Colleen Wainwright's Reviews > Paying for It

Paying for It by Chester Brown
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really liked it
bookshelves: graphic-novels, philosophy, memoir

Through the first 5/8 of this book, I could feel my ire rise with every page, until I was like a cartoon feminist with steam coming out of my ears. Surely this fellow—this almost comically emotionally-detached member of the culturally/politically/economically-dominant sex—was kidding, or in deep denial, or clueless to the level of misogyny in his position (haha) on sex for pay. (And I came into this book—the puns, they write themselves, I swear—a big fan of Chester Brown, having read and loved his autobiographical work as well as his beautiful historical graphic-novel version of Louis Riel's life.)

The detailed, and incredibly thoughtful last eighth of the book won me over: an afterword, voluminous (23!!) appendices, and equally extensive footnotes fill in the considerable and maddening gaps in the story itself, omissions made necessary in the first place because of his scrupulous attention to preserving the anonymity of the women with whom he had paid sex. There are arguments, counter-arguments, and support for each.

Brown even gave space for other characters in the book—mostly fellow comics colleagues/friends—to have their say. As one of them said quite touchingly of Brown, his robotic affect belies a deeply compassionate soul. He may be detached, but he cares deeply. And while you may find your stance antithetical to his, engaging with his reasoning will sharpen your own thinking on the subject.

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Reading Progress

May 28, 2013 – Started Reading
May 28, 2013 – Shelved
June 7, 2013 – Shelved as: graphic-novels
June 7, 2013 – Shelved as: philosophy
June 7, 2013 – Shelved as: memoir
June 7, 2013 – Finished Reading

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