August 15, 2010

Review: The Body Shop: Parties, Pills, and Pumping Iron -- Or, My Life in the Age of Muscle

As a scrawny college freshman in the mid-1970s, just before Arnold Schwarzenegger became a hero to boys everywhere and Pumping Iron became a cult hit, Paul Solotaroff discovered weights and steroids. In a matter of months, he grew from a dorky beanpole into a hulking behemoth, showing off his rock hard muscles first on the streets of New York City and then alongside his colorful gym-rat friends in strip clubs and in the homes of the gotham elite. It was a swinging time, when "Would you like to dance?" turned into "Your place or mine?" and the guys with the muscles had all the ladies--until their bodies, like Solotaroff''s, completely shut down.

But this isn't the gloom-and-doom addiction one might expect--Solotaroff looks back at even his lowest points with a wicked sense of humor, and he sends up the disco era and its excess with all the kaleidoscopic detail of Boogie Nights or Saturday Night Fever.

Written with candor and sarcasm, THE BODY SHOP is a memoir with all the elements of great fiction and dazzlingly displays Paul Solotaroff's celebrated writing talent.

I got this book because the description sounded like something I would enjoy.  I was completely shocked by how interesting this memoir is.  It almost reads like fiction in some parts and Paul is a master with words.

Little, Brown and Company
304 pages

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Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book for free from Hachette Book Group.  All opinions expressed are 100% mine.  If you purchase a book using my Amazon or Barnes and Noble link, I will receive a small portion of the purchase price.

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  1. This seems like a fascinating look into a world I'm completely unfamiliar with! Thanks for the review!

  2. I would love to win this. My husband would enjoy this one.

  3. This sounds like it would be interesting.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  4. you know me, i'm up for any memoirs. by the cover of the book i thought it was fiction until I read your review