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The Last of the Live Nude Girls: A Memoir Paperback – August 9, 2011
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"The most compelling aspect of Last of the Live Nude Girls is that it illustrates just how easily one can wind up living a life outside the margins." Portland Mercury
"McClear writes about her secret peep-show existence with the ribald expertise of a natural storyteller, but it’s her deeper exploration, into the motivations behind her actions, that makes the book both memorable and highly relevant." -Daily Beast
"Sheila McClear's sharp, sweetly personal account of New York's vanished tenderloin asks the question if such supposedly degrading places are such a blight, why do we remember them with such fondness? A fascinating and honest read." Mark Jacobson, author of The Lampshade andAmerican Gangster
"McClear is most convincing and most moving, in fact, on the complex relationship between the sex trade and her own frustrated sex life." -Public Books
"Sheila McClear's beautifully detailed account of her life as a peep-show girl reads as both a eulogy and a paean to the freaks and misfits who have long given their souls to the city. Filled with psychological insight, metaphor, and above all empathy, this book should be read by anyone who has ever taken or even contemplated extreme measures to escape the pain and tedium of life, with the hope of finding some meaning or redemption along the way." Matthew Gallaway, author of The Metropolis Case
Ms. McClear’s closeness to the material most enriches her reporting when it comes to her coworkers. Despite their outsized personalities, they could have wound up sounding as interchangeable as their stage names, but with Ms. McClear’s writing, even their tattoos are memorable. Their substance abuse becomes familiar, occasionally even endearing, in a madcap way. Ms. McClear also has a keen ear for dialogue.” New York Observer
Sheila McClear is a reminder that kids can still arrive in New York City from Nowheresville and break in with some serious grit, hard work, and talent.” Out Magazine
"Everyone is required to buy two copies." Gawker
"Eye-opening, gritty, and compelling." The Paris Review Online
"A collection of disciplined and rewarding New York tales." -The L Magazine
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
With zero money and zero prospects in the big city, and having failed to find work as a waitress, barista, or telemarketer, McClear answered a Craigslist ad for dancers, and failed at lapdancing because it required too much socializing. It was easier to get in the box at the peep shows. The deal is, there is the woman in a closet-sized booth with a big glass window. There are curtains or other devices to obscure the view from the customer until he pays. Send money through the slot and the curtain gets raised for a few minutes.Read more ›
For that reason alone, this book is valuable -- just to get into the mind set of why a young, intelligent woman would take up this lifestyle. McClear explains that and so much more in clear, engaging prose that draws you into a world most of us would shun. It is dark, sometimes depressing, funny, touching -- in short, the gamut of human emotions.
Her writing seems to grow as the book unfolds until the last few paragraphs which are absolutely entrancing. I'm glad she made her way out of there to a lifestyle she might have thought impossible back then.
Now a writer for the New York Post, Ms. McClear has put together a book which brings the world she formerly lived in to the curious reader, especially those who walked past those establishments often but never really understood what they were about or the way the job impacted the women and distorted their worldview.
So well written that I couldn't put stop reading, I soon identified with the author as she changed into a street smart victim of this unique lifestyle. Nobody forced her to do this. She made her choices herself. And, for a while she enjoyed it but was wise enough to leave when she saw the effect it had her.
There are also sections of the book about this sleaze business in general and the history of the politics of New York regarding this kind of entertainment. I loved this book and heartily recommend it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed The Last of the Lie Nude Girl by Sheila McClear very much! It is not something I would ordinarily read, but found this to be very interesting and had trouble putting it... Read morePublished on February 25, 2014 by Kevin Brown
The Last of the Live Nude Girls is a beautifully written tale of a life in the underground economy of New York. Read morePublished on October 1, 2013 by Christopher E. Baud
This isn't one of "those" books about sex work - it's more of a concise workplace drama, plus insights into the writer's life as she struggles to figure out what kind of person she... Read morePublished on June 11, 2013 by Rosie
This book was recommended by a co-worker, amazon allowed me to purchase and read it and materially participate in a discussion of female sexualization in the modern worldPublished on January 12, 2013 by Ananda S. Keator
Sheila McClear tells a great personal story. The pacing is fast; chapters are short and punchy. There's suspense as you come to care for her as a character facing the risks of her... Read morePublished on October 5, 2012 by bookhungry
The writing is uneven, at times even poorly edited. I didn't read an advanced copy and yet several times there were sentences repeated. Read morePublished on January 7, 2012 by Lynda