Miami Purity Paperback – May 1 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Hendricks's debut novel is a noir-ish tale of an aging former stripper whose attempt to go clean leads her into a murderously perverse affair.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Watching the noir novel go mainstream has been a painful experience, like listening to a classic R & B song covered by one of those squeaky clean white-bread groups in the fifties. Noir is no longer a worldview; it isn't even a style, really; it's a pose, an excuse to turn the lights down and smoke cigarettes. Soon, it will probably be a perfume: "Noir, for the femme fatale in you." It's so rare to encounter the real thing these days that when you do, as in Hendricks' sledgehammer of a first novel, the effect is all the more intense: "Hank was drunk and he slugged me--it wasn't the first time--and I picked up the radio and caught him across the forehead with it. It was one of those big boom boxes with the cassette player and recorder, but I didn't think it would kill him."
That's the first sentence in the story of Sherri Parlay, a topless dancer who tries, in her fashion, to go straight. Like the doomed heroes in a James M. Cain or Jim Thompson novel, though, Sherri isn't going anywhere but down. A job at a dry cleaner called Miami Purity seems safe enough, a symbolic step out of the night life, but the boss lady has a son, a cute son, and before the postman can ring even once, the sexual heat makes the steam rising from the pressing machines seem like an ocean breeze. The most memorable noir heroes, even the most depraved of them, all seek purity; when they don't find it, the killers inside them are unleashed. Hendricks makes unflinching use of the archetypal noir story--flawed character in a flawed world wants more, gets less--but she does it in a voice that's all her own: matter-of-fact yet outrageously funny, grotesque yet discordantly tender. This is no ordinary first novel: when Sherri Parlay enters a room, you pay attention. Bill Ott --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Writers tell us lies about life because publishers pay them to do so. If you run a search on my name here, you'll see why I think that. Every once in a while, quite possibly by mistake, the filter fails and somebody honest slips through. We've got Vicki Hendricks among us now, and I hope she lasts a good long while and writes many more books like this one.
This is a book that lets you see into a woman's head the way some rare male writers occasionally let you see into the heads of men, without wallpapering the set with fairy tales. The woman in the story will scare you, and she should.
Ms. Hendricks, if you read this: Well done!
I read the book in one sitting. Detractors may wish to trash this book as a jerk-off companion, but this book is about dark, perverse and depraved human passions, lust and lies.
Most recent customer reviews
sherri reminds me of a woman i met on a greyhound bus the first time i went to san francisco from louisiana. every thing you could want in a crime novel. Read morePublished on Jan. 19 2002 by Erren Geraud Kelly
This book leaves you wondering what will happen next. You really feel Sherri's struggles with overcoming the mortal fact that she is, and always will be a "bad girl". Read morePublished on Oct. 13 1999
Poorly written. Depressing, full of characters who are uninteresting and depraved. The book masquerades as literature -- and some of the reviews appear to agree. Read morePublished on Feb. 7 1999
I enjoyed this book emensely. It was nice to see a novel noir a la Jim Thompson/ James Cain written from the view point of a woman (and written by a woman) and be as dark, sleazy,... Read morePublished on Nov. 4 1998 by Rolf Semprebon (firstname.lastname@example.org
I bought this book for a light read, and was surprised by how well the author has developed the heroine's character. She gets you into a really twisted mind. Read morePublished on July 9 1998 by email@example.com