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Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper Hardcover – December 29, 2005

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham; First Edition edition (December 29, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592401821
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592401826
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #992,003 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Why, you might ask, would a healthy, college-educated young woman start stripping for a living, when she could work in a nice, clean office? Cody, now an arts editor for Minneapolis's alternative weekly, had spent her whole life (all 24 years) "choking on normalcy, decency and Jif sandwiches with the crusts amputated." When she moved from Chicago to Minnesota to live with the new boyfriend she'd found on the "World Wide Waste of Time," she took a job at an ad agency—a setup with good "porn shui" (desk well angled for undetected online porn surfing) but not much else. Attracted by a local bar's amateur stripping contest, Cody soon moved from stage stripping to lap dancing, from tableside to bedside customer service and, finally, peep-show sex. Removing her clothes and dry-humping strangers in sex clubs had become her way of escaping premature respectability. Quite inexplicably, her boyfriend was completely cool with her new occupation, even joining her on occasional sex jaunts. When the inevitable burnout set in, Cody switched to phone sex, until that, too, got old, and the 9-to-5 straight world beckoned. Cody's so alarmingly entertaining, readers will wish the book were longer, though they'll be glad it ends before anything really ugly happens.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

A copy typist by day in Minnesota, Cody was hardly a likely candidate for entering an amateur stripping contest. But her curiosity got the best of her and, encouraged by her boyfriend, enter she did. The contest left her with an increased curiosity about the profession, and Cody decided to take an evening job stripping at Schieks, a local club. There Cody learns the ins and outs of stripping--how to catch a client's attention, how much the house takes, how some nights are highly profitable and others leave a stripper in debt to the club. Eventually Cody outgrows Schieks and moves on to Deja Vu, a bigger club that's much faster paced. A promotion at her day job forces her to give up stripping temporarily, but before long she's back in the adult entertainment business, this time stripping behind glass in an emporium. Cody's lively romp through the adult entertainment business is bound to appeal to those wanting a peek inside the inner workings of the sex industry. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

Graphic at times but very real and honest, this book was a quick and enjoyable read.
Well written and a really good insight to the world of stripping with all of it's human emotion and human frailties!
G. G. Giles
I never worked with Diablo Cody (she was before my time), but I know someone who did.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

313 of 355 people found the following review helpful By Otoki on June 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I never worked with Diablo Cody (she was before my time), but I know someone who did. She was the one who suggested I read the book. Afterwards, we both talked about how we want to write the anti-Diablo Cody strip-club book. This book is like A Million Little Pieces, but because of the veiled nature of the industry, the facts are harder to check. I think the book is disgraceful, but the fallacies and exaggerations are mostly hidden to those who have never worked in the industry.

For the record, for six months she worked in the Dollhouse in Sexworld, which is a peepshow. While that is part of the sex industry, it is a very different job from dancing. In fact, as she points out in the book, anything involving penetration is illegal in MN, yet the Dolls could get away with doing it. Because of this, I find her attitude of being "above" the "dirtiness" of certain clubs disingenuous, and her condescending description of dancers an insult to any woman in that occupation. Her sudden vague-ness when describing what occurred in the Loft at Deja Vu also begs the question of how candid she really is. The few things she actually mentions are blatantly illegal, things that many dancers never do, yet despite this lack of willpower in the face of a generous and pushy client, she still expresses her belief in her own mental superiority to other strippers. I guess she didn't see the irony.

For the most part, her book revealed a few important things about the industry (club fees, work expenses, irritating customers) but did little to explain stereotypes, or even debunk them. Instead, her patronizing descriptions of dancers (either blond fake-titted bimbos at Sheiks, or drug-addicted boorish wrecks at Skyway) simply echoed the two most common stereotypes of strippers.
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113 of 131 people found the following review helpful By Scott Bresinger on April 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Diablo Cody, blogger of distinction and soon to be "in demand" screenwriter, is kind of an odd choice to be a memoirist. After all, she's young, not a drug addict or a habitual liar, and has not survived years of horrible abuse. From what I can tell, her family isn't even all that eccentric. Of course, when you factor in that "Candy Girl" chronicles the year and a half she spent as a stripper/sex worker, the response for a lot of people (namely yours truly) is an immediate "best. Memoir. Ever!" After all, I'm not a big customer of strip clubs (the whole scene, in particular the crowd they seem to attract, just seems...I dunno...icky), but I'm fascinated nonetheless. What kind of girl would want to work at a job where they have to be naked in public and pretend to like guys they would normally avoid? What actually goes on behind those velvet ropes? Well, you may not find all the answers you're searching for here, but with a guide like Ms. Cody, you won't mind a bit.

Not only is she an unlikely choice as a memoirist, as it turns out she was an even more unlikely choice as a stripper. A self confessed geek with pale skin and a non-surgically enhanced body, she was well into living the life of a faceless cubicle slave when she got the sudden urge to do something radically different with her life. From tryout night at the seediest strip joint in Minneapolis to the grungy booths of Sex World and a couple of other stops along the way, she soon sheds her naivete and becomes a seasoned pro in a matter of months. How she shed her inhibitions is one of those questions left unanswered, although it seems she didn't really have any to begin with.
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44 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Natalia Blanks on December 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is an accumulation of isolated experiences, abrupt thoughts and pretentiously shocking metaphors. There is no beginning, middle or end. It does cover a year's worth of stripping, but it is not enough to engage a reader who is looking for something other than a compilation of facts in chronological order - the story does not develop or evolve, it simply starts and ends. The observations about stripping lurk on the surface of mediocre psycho analyses that don't go deeper than what the eye meets or the ear hears: she sees and hears things and so she types it out on her laptop and sprinkles it with flavorful allegories.
It does read fast and keeps you entertained, but don't go looking for insightful or eye opening revelations. If People magazine twists your brain - you will feel very satisfied reading the book.
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36 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Helen Joan Spence on April 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
If you thought Juno was overly hip, that the dialogue sagged under the weight of one too many "clever" pop culture references, you'll perhaps be surprised to hear that it represents a refinement in Diablo Cody's style. Candy Girl is so smugly, irritatingly, hiply written that it should come with a disclaimer. About four of the book's innumerable wise-cracks are actually laugh-out-loud funny - the rest are just so painful and self-impressed that I felt like throwing the book across the room. I liked Juno quite a lot, despite the aforementioned problems, but this book was just too much. Instead of social observation, which could have actually been pretty fascinating in this setting, we have this endless attempt to be edgy and shocking, this all-eclipsing self-interest. But to cap it off, the reader is left with just as little insight into Diablo Cody as into the other characters she neglects to concern herself with. She is all bluster, and fails in her capacity as memoirist to the degree that she fails to produce one single convincing insight, one moment that rings true.
But, well, she's young. Here's to improving.
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