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The Body Shop: Parties, Pills, and Pumping Iron - Or, My Life in the Age of Muscle Solotaroff, Paul ( Author ) Jul-26-2010 Hardcover (Anglais) Relié – 26 juillet 2010

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x9cd5aab0) étoiles sur 5 12 commentaires
12 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9cbe299c) étoiles sur 5 A big letdown 9 octobre 2010
Par megadude - Publié sur
Format: Relié
This book was not at all what I expected. It really wasn't a story about steroid use and abuse as much as it was a storytelling about a life of recreational drug use and sexual promiscuity in the decadent 1970's. There is actually very little in this book about steroids or weightlifting, it's mostly the author bragging about how much ass he got and wallowing in self pity because he couldn't get his act together. What I found most curious was that there were no pictures...??? I mean how could you write a book about transforming your body into something freakish, and not have a single picture showing the before and after or even the during stages? Is that not the whole premise of this book? Also, the amount of weight he talks about lifting are not very impressive at all, as any half serious bodybuilder/weightlifter could tell you. A flat bench of 305? It's respectable but not impressive. I didn't start bodybuilding until my mid 30's, and with no steroids or supplements of any kind and not even super hardcore training I was benching 335, and I know a lot of guys that can do quite a bit more than that. The writing style is pretentious and overwrought, almost like the author is trying to impress us with his vocabulary and syntax. That makes for a very unnatural flow and a difficult, skeptical read, which I'm surprised no editor has told him yet. I wouldn't waste your time or money with this one.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9cbe2aec) étoiles sur 5 Not that great 3 décembre 2012
Par Nate - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
You aren't going to learn anything from reading this book but its not bad for mild entertainment. He doesn't talk much about actually lifting weights which is weird. Would have loved to have seen some pictures.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9cbe2a5c) étoiles sur 5 ".....a memoir that often reads like a dramady" 20 août 2010
Par Bookventures Book Club - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Admittedly, I went into this book with some preconceived notions about it. One look at the over confirmed a few of them but I was also afraid that the book was going to be overly macho for me to enjoy it. Boy was I wrong! Ideally, The Body Shop can be described as a look into the male psyche in the late 1970's. Research (and also detailed analysis in the book) suggests that this was the age of the body builders; spawned by Arnold Schwarzenegger, when men strutted around with huge biceps and abs that you could watch water ripple off of. Image meant everything (and still does) and a thirst for recognition meant that you were covering up some hideous, unloved and most times neglected part of your childhood. It is under these circumstances that we are introduced to Paul and his years as a lifter and a juicer.

The Body Shop is a memoir that often reads like a dramady with colorful characters, complicated situations and some truly comedic dialogue. I guess you can hardly call it a laughing matter when one finds them self using illegal drugs and dancing for a living but Paul brings across these passages in his life without shame or regret. I could tell that they were stepping stones towards figuring out who he really was. Yet still, you can't help but laugh out loud or gasp at the kind of situations that Paul finds himself in or the people he meets along the way.

Interestingly enough, Paul is a literature major and this really showed in the book. Though at times he was a bit sarcastic (which probably is a Paul thing) he was able to vividly recreate the mood and the machismo culture that pervaded the late 1970's. His work in establishing the characters such as Angel, Tommy and Spiro is also commendable. I enjoyed getting to know them and watching their individual stories come to life.

Hinged to the story is Paul's strained relationship with his parents in particular his father (sadly this is the case with all of the main characters). Though there is still love between them I could tell that they had quite a few unresolved issues. Paul attempts to resolve this closer to the end of the book but after their experiences together; I couldn't help but wonder how their relationship is currently. On a lighter note it was pretty cool learning about Paul's dad being a professional reviewer and editor. I got a glimpse into the world that we book bloggers dabble in as a past time. The unpredictability of the job and the incessant writer's block that sometimes attacked him seemed all too familiar.

All and all, don't let the macho nature of this book put you off. You'd be missing a really good story if you do.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9cbe2960) étoiles sur 5 Pumping Iron mixed with Boogie Nights 18 août 2010
Par LegalBeagle - Publié sur
Format: Relié
"I want muscles
I want all I can get
All over him, all over him
I want muscles, muscles, muscles."

Muscles written by Michael Jackson and sung by Diana Ross

Paul Solotaroff wanted muscles and lots of them, so he did what any self respecting lifter in the Seventies did: he hit the gym and the juice (steroids). In The Body Shop Solotaroff explains his reckless quest for bulk as follows:

"For a good year and a half after I started lifting, I never went two full days without benching and rarely went more than one. I knew nothing about rest periods or tissue synthesis or the dispersal of cellular waste, and I wouldn't have paid attention if someone had made the point while standing on my chest. Rules were for guys with the time and patience to get big strand by strand, duly marking progress in ten-pound plates and, steady, two-rep gains. Put differently, it was for men who'd gotten laid in adolescence and didn't have a string of dateless weekends tied around their rears like tin cans. When you're a twenty-year old male around thousands of girls, none of whom evince even the slightest interest in seeing what you look like with no shirt on, the only anatomy you have patience to study is your own in the weight-room mirror. And for that you'll make all the time in the world - even if it conflicts with your Physics for Poets class."

Soon Solotaroff's wish was granted: he no longer looked like the puny Charles Atlas, but the "after" pumped up Atlas. With his new found heft came a gig as a private party male stripper. And with the stripping came the holy trifecta of a young man's dreams: women, drugs, and money.The Body Shop follows Solotaroff's "lost years" stripping and juicing. The memoir works surprisingly well on two levels. First, as a dark comedy of Solotaroff's life in the mid-seventies as a juiced up Jewish male stripper with literary leanings (the author's father was a noted editor for literary icons such as Philip Roth and Norman Mailer). Second, the memoir unfolds as a compelling family drama centering on the author's fitful relationship with his loving, but distant father.

The Body Shop is a well written and comedic book that you will not want to put down!

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (July 26, 2010), 304 pages.
Advance review copy provided courtesy of the publisher.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9cbe6258) étoiles sur 5 Brains, Brawn, Humor and Heart 8 novembre 2011
Par A. DELANGE - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I thoroughly enjoyed Paul Solotaroff's memoir, The Body Shop, and found it hard to put down. Solotaroff was not afraid to explore painful memories concerning both his family, and the time he spent caught up in the world of coke, steroids and stripping - experienced simultaneously with the life of a dedicated and hardworking college student. Even during the moments that recall the nightmarish reality of what his body, mind and spirit endured, he does not overlook the excitement and appreciation of the rewards that his new physique brought to him -- as he went from a "98 pound weakling" to looking more like his idol, Charles Atlas. Humor is intertwined with the grittiness, and the book's tone is not at all one of self-pity or bitterness.

Previous reviews characterized the author's writing style as pretentious and wordy; but I totally disagree. Solotaroff's wittiness, comfort and expertise with the English language made the book so much more enjoyable for me than simply a minimalist recollection of one's youth, devoid of the love of language and the unique personality of one who was able to lead such a double life. The memories unfold vividly and with a lot of sincerity; and at times with wackiness and surrealism. I really appreciate the opportunity to get such a close glimpse at the author's unique world!
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