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

3.8 out of 5 stars 149 customer reviews

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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

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham; First Edition edition (December 29, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592401821
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592401826
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,143,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Paperback
This book is a collection of annecdotes really, some of them entertaining, some of them a bit disgusting. It's a story that winds up posing questions at the end about things you thought should've been answered somewhere in the text. She describes herself as an average middle class girl without any of the "prerequisites" we've come to expect from strippers. However, some of the clues like how she came to be with the boyfriend show there may be some of those prerequisites after all. It just didn't paint a total picture, and those looking to this as a serious insight into stripper pysche will find nothing here. Yet I did find that she seemed to fall into some of the typical stripper patterns, like earning the bulk of the income for the couple.

The writing style is some kind of hipster thing. It's as if there were some school that taught writing something in a trendy, clever way would make it stand out. "Dinero to spare-o" doesn't seem to communicate any better than "money to burn", or "plenty of extra cash". You also have to wonder about the less hip readers who are going to get lost in that.

The part about stripping held my interest, but I was a bit disgusted when she started doing the sex shows. It made me realize that you never really know what your friends and neighbors are capable of or do in the privacy of their own bedrooms. A couple of the customers should get the death penalty for ciminal disgusting.

Overall, it's an entertaining book, but not anything revealing about the world of stripping.
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