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.
Probably one of the most intense books of it's kind ever sice "Achild called It"