by Darcy Steinke
Category: Fiction / General
200 pages; ISBN: 0802136648
Rating: 7/10 (Ratings explained)
I like to review undiscovered nuggets. This book, by Darcy Steinke, was originally published by Atlantic Monthly in 1992 and republished by Grove Press this year. I had my doubts when I found the book at a small bookstore in San Francisco because it`s not the type of book I usually read. I`m glad I picked it up. It is a gutsy, hard look at life when you`re twenty-five and going nowhere.
The story revolves around Jesse, a young San Francisco woman living with a bisexual man. And having tons of problems. From the outset, you get a sense that something is not right with Jesse. She is a female version of James Dean; volcanic, vulnerable, someone who is destined to a life of pain and sorrow, even death. As she sets out trying to find herself, Jesse takes us to the seedier part of the city, where she meets Madison, a washed-out blonde working in a strip joint whose toughness and murderous attitude Jesse seems attracted to.
Jesse leaves her boyfriend Bell and moves in with Madison, a self-destructive move on Jesse`s part because it sinks her deeper into the bowels of depression. Devoid of feelings, Madison doesn`t show any affection for Jesse and in fact mentally mistreats her. She makes Jesse watch the grossest sex scenes with clients.
Some of you may find the book a bit overwhelming and depressing and the ending a tad unsatisfying (nothing was resolved). But the visceral quality of the narration coupled with its noir-type scenes make the book a good read. It also takes you to places where you normally wouldn`t go. I give it a 7 rating.
Buy Suicide Blonde at amazon.co.uk
Buy Suicide Blonde at amazon.com