Macmillan Audio. Jul. 2022. 3:17 hrs. ISBN 9781250852793. $17.99. MEMOIR
When Johnson’s story first appeared on the photoblog Humans of New York in 2019, it was an immediate sensation. Born in Albany, NY, in the 1940s, Johnson was kicked out of her home at age 17, when she became pregnant. After a brief stint in jail, she made her way to New York City, where she flourished first as a go-go dancer and then as a burlesque entertainer in Times Square. Narrating her own story, Johnson focuses on her career as an entertainer, where she was first relegated to second-rate clubs because of her race. But she soon used her talent, drive, and ingenuity to rise to the top. A consummate storyteller, Johnson slowly reveals enticing details about her life, while keeping the listener eager for more. Her husky voice conveys the full gamut of emotion, from joy and delight to pain and regret, and an interview between Johnson and Humans of New York’s Brandon Stanton is an excellent addition to the audiobook.
VERDICT These bawdy, gritty tales of New York City in the 1960s and 1970s will captivate listeners, but it’s Johnson who is the hero of this story. Listeners will relish every minute.
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