- Paperback: 100 pages
- Publisher: Last Gasp (August 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0867196203
- ISBN-13: 978-0867196207
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1 x 7.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #669,785 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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RENT GIRL Paperback – August 1, 2004
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Top customer reviews
This reads like a true story and is told from the perspective of a flawed, vulnerable and entirely human prostitute. The writing is so intimate and unguarded that reading it felt almost voyeuristic. The writing is brutal, honest and beautiful. The illustrations frame the story in an equally brutal, honest and beautiful way. They serve to compliment the narrative and do not distract you from the story. It's clear to me that the illustrator and the writer shared the same vision here.
The only detractor from what I would otherwise recommend as a "must buy" is the large number of typos. I'm not sure whether this was intentional, but it was extremely distracting. The typos made the book feel a little unpolished.
Grammatically, the book is an absolute mess. Not knowing the difference between then and than, multiple misspelled words, and half the time I wasn't really sure who was supposed to be speaking. I thought the illustrations did a good job of capturing her different emotions when it came to the difference of her being with the men, and then being with the women.
Add atrocious (i.e. non-existent) editing, numerous spelling errors and the constant substitution of `than' with `then' and the picture that emerges is that of an author who appears to think that a memoir is worth reading simply because the author happens to be a part of the queer community. I am sorry, but it is not. Being self-absorbed and condescending doesn't make you a good writer, queer or not. I'd much rather read Dorothy Allison or Patrick Califia for that matter.
A shame, really, because the idea does sound good and the illustrations by Laurenn McGubbin are quite nice.
And that sounds ugly and unpleasant, but honestly, I think that's exactly what they were aiming for with this book, and they nailed it. You can't read it without taking part in its ugliness (and yes, I think this book is purposefully, consciously and conscientiously ugly).
If you're looking for something deep and soulful, this isn't it. If you're looking for titillation, this isn't it, either. If you're looking for a confessional leavened with snide and self-awareness, yes, this is exactly what you're looking for. Very slices-of-life sort of thing.
The prose was stylistically similar to Tea's other work, but more focused on the topic at hand. The author spends little time discussing her own emotions, thought processes and even her own life outside work and the people she worked with. This book is interesting not because Tea offers compelling characters or a fully developed life story, but because she explains frankly and unabashedly what prostitution is like.
Overall, it was a good read, but not as absorbing as some of her other work.