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35 Cents Paperback – 2 Dec 2006

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Suspect Thoughts Press (2 Dec. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977158225
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977158225
  • Product Dimensions: 21.7 x 14.2 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,268,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


A straight young hustler finds family in south Florida's gay community. A straight, young, white hustler makes 35 cents when he turns his first trick at 13 years of age. As he hustles his way through the South Florida gay community and juvenile detention system in the late 1980s, his life on the edge begs the questions: will he find home? Will he find love?

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I found this little gem in a gay bookstore in Brighton, and I don't really remember why I bought it. Ok, so I do, I bought it because I didn't want to walk up to the counter with *only* a naughty DVD. But I still don't know why I chose *this* book, it must have been the cover, or the nice sounding name of the author.
All that aside, this book had me completely hooked from the start. It's basically about the author's struggles with sexuality, drugs, and learning from the people he meets. This book will make you laugh, it'll probably make you cry, bits of it may turn you on a little, and bits of it will do quite the opposite.
I wouldn't call this a gay book, or a gay person's book, I think anyone with even a modestly liberal attitude to sexuality, and drugs, and hustling, will find this a fascinating, and enjoyable read.
Full marks from me!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
To be honest I don't know what to say about this book. It's a fascinating read. I just wanted Matty (author) to stop saying okay when he was asked if he wanted ????. I loved it when he got his life sorted and said "No drugs, no hustling, Na da!!"

To quote part of the back of the book "35 cents is the story of a straight young white boy growing up and coming of age as he hustles his way through both the gay community and the juvenile detention system of South Florida in the late 1980s. It's also the amount he made when he turned his first trick at 13. Will he find a home? Will he find love? All it costs is 35 cents.

This book was recommended to me and I'm pleased it was. I'm now thinking of seeing if any of the other books mentioned are available - I know Giovanni's Room is.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x95f0c804) out of 5 stars 13 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x961448ac) out of 5 stars The Real Deal. 1 Nov. 2007
By Clint Catalyst - Published on
Format: Paperback
Cottonmouth Kisses

Remember that con-artist, that literary construct of a tortured boy Laura Albert gave the name J.T. as if "The Leroy Syndrome" were another terminal illness? In the span of a few years, this increasingly tortured creature of myth festered from a truck stop prostitute into a full-blown media monstrosity whose stories spun more out of control than the crackled sparkle of a majorette's baton: suddenly "he" had full-blown AIDS; then "he" began to remember that he was also forced into starring in child pornography, ad nauseum?

Well: no, Virginia--I hate to break the news, but there is no J.T. Leroy...just as there is no Santa Claus.

There *is*, however, a brilliant and beautiful underrated memoirist named Matty Lee whose prose beats with the same pure intent as his heart, and whose debut release 35 Cents is precisely what it purports to be: a shattered account of a handsome boy's life who hustled his way through juvie and midnight streets, through the front seats of johns and the backward ways he developed into the straight-up talent the author is today.

It's been almost a year since I finished this humble confessional, yet sometimes passages from its pages will come to mind and tap me on the shoulder when I least expect it: rough-edged little reminders that it's something bigger than I initially thought it to be.

All flowery descriptions pushed aside, here's the deal:

I love love love this book.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96144930) out of 5 stars Refreshing, insightful autobiography of a teen hustler 2 Nov. 2006
By Bob Lind - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's no secret that Matty Lee's abusive childhood (alcoholic and physically abusive father, ineffective and emotionally-distant mother who left him) led him to a life on the streets, earning what he could starting at age 13 (The title reflects his first "pay" from a pedophile) and learning how to survive by cultivating friendships with gay men. In this autobiography, his first book, Matty is also quick to tell you he doesn't consider himself a victim, but attributes his life to a series of choices he made on his own, knowing full well the likely consequences of those actions.

That's one of the three main points that I found refreshing in this book, the others being his honesty about his drug use (and frequent attempts at rehab) and that he considered himself gay for his entire adolescence, simply because he was surrounded by gay men who seemed to appreciate him, and he enjoyed that validation. At the same time, his mother's aloofness and his lack of experience in dealing with girls and women made him afraid of women, although his sexual fantasies were primarily heterosexual. In retrospect, he thanks the gay men who took care of him and tried to instill in him the social graces and a sense of responsibility, and portrays his sordid adolescence as a learning experience that enabled him to overcome his problems and become a functional, literate adult.

Given the nature of the experiences being portrayed, "35 Cents" is occasionally sexually explicit, but never without reason or in any attempt to be erotic. It's an amazing, well-written and insightful story of a survivor who generously credits others for helping him succeed.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x960cdd98) out of 5 stars Funny/Touching and Ultimately Triumphant 22 Mar. 2008
By Johnnie Terry - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I received this book in the mail and finished it in one day. The author's personality comes through in his prose and he's someone to know. His experiences range from terrifying to amusing to fun, and his journey is ultimately to find out who is his and who he wants to be. He crosses many boundaries, opens Pandora's box, transgresses social limits and we, his readers, are all the better for it. At the same time, he comes close to boundaries that he refuses to cross though he has tremendous sympathy for a friend who did. This book is about humanity, finding love where it is available and learning rather than regretting. Mattie has an amazing ability as a straight man....the ability to fall in love with other men and the gift of being able to see pain even in the eyes of those who have used him. This was a fantastic read. I don't think that I'll soon forget it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96146f0c) out of 5 stars touching, gritty and charming read 6 Jan. 2007
By CL - Published on
Format: Paperback
I just picked up this book and couldn't put it down. It's a great, pretty quick read. The author doesn't beat around the bush when dealing with his hustling background. He gives one of the most honest, real, gritty, touching, and charming accounts of what it's like to fall into the hustling world and come out with your chin held high. I imagine Mr. Lee being a very charming person in real life since his writing has such charm. I found myself liking him as a protagonist from the very beginning.

This is an important book for both gay and straight audiences. His refusal to be restrained by sometimes oppressing labels should be applauded. It's too bad more ppl aren't so willing to talk about the fluid nature of sexuality.

Go read this book :-)
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x962043f0) out of 5 stars Fabulous! 30 Jan. 2007
By misscandi - Published on
Format: Paperback
Matty Lee's "35 cents" is just brillant! Painful to read at times yet at the same time, so inspiring and hopeful! I grew up in Miami Beach as well though I was playing with Barbies while Matty was well, you read the book! I honestly had NO idea that these types of encounters were lurking so close to my sheltered Jewish suburban upbringing! The author truly shows that when life throws you lemons, make a Lemondrop! I loved this Book!!
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