In Weintz’s debut novel, Angie Ferguson, a divorced, 38-year-old mother of five, quits her job flipping burgers to become a prostitute, upping her income but further reducing her self-esteem.
Descriptions of nightly sex sessions in seedy motels are set against the backdrop of Little Rock, Ark., a steaming cauldron of Baptist hypocrisy and Y2K hysteria. Nearly everyone gets screwed good and hard in this book, literally and figuratively, though it seems that the innocent and good-hearted get it harder than the corrupt and downright evil. Tom, a lonely, lovesick corporate drudge, fields the worst of it as he tries to help Angie rise up from a life on her back to transform their relationship from hooker and john to husband and wife. But Angie’s hooked on the irresistible lure of money and sex; she becomes as much predator as prey. A Dreiseresque novel of freewheeling American desperation, corruption and screw-thy-neighbor money-madness updated for the age of Internet porn, Weintz’s book teems with graphic sex scenes—singles, couples, trios and larger agglutinations, including a Thanksgiving-night gangbang at a rural Arkansas hunting club described by Angie as “twenty-five or thirty mostly overweight, middle-aged, liquored-up businessmen away from the wife and kids, screwing me.” Also present throughout the text: sudden and equally uninhibited violence. Humorous asides offer occasional breaks from the grim assembly line of fornication for hire. Between tricks, Angie and her coworkers take in episodes of Days of Our Lives while chain-smoking Winston Lights. Their boss, Gloria, a “whore-mistress … with bleached blonde hair” who likes to remind the talent that “the customer comes first,” wears a “turquoise jumper that plunges in the front, exposing most of her double-D breasts that stand out like vine-ripened Big Boy cantaloupes.” Weintz’s writing is crisp and sharp as he stylishly unfolds the doomed love story of Angie and Tom. For some, though, the explicit sex in this novel may be shocking—if there’s anyone left to shock, that is.
A taut, lurid account of the lowest levels of American life that probes behind the mask of propriety and raises questions about the line between emotional and physical love.