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Whore Paperback – November 30, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press, Black Cat (November 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802170021
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802170026
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 1.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,276,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Billed by her publisher as "literary erotica," Arcan's semi-autobiographical debut novel is an unremittingly ugly rant by a precocious, petulant daughter against the silent, bedridden mother who didn't love her enough and the devoted, God-fearing father who loved her too much. Born in a small Canadian frontier town near the border with Maine and raised in a fanatically Catholic community there, Arcan's good-girl, savagely self-destructive narrator moves to Montreal to attend college. As her studies drag on, she grows increasingly fascinated by the city's XXX shops. Without really understanding why, she answers an ad placed by a high-end escort service, takes 'Cynthia' as her whore-name and starts to make a lucrative career of her previously unprofitable self-loathing and nihilism. The novel itself is a series of hateful tirades that, although bitter, raunchy and repetitive, occasionally offer up some pointed insights. "I didn't become a whore with the first client," Cynthia explains. "No, it was long before that, during the figure skating and tap dancing of my childhood, in the fairy tales where you had to be the most beautiful and sleep yourself to distraction." In the end, though, it's impossible to feel any real sympathy for a raging misanthrope who crows with no small pride that "there's too much hate in me for a single head" or, some might argue, for a single book. Agent, Georges Borchardt.
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Customer Reviews

1.9 out of 5 stars
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Don't get me wrong.
Nick Santa Rosa
I feel that by 25-30 pages a book should have some sort of... purpose.
Amber LeClaire
There is much more interesting and entertaining things to write about.
Montgomery Kubecheski

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Nick Santa Rosa on March 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
I got to page 34 of, out of 172, before finally giving up on this piece of trash. I'm not commenting on the subject. The life of a prostitute, and how a woman chooses to become one, can be interesting. Frankly, if you want to read an entertaining and coherent account of that, pick up `The Happy Hooker', by Xaviera Hollander.

Nelly Arcan might be a talented whore. As a writer, she leaves a lot to be desired. This book is nothing but stream-of-conciousness presented as a series of run-on sentences. Don't get me wrong. A well placed and thought out run-on can be useful but, like anything, can be overdone. Arcan overdoes it by orders of magnitude.

Not to mention the constant shifts is tense and point-of-view. Have you ever tried to listen to a teen-age girl explain anything? It can make you dizzy. That's how I felt by the time I threw in the towel.

The book reads like one long excuse for her decision to become a whore. And that's a word she loves very much. Whore. She uses it constantly. Like an epithet hurled in the reader's face. She denies it, of course.

Raised by Catholic nuns, hates her mother, loves her overly pious father, lives in the shadow of her deceased sister. Naturally, she becomes a prostitution. Who wouldn't, under those circumstances?

If you must read this tripe, do so while still in the bookstore. Read the first eleven pages. You'll get everything you need by then. However, to be fair to the author, it was translated. Maybe it reads better in French.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Willard on February 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
This novel is pure narrative. If a writer was needing to hear the most basic creative writing mantra, "show don't tell," it is Nelly. Whoo Nelly. She is angry in the classic l'enfant terrible way. She performs oral so frequently on men that they blur, much like her life. She fails to devolve into specifics. The novel fails as it never escapes the confines of ranting. There are some stunning passages and I feel Arcan can write well. She could easily manouver through temporal sequences from a narrative, which is a hard skill to attain.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alyn on March 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
Holy run on sentence. One period per paragraph.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David Blanton on July 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
There is nothing to say about this monotonous, vain novel except that every page disappoints. "Whore" is loathsomely repetitive, unimaginative and, throughout, choking on its own pseudo-intellectualism. Miserable, tedius book.
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