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The Losers Club: Complete Restored Edition! Paperback – May 15, 2005

4.0 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A story of youth, very well told, and it dwells in the mind long after a reader finishes it." -- Joanne Greenberg, author: I NEVER PROMISED YOU A ROSE GARDEN

"A very beautiful valentine to a time and place almost faded from existence." -- Mary Gaitskill, author: BAD BEHAVIOR, BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO

"Along with all its flamboyant extremes...an appealingly old fashioned love story at its core." -- Madison Smartt Bell, author: ALL SOULS' RISING, TEN INDIANS

"I couldn’t put it down. It’s a brave book with a great deal of heart." -- Poppy Z. Brite, author: LOST SOULS, LIQUOR: A NOVEL

"It is a book to be savored." -- Tim Sandlin, author: SORROW FLOATS, SOCIAL BLUNDERS

From the Publisher

COMPLETE RESTORED EDITION! 100 pages longer: 30 new and restored chapters! Plus: Special Author Interview! Book Group Questions! Special Insider's Glossary! In the tradition of HIGH FIDELITY, this comic novel of modern relationships, set in pre-9/11 downtown New York City, tells the story of an unlucky writer addicted to the personals.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Ludlow Press (May 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971341559
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971341555
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,553,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
One of the more unique novels to come out of the literary underground is Richard Perez's "Losers' Club," a captivating little novel about love, writing, clubs, and New York in the mid-90s. Gritty and edgy, it's also darkly funny (even hilarious). And in a peculiar way, very sweet and romantic.

Martin Sierra is a lonely aspiring writer in a dull, uninspiring job. He's searching for a woman he can talk to, a friend as well as a lover. And he has met that woman -- and she is Nikki, a bisexual gal struggling through the end of a dying lesbian relationship. They hang around the glittering clubs and bars of New York's nightlife, perfectly in sync, except for Nikki's lingering sense of guilt that she shouldn't be growing so close to Marty.

Marty's addiction to the personal ads reaps a pair of promising responses: Lola, full of rage and anger, and with a disturbing personal life; and Amaris, a gothic "creature of the night" with morbid interests (she once let a vampire gal suck her bleeding finger), and who has flings with the students she teaches. Martin's professional and personal life takes several strange twists, leading him to where he should have gone all along.

The New York of "Losers' Club" is a stained semiprecious stone. A superficial glittering mass of bars and clubs, full of people who expect no more from it. The inhabitants are all at least a little loserish, but intriguingly so (say what you will about Amaris, she ain't boring!). Transsexuals, goths and vampires, angry artists, frustrated writers, guys on eighteen-inch-glow-in-the-dark platform shoes, and some people who just like to hang out and watch Andy Warhol flicks.
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Format: Paperback
Honestly, I purchased this with A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby, expecting this to be the lesser novel, but as it turns out I enjoyed it more. Was it the British vernacular that got on my nerves after a while? I can't say for sure.
Okay, about The Loser's Club: Complete Restored Whatever. It's a bohemian/coming-of-age novel of sorts that brings to mind a number of books: Hornby's High Fidelity, Carrol's Basketball Diaries, Miller's Tropic of Cancer, while being unique to itself.
As the novel begins, the protagonist appears to be in a late-twenty-something crises. Hating his wage-slave job and without a significant other, he's starting to agonize over his life choices. Wallowing in a crises of faith, he is beginning to realize he's truly lost. Martin is a poet and writer, who remains unpublished, and each day in plucking rejection letters from his mailbox, he is reminded of his invisibility and insignificance.
Only Nikki, his best friend, appears to have faith in him, bolstering Martin as he continues to lose heart. In this, the reader begins to understand how Nikki becomes the center of his universe. She, too, is a writer, someone who "understands." She not only provides emotional support, and something of a social education, but hope. So, why aren't these two very compatible people together? Life offers a myriad of complications. And apparently Nikki is involved in an ambiguous relationship with "Mariella," another woman.
At Nikki's prodding Martin involves himself with the downtown personal ads. As the setting is New York City in the late 1990s, these are printed ads in a local newspaper. Martin's involvement with the ads, his neurotic dependence on them, takes up most of the novel.
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Format: Paperback
This is a "guy" relationship book. Martin Sierra, an unpublished poet who idolizes Bukowski, can't catch a break. Nearing the age of 30, he's still desperately clinging to his dream of being a writer, though all he has to show for his efforts, so far, is a mountain of rejection letters. Unlike a Bukowski character, however, Martin is the sensitive, shy type; so along with his lack of literary success, his dead end "non-career," he can't find a date. His best and maybe only friend is a woman who takes on the big sister role, advising him as he tries to negotiate the surreal world of personal ads and the downtown singles scene.
The format reminded me a little of Fante's "Ask The Dust." Short chapters, lively characters, and a willful main character made this an entertaining read. Parts reminded me of "High Fidelity," and "Sex Lies and videotape." I enjoyed this fun book.
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Format: Paperback
I'll start off by saying I enjoy urban love stories. Primarily, The Losers Club is doomed love story. It's also, strangely, a comedy.

Martin Sierra, is a young writer wanna-be, of some promise, who is slowly realizing that the "idea" of being a writer is better than the reality of it.

What is the reality of it? Rejection. And disdain. Constant and daily. No community. No comfort. No support.

With a "mountain of rejection letters" in his studio, threatening to consume him, Martin takes solace with the image of Charles Bukowski, patron saint of losers and outcasts. He also takes solace in New York's East Village, and in his friendship with Nikki, a gal and like-minded soul he met through the downtown personals.
Martin is obviously in love with Nikki, who is involved in an on-again, off-again relationship with another woman. Feeling somewhat rejected by her at one point, in his boredom and despair, Martin tries to lose himself in the downtown personals, becoming neurotically dependent, even addicted to them.
We meet Lola, an East Village painter and madcap neurotic. We meet Amaris, a single mother and party-girl, who is in the "Looking For Mr. Goodbar" stage of her life, rediscovering her sexuality following her recent failed marriage.
Along the way, the book is a kind of portrait of a time and place. Perez writes with very specific knowledge of the hangouts and clubs of the day, and some of the descriptions of the East Village in the book constitute some of the best writing.

I enjoyed this novel. The chapters are short and the narrative is lively and sometimes furiously energetic. The "restored edition" also features a glossary of "Spanish insults" in the back, for Spanish curse words appearing throughout the book.
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