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Book Report: Whores of Lost Atlantis

Do you, Gentle Reader, have one of those very dear friends who knows you very well indeed? Your Humble Blogger is lucky enough to have not only my Best Reader, who is utterly proverbial, but also another. Who gave me a copy of Whores of Lost Atlantis.

This is the Charles Busch memoir/novel; he takes his rise to fame and whatnot and adds a silly but entertaining subplot about deception, robbery and kinky sex. I’m pretty sure the robbery is fictional.

So, you know the Publisher’s Note on the copyright page that says This is a work of fiction? This one goes on to say Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictionally, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. Then in the afterword, Mr. Busch writes things such as My dear friend Kathie Carr (Camille in the book) and My Aunt Lillian (Aunt Jennie in the book). Coincidence? I mean, yes, Mannequin is clearly Lypsinka, and Roxie is Julie Halston, and so on and so forth. And as for locales, well, I don’t know anything about the East Village stuff, but, you know, New York City does have a Morgan Library and a 65th Street and so on. Does the publisher really think that the disclaimer will protect them in court? Or that nobody’s feelings will get hurt? Or is it all some elaborate ritual? Don’t Mssrs Carroll and Graf owe me recompense for having so clearly misled me? Was there ever even a Mr. Graf in the first place? Is there no end to the deception?

Seriously, this is a wonderful book, loads of fun, and I am now (at last) old enough to know that I am only enjoying fantasizing myself as a queer drag playwright/performer scraping together a bare living as a temp while putting on bizarre and hilarious shows that start at midnight, if the lights work. Not really the life for me, as it turns out. But it’s so, unbelievably, utterly, and completely the life I want to read about, at least when it’s done as entertainingly as Mr. Busch does it. And know you know that about me, too.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,

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