Probably one of the most intense books of it's kind ever sice "Achild called It"
Knowing that JT LeRoy
is really a 39-year-old mother originally from Brooklyn
didn't make me enjoy this book any less than The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things
. (I had read the latter before learning anything about the "gender-bending West Virginian jailbait lot lizard.") But this one had less of an impact on me, as I felt I'd heard it all before--both books are very similar. The dishes served at the Doves diner sure made me laugh, though!
I was apprehensive about getting this book because of the hoax perpetuated by the author, "J.T. Leroy." What can I say? Knowing this woman is capitalizing on what everyone believed was a real childhood rife with sexual abuse, child endangerment, and drug use just left a bad taste in my mouth. I was still curious however, and decided to get it off PBS.
I was quite shocked to find I really, really liked it. It's a very quick read (I finished it in 2 days) but it's very entertaining and the characters and crazy situations they get into are interesting, sad and sometimes even funny. I was especially fond of the gun-toting geisha boy Pie and the sexy cheerleader Sundae. They made a very cool team when they went to rescue "Sarah" a.k.a. Cherry Vanilla from the evil Le Loup :-) the story itself is fast-paced and borders on magical realism, and the dialogue is replete with all these colorful Southern sayings. I'd also have to disagree with a previous reviewer who said that "The Heart is Deceitful..." was better. "Sarah" elicited a variety of emotions in me, whereas "The Heart..." just made me feel uncomfortable. I heard this book was also slated to become a movie, but was ditched after the truth of Leroy's identity was discovered. That's too bad, as I think this would've been a really cool, campy film, right up there next to "Rocky Horror Picture Show" or "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert."
So anyway, this is a really awesome book and I highly recommend it. I don't recommend however, that you buy a new copy. Try to get it from PBS or the library. As much as I enjoy Leroy's works, I don't enjoy the thought that this delusional psycho nutbag is cashing a royalty check with her crazy lies.
This book is a work of fiction; it's written by a 40-year-old woman posing as a teen transsexual. It's okay -- I bought it after the James Frey mishap. The fiction is creative, but it isn't true. Judge for yourself, heh.
Definitely not your average book, with it's off color subject matter. It was definitely a pretty good read. Not as good as Pimp though. Certainly not disapointed I read it.
I had to stop at the 5th page. Not at all my type of book.
Who would have thought that there were so many truckstop devotees of cross-dressing children in West Virginia? In this disturbing debut novel by 19-year-old LeRoy, they appear to be everywhere. The narrator, a 12-year-old boy, has renamed himself Sarah after his whorish mother because he has learned from her example that "Most anything you want in this world is easier when you're a pretty girl." Following in her footsteps, he plies his trade at the Doves, a truckstop/gourmet restaurant run by Glad, a despotic pimp with a heart of gold. When his mother rejects him, Sarah runs away from the Doves and finds his way to the hellish Three Crutches, a rival truckstop run by the evil Le Loup. Taken for a girl, and then advertised as Saint Sarah in a money-making ploy by Le Loup, Sarah is expected to bless truckers and then walk on water. Will these experiences convince Sarah to resume the life of a full-time boy? And will he discover that there's no place like home? Sometimes Sarah's masochistic attention-getting strategies and desperate need to be loved are genuinely moving, but the freak-show world LeRoy conjures up never quite gels.
I know that LeRoy has a big underground following (even if he's not real) but Sarah was too much for me. It just felt like a Heart is Deceitful.2 or something. I think Sarah came out first but wasn't done as well. The entire time I was like-are you serious? Ya know, cuz its based on his life.