It’s funny how I ended up a student of literature and an editor because of my love of reading, only to realise that being at the position I’m now in, I seldom have time to read for pleasure anymore. What with all the study texts, required reading, journals and literary criticism for research and essay writing; not to mention the ever present slush pile to go through and to work on several drafts of the ones that make the cut, my to-read shelf grows faster than I can ever hope to tackle.
Whores for Gloria is about Jimmy, an ex-soldier who cashes in his SSI checks only to spend them – after paying his rent at the hotel – on whores. Vollmann weaves a captivating and most disturbing tale that captures the grittiness and vulgarity of street prostitution, and the frightening and depressing reality around it.
Jimmy is on the lookout for Gloria, who appears to be a figment of his imagination, and it’s never clear if Jimmy is high, psychotic, mentally handicapped or whatever, but this doesn’t matter because Vollmann shifts the focus from Jimmy to Jimmy’s desire for Gloria, and how the prostitutes fill that void in strange and unusual ways. Read More