Sunday, April 7, 2013
G63 E-Reading Yearnings for Nothings and Nobodies
Author: Rachael Biggs
First copyright date: 2012
Type of book: Sex industry, fame, seeking love, mysteries, trying to listen to inner you
General subject matter: abandonment, strained relationship between mother and daughter, Canada, 1980s?-2000s? sex industry
Special features: None
Price: on amazon about $14.99?
A story about wanting change so badly your teeth itch.
When an eleven-year-old girl finds her drug addicted and mentally ill mother after a seven year seperation, she hopes the yearning can finally cease. Instead, a cycle of painfully familiar longing envelops her, until she is freed by losing what she never had.
Darkly humorous tales of dropping acid with the town pedophile, playing pool with gun-toting pimps and spending time in Japanese prison cells with strippers and refugees, are sewn together with poignant emotion in this edgy but relatable coming of age story.
I personally think she had a two-fold purpose in writing the book; one is perhaps to gather the memories that are lost (I noticed that the book felt and seemed incomplete.) The readers are given brief memories and glimpses of the mother, and few of her early life, but for me, personally, they didn't feel enough. Another purpose, since she spent almost all the book discussing this career choice, is how she ended up an exotic dancer and what its truly like deep inside.
a. Why did the author write on this subject rather than on some other subject?
I think its to show how important parental relationships are to the well-being of little girls, both with dads and moms, and also to deglamorize being an exotic dancer.
b. From what point of view is the work written?
This is written from Rachael's point of view, a first person narrative. The story doesn't feel complete in my view and more should have been written. (At this point I am left wondering if the author plans to continue writing the books...)
c. Was the author trying to give information, to explain something technical, to convince the reader of a belief’s validity by dramatizing it in action?
Although I would go with trying to give information, but my instinct tells me that she's trying to convince reader of a belief's validity by dramatizing it in action. I don't doubt that she lived through it and somehow made it out, but when reading the book, keep few things in mind; the author never conducted interviews with friends or family members, and the information she knows comes from personal experiences, thus I don't sense a lot of book research.
d. What is the general field or genre, and how does the book fit into it? (Use outside sources to familiarize yourself with the field, if necessary.) Knowledge of the genre means understanding the art form. and how it functions.
The general field or genre of the book would be a memoir, non-fiction, but unlike typical memoirs which either have scholars or are professional looking, this is a memoir clearly of Rachael's memories and of life. There aren't interviews with friends or family members, no other side of the story intrudes with her memories. We see and experience and things primarily from her and not anyone else. (She mentions that a case goes all the way to Canadian Supreme Court, but she doesn't elaborate or explain it at all.) I also think this book would fit into the importance of parent-child relationships and what happens if they're not there.
e. Who is the intended audience?
If there was a turning point and sort of a Hollywood type ending for Rachael recorded in the book, I would say the intended audience would be for women like her. But the book lacks that "Hollywood" ending and although there is a turning point towards the very end of the book, the readers aren't told what happened to Rachael after that particular event. I think the intended audience would have to be girls who are wanting to be exotic dancers, her family members and friends, perhaps, and for parents who have daughters.
f. What is the author's style? Is it formal or informal? Evaluate the quality of the writing style by using some of the following standards: coherence, clarity, originality, forcefulness, correct use of technical words, conciseness, fullness of development, fluidity. Does it suit the intended audience?
The style tends to be informal in my opinion, with hints of sarcasm and unexpected funny moments (my favorite one would be this quote "It is a good thing I didn't receive any of the fame I later strived for, because there a lot of photos out there of me towering naked over a five-foot Asian man in a suite and tie that might really horrify my evangelical Christian fans." (133 of my e-reader.) To an extent, if she wrote this for her friends and family members on why she is the way she is, the book does suit them.
g. Scan the Table of Contents, it can help understand how the book is organized and will aid in determining the author's main ideas and how they are developed - chronologically, topically, etc.
The book starts in 2005 or 2004 when her mother passed away, and then it goes back to perhaps late 1980s early 1990s and begins in discussing her yearning for the mother, her disappointment with mother and how and why she turned to drugs, sex and exotic dancing. What the book neglects to cover is the "denouement" of her life, how and why she decided to be an author and how she got out of being an exotic dancer, one hopes.
g. How did the book affect you? Were any previous ideas you had on the subject changed, abandoned, or reinforced due to this book? How is the book related to your own course or personal agenda? What personal experiences you've had relate to the subject?
I enjoyed reading the book, but couldn't relate much to the subject matter, sorry to say. Only part I could relate to is wanting to feel loved (daddy issues in my case) and trying to start things with guys a little too early than I should. I had an impression that being an exotic dancer and whatnot is pretty simple, but she showed a complicated side of it, and how more goes into it rather than simply stripping and dancing and getting naked for strangers.
h. How well has the book achieved its goal?
With this one in particular I'm not sure, but if she decides to write future books, then it will be easier to tell.
i. Would you recommend this book or article to others? Why?
I would recommend this book to others because it tends to be realistic and when it comes to sex industry she has interesting insights and knows what she's talking about, as well as what can lack of relationships do to the children.
a. Theme: The theme is the subject or topic. It is not necessarily the title, and it is usually not expressed in a complete sentence. It expresses a specific phase of the general subject matter.
How actions and appearances change the life of someone either for better or worse.
b. Thesis: The thesis is an author’s generalization about the theme, the author’s beliefs about something important, the book’s philosophical conclusion, or the proposition the author means to prove. Express it without metaphor or other figurative language, in one declarative sentence.
How Rachael's mother's actions and ideas influenced Rachael to become the way she is and how they encouraged her to become promiscuous and an exotic dancer.
Quick notes: I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read and review the book.
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)