Sunday, January 21, 2007

Tuffy's Book Club: "Candy Girl"

Welcome to the debut of the Tuffy Book Club!

The first piece of literature on our docket is "Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper" by Diablo Cody.

Cody, not her real name (somewhat obviously), is a 21st Century success story. Toiling in obscurity in a series of "square" and soul-crushing pseudo-corporate jobs, Cody went on a dissociative fugue of sorts, quitting the mind-numbing monotony of the cube farm to join to dark and enigmatic culture of clothing-optional entertainment. She emerged from her year of subversion with a hit website (found in its new, tamer incarnation at http://blogs.citypages.com/dcody/), a steady editorial position at the City Pages, several screenplay opportunities, and, of course, a book deal.

Overtly, Cody's tome advertises itself to those curious about the world of nude female entertaining. And, for this audience, Cody does not disappoint. The reader is taken on a roughly 365-day tour of strip clubs, peep shows, and the phone sex trade in our fair Midwestern metropolis.

However, Cody's memoir is infinitely more entertaining and enlightening when creatively, touchingly and endearingly engaging in topics not advertised.

To wit, to a large extent, this story of one of a woman trying to support a non-traditional family in a city largely foreign to her while also mothering a daughter not her own. Oh, and Cody met her domestic partner on-line, too. This familial reality, in itself, could be the foundation of another (completely different) novel.

Cody also challenges the reader to step outside of the norm and envision their world completely turned upside-down. She holds a mirror to our faces and makes us examine our carefully planned and precisely executed day-to-day existence. If you are comfortable with who you are, the novel will not affect you on this level. However, if you feel anywhere near the mental location that Cody found herself, such will undoubtedly be the context of internal debates stretching into the near future.

While exposing the often seedy underbelly of the sometimes non-intercourse sex trade, Cody also exposes the often seedy underbelly of the Twin Cities themselves. The author takes us to familiar yet completely foreign locales and gives the reader a glimpse of the side of the Cities that they've never (most likely) let themselves explore. Cody grabs our hand and rushes us through the dimly lit entrances underneath those exotic awnings that we've often contemplated but rarely fulfilled.

Diablo Cody's novel "Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper" is currently in print (both hard and soft cover), $14.00.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dang, that's a good review!

Mon Jan 22, 10:26:00 AM 2007


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