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The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things Paperback – 20 Aug 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing plc (20 Aug. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747554234
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747554233
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 1.3 x 12.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 153,269 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'Not for the fainthearted, these few raw pages constitute a breathtaking debut.' Guardian; 'Extraordinary - LeRoy writes with astonishing flair and confidence...' Sunday Telegraph; '...impossible to forget.' New Statesman; '...a wonderfully executed journey into strange and unforgettable territory.' Big Issue; '...a beautiful, scary, sad and funny book.' The Face; 'Priscilla Queen of the Desert meets William Burroughs.' Esquire

About the Author

J.T. LeRoy was born in 1980. First published at the age of sixteen, he has since published articles and stories in Spin, Nerve, NY Press, and several anthologies, under the pseudonym Terminator. He lives in San Francisco.

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First Sentence
HIS LONG WHITE buck teeth hang out from a smile, like a wolf dog. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Nick on 22 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
Ha! Since I first wrote an amazon review of this, 'JT Leroy' has been 'outed' as a made-up front for a husband and wife writing team who pulled off a scam that got bigger than they ever expected. IT DOESN'T MATTER. Real person or not, autobiographical fiction or entirely made-up, 'his' writing, in this collection and the possibly even better novel "Sarah", is far too raw not to be, at least on some level, truthful. Even if 'his' subject matters - abuse, gender confusion, child whoredom, desperacy for love - weren't so inflammatory, the language and vividness of spirit would still make these books blistering reads.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. Hercberg on 15 Jun. 2006
Format: Paperback
I haven't actually bought this book but I borrowed it from my library, doing the usual picking a book by its cover.

At first I thought this book was going nowhere but I actually couldn't put the book down. It was immensly moving, had me in tears at some points. The characters may seem a little melodramatic however they are relatable to. Although at some points I found the story a little jumpy and confusing, carry on reading and it makes it more sense. I found it thoroughly enjoyable. The story is very shocking though, and the innocent minded may not like it.

I was unaware the book was a cult classic but after reading it I can see why.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "chazzie92" on 4 Nov. 2005
Format: Paperback
I decided to read this book when I found out about the movie of it on a different website and I am glad I did. I couldn't put this book down and is definitely worth reading! I will probably end up reading this book again and I completely reccomend it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Laura Dyer on 3 May 2006
Format: Paperback
I don't like violence and a lot of the stuff contained in this book but I loved reading this book. It was so compelling and written from a child's perspective, some questions go unanswered but isn't it rare that you get to see the full picture. I don't care if JT Leroy exists or not, this book is amazing and the film stayed so true to it as well. You should read this book if you have any inclination!
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By Dr R TOP 500 REVIEWER on 10 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback
I read this book without being aware of the story behind its `author', now identified as Laura Albert, b. 1965. It covers somewhat similar ground to that of the supposed `semi-autobiographical novel', Sarah. Reading about the backlash that followed Ms Albert's `outing' in 2005 and the subsequent adaptation of this book by the Italian film director, Asia Argento [who also took the role of Sarah], it is difficult not to conclude that much of the former was a result of the media's embarrassment at being duped.

Through a series of largely chronological interlocking chapters, the reader is led through the life of Jeremiah who is first encountered as a four-year old who has been recovered from his loving foster parents by legal action taken by his disturbed biological mother, the teenage Sarah [`Nobody takes what's mine'], and her father, an Evangelical fanatic. His concern is not for Sarah, whom he hates, or his grandson, whom he believes is troubled by the devil, but simply to remove him from the protection of the state.

Sarah, who might define the term `white trash', abuses Jeremiah mentally [she convinces him that the foster parents hate him and that the police will `nail you to a cross' if he misbehaves], physically [burning him and knocking him unconscious] and sexually, as do the many `daddys' that she lives with. His grandfather beats and tortures him to exorcise his devils and make him repent. Only occasionally, and unsuccessfully, does the boy fall into the hands of external characters, doctors, nurses, policemen and social workers but in each case he is soon back with his family - no one caring how his injuries were caused.

As the book progresses, Sarah becomes more depraved, seeking solace in drink, drugs and more violent abuse, until she is finally sectioned.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
When I read 'Sarah' last autumn, I was quite taken by the simplicity with which it was told. It's straightforward story, J.T.'s reality retold in simple prose, it's grittiness was mainly sad, but over all, when I finished reading, I thought, "Ah, and he became a writer. Excellent." Not much else I'm afraid, whilst I enjoyed the style, and the pace, the story was well told, but left little to think about. Sad life, yes. Book of consecuence, barely. However, I've just finished "The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things", and can only say one thing. Breathtaking. Again, J.T. sticks with his simple prose, but this time explores other aspects of his persona, things that, I daresay affect him still as a result of his past. Whilst 'Sarah' made me think, 'The Heart...' made me gasp at times, it's content is sometimes shocking, definitely disturbing, but extremely witty and honest. Beautiful. Read it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Pike on 28 Jun. 2006
Format: Paperback
whether J.T.LeRoy exists or not, you cannot deny this beautiful piece of literature. Its descritption of the protagonistchild jermeiahs life gives you a real insight to his real or fictional childhood.

Jeremiahs story is one unlike other child abuse auto biographies, just by the way that you can see every aspect of jeremiahs feelings, his relationship with others around him, whihc would still be as realsitic without the violence.

I was literlaly in tears by the end page, after reading about his whole life, and what had led up to the adult he becomes
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