Review of The Melancholy Strumpet Master

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A funny and original story about a failed scholar researching prostitutes in Tijuana

The Master of Melancholy Whores has one of the most original prerequisites for a Novel that I have seen lately, maybe ever. An anthropologist with a PhD who has chosen his thesis on Prostitution, more specifically gender workers in Tijuana, has been struggling to get his project off the ground for years, and since he is continually failing both academically and privately, he feels compelled to accept a teaching position in a correctional institution for young lawbreakers. Meanwhile, he uses his money to pay gdner workers for their time conducting interviews with them. With such an original premise, I would expect only one of two results: brilliance or complete failure.

Fortunately, the master of melancholy whores does not disappoint. Strong characters like the protagonist Gil and his friend Rex are very distinctive and unaware of the sillyity of the story; they are fully invested and you can see how important all this is to them. Their serious involvement facilitates immersion in a story that is exactly the opposite of the ordinary. I was very interested in the characters and the contrasting environments of Los Angeles and Tijuana. While Gil was a teacher in L.A. however, his weekend trips to Tijuana show another side of him.

Her Commitment to her work and her research is clearly expressed, as are her insecurities, her past and her aspirations. Of course, this is a recipe for disaster, but our protagonist would not call it that. Somehow, her increased involvement in research leads her to the idea of launching a website so that girls can put their photos and videos online to reach more customers. Keep in mind that this Novel takes place in the early days of the Internet, so it’s all still very weird, and this idea takes the story in new, unexpected and funny directions. This idea would coincide with another of his decisions, namely to sleep with prostitutes, not just interview them. As you might expect, this complicates things even more.

What else should I say about the melancholy master whore? A fun and completely original novel with a sufficiently short number of pages – An almost perfect companion for a weekend of laughter and surprises.

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