Books | Sports

August 2, 2010

Paul Solotaroff's Big Story

The writer couldn't write anymore until he told his own improbable story, about the transformation of a gawky teen into a muscleman in New York's wild '70s.

Max Lakin

Within its first manic pages, Paul Solotaroff's The Body Shop: Parties, Pills, and Pumping Iron—Or, My Life in the Age of Muscle draws the connection between the dearth of athletically-blessed Hebrews and the author's own self-aware muscular shortcoming. Just past the title page, in fact, the reader finds Solotaroff, swimming in artificial testosterone, reporting to a job at a Long Island bar mitzvah in immodest costume as a bulging, glistening Moses. The rabbi, perhaps knowingly, suggests he should have come as Samson.

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Article by Max Lakin

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