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WHORES FOR GLORIA

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eBook published by Pantheon (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book
With his first three works of fiction—the novels You Bright and Risen Angels and The Ice-Shirt, and the collection The Rainbow Stories—William T. Vollmann announced himself as a writer of rare and ferocious talent, with critics comparing him to William Burroughs, Thomas Pynchon, and T.C. Boyle.
 
His new novel is the story of Jimmy, who has been deserted by his lover, a prostitute by the name of Gloria. In the despair of his loneliness, and his drunken grief, he reassembles Gloria’s presence out of whatever he can buy from the hookers on the street—the fragments of their lives and dreams, and locks of hair they are willing to share for a price. In his search for these snatches of intimacy he meets the hustlers, drunks, and prostitutes of San Francisco’s Tenderloin district: Candy, who beats her customers when they ask for it but refuses to let them call her a bitch; Snake, who pimps his wife; Nicole, whose job it is to give men AIDS; Jack, who shoots his woman’s earnings into his arm but still likes Chopin even though he doesn’t have a record player; and Gloria, who may or may not be a figment of Jimmy’s imagination.
 
Vollmann writes with explosive power of the inner city, unflinching in the way he confronts the solitude of the homeless and unloved, the insulted and the injured of skid-row America. His exhilarating, high-voltage style and lyric language touch the heart and retrieve a jubilant integrity from the harsh struggles of his characters. Here is a world of harrowing truth, beautifully expressed by a writer of prodigious gifts.
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With his first three works of fiction—the novels You Bright and Risen Angels and The Ice-Shirt, and the collection The Rainbow Stories—William T. Vollmann announced himself as a writer of rare and ferocious talent, with critics comparing him to William Burroughs, Thomas Pynchon, and T.C. Boyle.
 
His new novel is the story of Jimmy, who has been deserted by his lover, a prostitute by the name of Gloria. In the despair of his loneliness, and his drunken grief, he reassembles Gloria’s presence out of whatever he can buy from the hookers on the street—the fragments of their lives and dreams, and locks of hair they are willing to share for a price. In his search for these snatches of intimacy he meets the hustlers, drunks, and prostitutes of San Francisco’s Tenderloin district: Candy, who beats her customers when they ask for it but refuses to let them call her a bitch; Snake, who pimps his wife; Nicole, whose job it is to give men AIDS; Jack, who shoots his woman’s earnings into his arm but still likes Chopin even though he doesn’t have a record player; and Gloria, who may or may not be a figment of Jimmy’s imagination.
 
Vollmann writes with explosive power of the inner city, unflinching in the way he confronts the solitude of the homeless and unloved, the insulted and the injured of skid-row America. His exhilarating, high-voltage style and lyric language touch the heart and retrieve a jubilant integrity from the harsh struggles of his characters. Here is a world of harrowing truth, beautifully expressed by a writer of prodigious gifts.
Product Details
eBook (144 pages)
Published: January 2, 2013
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Pantheon
ISBN: 9780307827722
Other books byWilliam T. Vollmann
  • Last Stories and Other Stories

    Last Stories and Other Stories
    Supernaturally tinged stories from William T. Vollmann, author of the National Book Award winner Europe Central   In this magnificent new work of fiction, his first in nine years, celebrated author William T. Vollmann offers a collection of ghost stories linked by themes of love, death, and the erotic.   A Bohemian farmer’s dead wife returns to him, and their love endures, but at a gruesome price. A geisha prolongs her life by turning into a cherry tree. A journalist, haunted by the half-forgotten killing of a Bosnian couple, watches their story, and his own wartime tragedy, slip away from him. A dying American romances the ghost of his high school sweetheart while a homeless salaryman in Tokyo animates paper cutouts of ancient heroes.   Are ghosts memories, fantasies, or monsters? Is there life in death? Vollmann has always operated in the shadowy borderland between categories, and these eerie tales, however far-flung their settings, all focus on the attempts of the living to avoid, control, or even seduce death. Vollmann’s stories will transport readers to a fantastical world where love and lust make anything possible.

    The Book of Dolores

    The Book of Dolores
    William T. Vollmann has travelled to Soviet-occupied Afghanistan with Islamic commandos, shivered out a solitary stretch at the North Magnetic Pole in winter, hopped freight trains, studied the stately ancient beauties of Japanese Noh theater, and made friends with street prostitutes all over the world—all in the interest of learning a little more about life. Now in his mid-fifties, Vollmann sets out on what may well be impossible for a heterosexual genetic male: to envision himself as a woman. In these photographs, block prints, and watercolor drawings, he portrays his alter ego, Dolores, with whimsicality, and sometimes with cruelty—for Dolores would like to be attractive, or at least to “pass,” but the ageing male body in which she remains confined requires lowered expectations. Meanwhile, the drawings and block prints, composed with the artist’s glasses off, show Dolores as she imagines herself to be. The Book of Dolores brings the genre of self-portraits to a new level of vulnerability and bravery. In the process, it offers virtuoso performances of nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first-century photographic techniques, including the seductively difficult gum bichromate method. Each section of the book is accompanied by an essay on motives and techniques. 

    Riding Toward Everywhere

    Riding Toward Everywhere
    Arelentlessly curious, endlessly sensitive, and unequivocally adventurous examiner of human existence, William T. Vollmann now takes to the rails. In the company of experienced fellow train-hopper Steve, Vollmann trawls the secretive waters of a unique underground lifestyle—subjecting both our national romance with and skepticism about the hobo life to his finely tuned, analytical eye. Carrying on in the footloose tradition of Huckleberry Finn, he offers a moving, strikingly modern vision of the American dream, brilliantly exploring both our deeply ingrained romanticizing of "freedom" and the myriad ways we restrict the very freedoms we profess to admire.

    Europe Central

    Europe Central
    A series of interconnected stories seeks to contrast the moral decisions made by famous and everyday individuals with regard to the warring authoritarian cultures of Germany and the USSR in the twentieth century.

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