4 out of 4 stars
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David Schwartz's Dana Plato's Retreat, partly inspired by the name of David's swinger's club in Phoenix, is a true-life story that details the author's experiences in life with two of his close friends and employees, Dana and Jessie. In this book, we follow David's adventures from his time working as a producer in the movie industry, running a modeling agency and offering dating services to starting a bikini car wash and then running the swinger's club. Aside from his ability to set up successful businesses, we are also taken through important relationships and their impact on him, his ideologies on different aspects of life, wild and fun moments, and lots of sex.
I found the presentation of the book interesting, as the story is told from a first-person perspective but shifts between David, Dana, and Jessie throughout. Reading the book felt like I was in an interview with all three characters simultaneously narrating their truths about different events. So, there are differences in their accounts, and I found it easy to understand and relate to their personalities that were fully on display in the story, from Dana's carefree, daring personality and the young Jessie's reserved nature to David's outgoing and free-spirited personality.
One aspect of the book that stands out is David's humor that permeates the entire book. I just could not stop laughing throughout the story, especially with his funny way of diffusing heated situations or how he referred to himself as "a lesbian caught in a man's body who hated men and only enjoyed sex with women."
While I didn't agree with many of the author's opinions and life choices and found them questionable, he made some insightful comments that I appreciated, especially on the kind of judgment that society passes on women for their sexual choices while men get the opposite and also on avoiding looking too far into the past and future. I also appreciated David's bravery that saw him take on different challenges and his inventiveness while giving us a peek into the inner workings of the entertainment industry. I found this aspect of the book inspiring, while I found his occasionally pompous nature off-putting.
The book seemed like it was professionally edited. I found five errors while reading, and they did not affect my reading flow. The story is not told in chronological order, but the author makes things easy to follow by including a timeline of the events before the story commences. I cannot think of much to dislike about the book. David Schwartz's Dana Plato's Retreat is an entertaining read. As hinted above, there are descriptive sex scenes included in the story, which I enjoyed. There is also a lot of profanity. Therefore, the book is best suited to a mature audience that enjoys autobiographies. I rate this book four out of four stars.
Dana Plato's Retreat
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