DORK WHORE by Iris Bahr

DORK WHORE

My Travels Through Asia as a Twenty-Year-Old Pseudo-Virgin

KIRKUS REVIEW

Semi-virginal Israeli army-intelligence vet picks up her backpack and heads east, drawn by the prospect of travel and potential deflowering.

The first time Bahr tried to have sex, it was with a Moroccan paratrooper she met while on guard duty at her Israeli army base. Even though he was strangely gorgeous (the other soldiers on base being intelligence types: “very brilliant and very very ugly”) and quite into the idea, it was a (partially completed) disaster. So, two years later, 20-year-old Bahr—a transplanted Bronx girl fresh out of the military and years away from TV semi-stardom, on Curb Your Enthusiasm—gets ready for an Asian backpacking jaunt, fully determined to get away from her clingy mom, the military and her virginity. Things start off poorly for the author, whose travel buddy abandons her in Thailand, leaving her to aggressively market herself to other backpacking groups in order to not travel alone. A stint in the jungle with a pair of drugged-up Brits goes poorly (the cute one is more interested in lying to Thai hookers about wanting to marry them to get free sex), while adventures in Vietnam with an overly friendly girl also named Iris go little better. Things reach a nadir when Bahr ends up in the Himalayas flirting simultaneously with a couple of best friends and snapping in jealousy at the other women in their ad-hoc party. Bahr has a flair for the self-deprecating wisecrack, a trick that keeps this quick memoir moving. But often she’s so busy indulging in competition with backpacker girls, and ignoring men who are interested in her while chasing after those who aren’t, that the actual traveling gets short shrift. If romantic melodrama was all she wanted, she could have stayed in Israel.

Intermittently chuckle-worthy tale that never lives up to its once-in-a-lifetime title.

Pub Date: March 6th, 2007
ISBN: 1-59691-234-0
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2006




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