“On the daring road to happiness out of mental hospital, passing through the NYC drug scene and the London escort life, this low-life odyssey is an elegant picaresque romp through the slums of the human soul. Bizarre encounters with colourful characters make for tragi-comic strange tales of rockers, dreamers and comedians.”
Author Polly Trope is an indie writer with notoriety of a journey that most writers fictionalize. She didn’t have to. From a New York Mental Asylum to drug addled days and prostitution in Great Britain, her debut memoir novel, Cured Meat, pushes boundaries. She has an awesome interview over with Jane Davis for you to get a better vibe of her history and the motions that were required to cure meat.
I’ve come to the end of this exquisite book and I’m not sure how to review it in a way that does it justice. Part prose, part diary, part poetry, Polly Trope pours herself onto the page and the result is raw and beautiful. The landscape is familiar, but the author takes us down the steps into basement flats, into hotel rooms, behind closed doors. Despite the subject-matter, this book may be painful to read in parts, but it is never hard-going and, in the twilight and the early mornings, there are moments of incredible tenderness. Because I am giving it a 5 star rating – quite unreservedly – I feel that I must say that the book is not formatted conventionally and I would hazard a guess that it hasn’t seen a copy editor, but to filter or revise the author’s words would be to do this book an enormous dis-service. Cured Meat has no pretensions of being mainstream. It offers no apology. The rewards it delivers are authenticity and truth – and, bizarrely, hope. As its closing line says, ‘But this is not the end.'”