This book was recommended to me with the assurance that the story it contained was interesting and even enlightening. I’m not quite sure about that.

I don’t happen to find copious detail about the sex industry in Las Vegas a subject that interests me particularly. Of course, it is important to view the author’s experience in this sphere in the context of her bipolar personality disorder, which went undiagnosed for many years and, she claims, was the cause of her erratic behaviour.

As a teenager the author displayed considerable athletic talent and was even selected to participate in three successive Olympic Games as part of the US running team. On each occasion she failed to shine, and found herself psychologically unable to cope with the pressure of competing on an international level. She describes her emotions and experiences in great and convincing detail.

Growing up in suburban Wisconsin, Suzy Favor Hamilton was encouraged to pursue her athletic career. Tragedy struck when her older brother committed suicide, apparently due to an undiagnosed disorder similar to her own, but the family managed to continue to live as normal a life as possible, despite understandable difficulties. Suzy got married and even succeeded, despite some problems, in getting pregnant, and gave birth to a daughter, but felt that something was missing from her life.

Things changed when she persuaded her husband to take her to Las Vegas and to celebrate their twelfth wedding anniversary by doing a sky-jump together and participating in a sexual threesome. Unlike her husband, Suzy found this last very enjoyable and ended up subsequently returning to Las Vegas on her own on several occasions to continue her sexual experiments with various men. Eventually she found herself working for an escort agency in Las Vegas, calling herself ‘Kelly,’ and getting high on her success in this sphere. She made frequent trips to Vegas and engaged in what is essentially high-class prostitution, doing all this with the tacit agreement of her husband.

Despite all her efforts to keep her true identity secret from her ‘clients,’ Suzy’s real name was eventually made public by a journalist, bringing her life of luxury, extravagance and sexual exploits to an end. She was forced to abandon the Las Vegas identity and lifestyle that she loved and return to her ever-supportive husband and their humdrum life in Wisconsin. It would seem that at this stage she began to get psychological treatment, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and received the appropriate medication, enabling her to resume what most people would consider a ‘normal’ life.

he title page tells us that the author has written the book together with Sarah Tomlinson, and it is probably to the latter that we owe the well-written text, which flows easily, helping the reader to assimilate a story that verges on the shocking. The author declares that she has written the book in the hope that her story will help others suffering from similar disorders, and that is certainly a noble aim. Whether this book is able to achieve that objective is debatable, however.

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