Before Cody became the screenwriter of films like Juno, Young Adult, and the woefully under-appreciated Jennifer’s Body, she spent a year stripping (with a little side exploration into phonesex and some other non-hooker sexwork). Her unflinching memoir displays the same sort of acerbic wit her characters wield. She satisfies my long-standing morbid curiosity about the economics of strip clubs (unsurprisingly the dancers get screwed, figuratively; a bad night could leave Cody literally owing money to a club). She punctures some of the popular conceptions about strippers (they’re all drug-addled prostitutes and/or man-hating lesbians) and sadly reinforces others (she really starts making bank only when she subjugates her own personality in her interactions with customers).
Cody also makes a structural decision that struck me as so sharp I wonder why more memoirists don’t do it: she puts the here’s-what-happened-before-the-stuff-you-picked-the-book-up-for and the what-made-me-do-this-anyhow? chapters at the end, after the reader is fully invested, instead of at the beginning, where they often feel to me like gruel the reader must dutifully consume before dessert.
I thought it was very funny, a little sad and creepy, and sometimes, almost in spite of itself, a tiny bit sexy. I also found it almost impossible to put down. I even read it on the subway without getting motion sick, a rare accolade.
needs more demons? no.