on 2 September 1997
The main character, Carroll, is a milktoast loner, and O'Brien lets us see inside the head of the type of person most people would never get to know.
The books reads like part poetry/part confessional, and his unconventional writing only adds to the story (e.g. capitalizing "That Place"). People like Carroll are everywhere, lonely and afraid, and we probably pass them every day at work, on the streets or in the hall.
Stripper Lessons also gives us a glimpse (metaphorically speaking) at strippers, though it would have been nice to get a little more insight into those strip for a living, why they do it, how it makes them feel, and what they think of all the Carrolls they meet day after day.
on 10 February 1998
Stripper Lessons took me two places I will probably never go in real life -- a strip club and the mind of a lonely outcast. I found myself identifying with Carroll, and while Stevie never became a real flesh-and-blood person in my mind, I think she was meant to stay unreal because that's how Carroll saw her. I thought this was a poetic, moving study of one quietly desperate man's attempt to fit in, and it made me want to read other works by O'Brien.
on 24 March 1998
A perfect rendition of the life everyone lives . . . lonely, secluded, and surreal. The novel screams of O'Brien's talent to connect with the seedy and realistic side of our world. First class entertainment. Maybe it should be retitled "Life Lessons." A must read for everyone, especially O'Brien fans.
on 10 March 2015
I found this more a lesson on how to write a good book than how to strip. Repetitive and tedious at times, but this suited the style of the book. If that makes sense. I am out of my depth reviewing books this evening, but I don't want to go to bed yet. It's only 20:24.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 28 August 1997
Best thing that happened in this book, was when I closed the cover after finishing it. I was compelled to read this novel after greatly enjoying "Assualt on Tony's" which was a page-turner describing an alcoholic's downward spiral during a city riot. However, this novel's main character, Carroll, didn't even drink. Tom O'Brien was clearly dealing with unfamiliar subject matter (sobriety) and was, to put it bluntly, bad at it. Second biggest complaint: a book called "Stripper Lessons" where a bar (also non-alcholic) has naked women as the subject matter and barely a kiss took place. A story containing no sex, no drinking; describing a sad, lonely guy consumed with talking to a woman (any woman), after buying new clothes and doing his boring day job was hardly worth the time. However, I highly recommend "Assault on Tony's" which had the most incredible descriptive allure (plus drinking and sex which were his obvious area of expertise). It's hard to imagine that the same author penned these two completely diverse stories.