The Body Shop: Parties, Pills, and Pumping Iron -- Or, My Life in the Age of Muscle

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9780316011013: The Body Shop: Parties, Pills, and Pumping Iron -- Or, My Life in the Age of Muscle

As a scrawny college freshman in the mid-1970s, just before Arnold Schwarzenegger became a hero to boys everywhere and Pumping Iron became a cult hit, Paul Solotaroff discovered weights and steroids. In a matter of months, he grew from a dorky beanpole into a hulking behemoth, showing off his rock hard muscles first on the streets of New York City and then alongside his colorful gym-rat friends in strip clubs and in the homes of the gotham elite. It was a swinging time, when "Would you like to dance?" turned into "Your place or mine?" and the guys with the muscles had all the ladies--until their bodies, like Solotaroff''s, completely shut down.

But this isn't the gloom-and-doom addiction one might expect--Solotaroff looks back at even his lowest points with a wicked sense of humor, and he sends up the disco era and its excess with all the kaleidoscopic detail of Boogie Nights or Saturday Night Fever.

Written with candor and sarcasm, THE BODY SHOP is a memoir with all the elements of great fiction and dazzlingly displays Paul Solotaroff's celebrated writing talent.

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About the Author:

Paul Solotaroff is a contributing editor at Men's Journal and Rolling Stone. He has written features for Vanity Fair, GQ, Vogue, and the New York Times Magazine, and he was nominated for a National Magazine Award in 2004. His work has been included in Best American Sports Writing. The author of two books, Group and The House of Purple Hearts, he lives in New York City.


"Delivered in a suitably amped prose style, the story casts light on the early days of bodybuilding and gym culture, before New York Sports Clubs existed in every neighborhood"―Steven Kurutz, Wall Street Journal

"It's fantastic."―Dan Fogarty,

"Solotaroff is a respected journalist who writes for Men's Journal and Rolling Stone... But in the mid-1970s, he was a college student who got into weight lifting and steroids, and followed his obsession into a life as a male stripper and a drug addict who attended orgies in the wild world of New York in the disco era. The Body Shop is a cautionary tale that's also an entertaining time-trip into the recent past."―Jeff Baker, The Oregonian

"as Solotaroff explains in The Body Shop, his smart and funny book that chronicles his own summer of steroids, using drugs often comes with a terrible physical and emotional price."―Michael O?Keeffe, New York Daily News

"I can't tell you in strong enough terms how terrific Paul Solotaroff's new book, The Body Shop, is. We spend a lot of time wringing our hands about steroids, and not nearly enough discussing the powerful lures and temptations of building perfect bodies. Take a tour through this eloquent memoir and it will make a lot more sense."―Mike Vaccaro, The New York Post

"[A] very well-written and surprisingly tender book.... Whatever the depth and duration of [Solotaroff's] crises of confidence, though, this book shows that he was always a writer at heart."―Megan Buskey, New York Times Book Review

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