Charles's Reviews > The Last Living Slut: Born in Iran, Bred Backstage

The Last Living Slut by Roxana Shirazi
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's review
Jul 05, 2010

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Read in July, 2010

So, first things first: Yes, I picked this book up in hopes of a randy good-time depiction of groupiedom and wretched rock'n'roll excess. But "YMMV" varies most in the realm of the randy. There's a fair amount of Playboy or Penthouse level depiction, but little that engaged this reviewer's libido.

Far stronger are the parts of the autobiography devoted to Roxana's childhood in Iran, where her writing is at its best.

Once she arrives in England, her teenage and young-adulthood adulation of certain rockers -- when these are well past their primes (Axl Rose, Nikki Sixx, etc.) and whose music seems utterly throwaway to me -- points up the illusions underpinning all our individual fanships: fan-tasies, fan-aticisms, whatever.

Her backstage sexploits fall afoul of the basic limitations of human congress. As a much better musician, singer, lyricist, and performer, Jarvis Cocker of Pulp, put it, "That goes in there / Then that goes in there / Then that goes in there / Then that goes in there / And then it's over".

In the end, this seems a story familiar to us all in its general outline: Hope spurs on experience, disillusion follows and prompts extremity, crash and retreat, repeat. Underneath the after-midnight sodium-lit drying-sweat adrenaline-hangover smoke-hazed tinnitus-eared half-asleep funk is the never-quite-met desire to belong to someone, or somewhere, somehow. The squalor in our lives turns out, finally, to have been primarily emotional.
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