Sarah Hardcover – 1 Apr 2000
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A deft and imaginative...novel (New York Times Book Review)
LeRoy's work is a startling achievement in his accelerating mastery of the literary form (Publishers Weekly)
Extraordinarily, LeRoy manages to lace this story with tenderness and humour. Not for the fainthearted, these few raw pages constitute a breathtaking debut (Guardian)
Sarah has a strong seductive quality, and it is impossible to forget. LeRoy's ability to present trauma and tenderness simultaneously is entirely his own. 'This book is nothing short of a miracle,' LeRoy has said. I have to agree (New Statesman)
Extraordinary. LeRoy writes with astonishing flair and confidence, making Sarah a very impressive debut indeed (Sunday Telegraph)
Sarah is surprising, upsetting, offensive, and fun. It's everything a good read - or good sex for that matter - should be (Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club)
Like a cross between Nathanael West and Mark Twain, drunk out of their minds and collaborating on Charlie's Angels meets The Headless Horseman - Sarah is a wildly comic tour de force and a brilliant debut (Mary Gaitskill, author of Two Girls, Fat and Thin)
JT LeRoy is one of the most interesting, passionate and gifted of writers, very few have his heart and courage. I admire his writing tremendously (Lou Reed (The Velvet Underground))
LeRoy brushed achingly close to duplicating Genet's legerdemain - mythologizing self-abasement so as to transform it into glorious apotheosis (New York Times)
I have just finished reading Sarah and found it incredible, very moving, very sad and very beautiful (PJ Harvey)
Sarah is weird, darkly funny and haunting. JT LeRoy has a gift, to be able to articulate his world so clearly and astringently, with grace and humor, but without glossing over the pain and brutality of it (Suzanne Vega)
Remarkable (Diva magazine) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
A reissue of the bestselling novel by JT LeRoy/Laura Albert - published to coincide with the new Jeff Feuerzeig documentary: Author: The JT LeRoy Story, which will have a theatrical release in July 2016. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The book never strays into the sentimental formula of the usual 'other-than-heterosexual' novel. LeRoy writes without the usual agenda associated with trans-gender/trans-sexual literature. He concentrates on narrative rather than clichéd politics, and weaves an oblique little fantasy that envelopes from the first sentence to the last. His is a world where an ultra modern, ultra savvy Dorothy enters a perverse land of Oz, surviving on guile and - despite the squalor and depravity he/she is forced to endure - a peculiar and endearing sort of innocence.
His ear is acute to the rhythms of the region he describes. Each character breathes a kind of fire from the page. The lonely and the desperate resort to all manner of subterfuge to disguise their predicaments, but their real natures come across in the delicate way LeRoy describes them.
What could be an unremittingly bleak little novel is peppered with great comic moments and a pathos that never strays into the mawkish. LeRoy is a fearsome writer whose reputation will continue to grow far beyond this debut.
The book, although dealing with a very disturbing subject, avoids being too graphic early on and the humour helps to dilute the nastiness of the situation Cherry/Sarah/Sam is in. The story is fairly simplistic - a naive child frustrated by being held back by those trying to look out for her (relatively speaking) inadvertantly wanders into a much more dangerous situation. There then follows a battle of sorts between good (again relatively speaking) and evil. The story then takes on elements of religeous fanaticism and charlatanisem before it becomes nastier in feel as Charry/Sarah/Sam's situation really worsens.
I feel the author has shot herself in the foot by not just admitting it was a work of fiction. Had she admitted it was fiction it is possible that this book would have become a cult classic over time. I think the problem with her claims that JT Leroy was real and the subsequent charade that ensued left people feeling cheated and foolish and no one likes to feel like that (look at the tags in on the US Amazon site - scam, faker, lame, dishonest). I also think the publicity brought many people to this book who would not have normally read a book like this with such a subject matter.Read more ›
Sarah, Cherry Vanilla or Sam are all one and the same person, who he or she is depends on the situation and environment they find themselves in. Sometimes she is the pretty little girl mirage, sometimes she is the raunchy cherry on the top of the sexual sundae and towards the end he is just himself.
For Sarah/Sam everything he does leads back to Sarah the mother and Sarah the hooker. There is a constant need for acceptance, love and acknowledgement. The neglected child resurfaces over and over again, despite the fact the mother doesn’t acknowledge their biological relationship.
A sleazy tale of abuse via Sarah’s johns emerges, which eventually leads to him working in the same industry as her. As a reader I felt pity for the behaviour he has to endure. He is so desperate for any kind of attention from her that he even misses the insults when she is gone. A sad little boy who only knows the affection of truckers in need of sexual gratification.
It is a bit of an oddball read, but I really enjoyed it. LeRoy is a breath of fresh air, albeit one that is tainted by the sordid world of prostitution.
Unlike many other reviewers my review is based solely on the book I have read and not on the bizarre story of the pseudo writer and the actual writer behind the pseudonym.
*I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.*
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Purchased for a friend after reading it myself. They don't know what to make of it...! Top marks.Published 7 months ago by M. F. Tarrant
Visceral and sometimes brutal, but never lacking in compassion and warmth. An experience unlike any other and characters that seem still to exist.Published 11 months ago by Lara Williams
Never arrived . Not happy as was looking for this book for ages. . I want to order it again but worried it wont arrive againPublished on 1 Jun. 2014 by stacey paterson
read the face interview with this autur many moons ago and so bought and read Sarah
quite quite dark in parts but also cripping and full of quirky-adventure... Read more
The book is about a yong (& under-aged) male prostitute. He has led a tough life with his junkie mother, but begins to make money from selling his body. Read morePublished on 14 Oct. 2008 by Claire Frances
I could not put this book down. Though at times I was overcome by great sadness, it was a truly enchanting book. Read morePublished on 26 Jun. 2002