CANDY GIRL by Diablo Cody


A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper
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Geeky girl from the ’burbs enters a life of sin . . . for a little while, at least.

Cody grew up nice just outside Chicago during the 1980s. (Since her equally nice Catholic parents presumably would not have named her after evil incarnate, readers may assume that “Diablo” is her own invention.) Her childhood “was a stainless suburban ideal,” but by 2002, a “mid-twenties crisis weighted [her] gut like a cosmic cheeseburger” as she shuffled papers at a downtown law firm. Within a short space of time, however, this “card-carrying dweeb” got involved in an Internet romance with an equally geeky musician from Minneapolis, moved in with him, got a job in a space-age advertising firm and, on a whim, entered Amateur Night at a seedy downtown strip club. Cody doesn’t depict her seemingly random decision to get up on a stage and bare herself to paunchy men (who were usually lousy tippers) as either the inevitable result of some tortured childhood or a grand experiment in feminine self-empowerment. She simply reveals herself as a gawky young woman who never had a chance for excitement. Cody’s quick, self-deprecating wit proves invaluable in relating the year during which she moved from the low-rent Skyway Lounge to the laughably “upscale” Schiecks and then to the adult toy and entertainment emporium Sex World, which is rendered in off-kilter, David Lynch–ian tones. Although at the beginning and end of her book she strains too hard for the baroque, snarky tone of an overactive alt-weekly (Cody is currently an editor at Minneapolis’s City Pages), for the most part this is an honest and amusing memoir that trades in neither pathos nor down-and-out freakery.

Likable to a fault, an anthem of independence for geeks everywhere.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-592-40182-1
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Gotham Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2005


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