groceries.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Harrell on November 22, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Why I chose the four stars? I liked Laraine Harper, and how she chose to treat everyone with respect, employees and customers alike.

I purchased the Kindle version of this book, and was annoyed to no end. Every three to four pages the sentences were cut off, and I had no idea what happened. I can "imagine" what she wrote, but it's not the same thing. This was through the WHOLE BOOK. Then the next page started a new thought, and I was lost. The other person that reviewed the book purchasing the Kindle version could not have read it, having giving book a glowing review, just because she knows Mrs. Harper.

Four stars for the book. Zero stars for the Kindle version of the book. I returned the Kindle edition of book for a refund, and will buy a print copy.
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Format: Paperback
This book is awesome, My wife worked for Lorraine -post Madame, and her style of running a business is unique. She's an amazing writer and this book reflects that. She has an animal foundation now in Pahrump and this business venture reflects her passion for animals. But this book definitely a must read, reflects her passion for her then Brothel Madame life style.
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