- 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)
35 Cents Paperback – 2 Dec 2006
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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?
Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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 :-)