Monday, 8 November 2010

Book Review: The Last Living Slut, by Roxana Shirazi (2010)


It will always be difficult to understand the mind of a groupie. While prostitutes and porn stars have the common sense to try and get paid for having sex with random strangers, groupies are happy to be treated like meat just as long as the man claims some connection to rock music.

The Last Living Slut, the autobiography of groupie Roxana Shirazi, is only interesting in as far as it confirms some well-known patterns about girls who lose their way. Growing up in Iran at the time of the 1979 revolution, Roxana had an absentee, drug-addicted father; a mother distracted by politics and busy participating in anti-government demonstrations instead of looking after her daughter; random male strangers abusing her; and a step-father who beat her. Raised by her grandmother, she had no clue what a positive male role model looks like when she was shipped off to England at age 10, again with her grandmother and in the absence of parental guidance.

No wonder then that as soon as she could, she was looking for love in all the wrong places, and while many girls would end up on the street selling themselves, Roxana fell in love with the rock and roll life style and made herself sexually available to any man who postured on-stage.

The book is a numbingly endless sequence of ever more sordid sexual encounters with names famous, once-famous, and never famous from the world of hard rock and heavy metal, with Roxana repeatedly and foolishly believing that she is falling in love with any rocker who offered anything more than anonymous copulation. That the men want nothing more than female flesh is painfully obvious; that Roxana cannot tell the difference between lust and love is just sad in the extreme. Most pathetic is her ability to convince herself that she is in love with one man while simultaneously seeking meaningless sex with numerous other random men.

Roxana predictably spirals downwards, her adventures leading to a drug-induced seizure, an abortion, a suicide attempt, depression and a stint at a psych ward. No warning sign seems to convince her that aging rockers are not a high-probability pool to find a suitable male partner in life. After each of her life tragedies, she is back for more abuse. Her story is stranger than most in that she seems to have enough intelligence to pursue higher education at the university level but not the smarts needed to extricate herself from a life of agony as a groupie.

The Last Living Slut is not witty nor funny. It is just a sad peek into the fetid sewer that flows below the world of rock music, and specifically the women who, for whatever reason, choose to immerse themselves in the rancid, contaminated filth, and then wonder why they can't find true love.

Subtitled Born In Iran, Bred Backstage.
Published in hardcover by HarperCollins.
315 pages, including colour and black and white photos.







The Ace Black Blog Book Review Index is here.



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