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Whore Paperback – November 30, 2004
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About the Author
Novelist, translator, and essayist Bruce Benderson is the author of a memoir, "The Romanian: Story of an Obsession", winner of France's prestigious Prix de Flore in French translation, and "Pacific Agony" (Semiotext(e), 2009.)
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
The actions of the narrator's parents are characterized as even more caustic and psychologically brutal than those of her clients. In fact, a number of times she concedes the positive aspects (if one can call them that) of her profession, while the tirades against her parents continue unabated.
Other topics mentioned in the novel are;
the lives of prostitutes are, on average, no more dangerous than workers in other professions.
the character debunks psychiatry and highlights the ridiculousness of assuming one can know the true feelings, motivations and fears of another person.
These and other ideas are overshadowed by the long, stream of consciousness paragraphs with plenty of commas. This writing style can be difficult to endure, especially with the topic matter, but it merits reading if only to challenge many common beliefs regarding human interaction, whether it is sex for money or parental responsibility or the adolescent's journey to adulthood.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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... Read morePublished on July 9, 2005 by David Blanton
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. Read morePublished on February 17, 2005 by Thomas Willard