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Going Down Paperback – July 1, 1996


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Belle combines very funny, sharply written prose and a superb grasp of narrative in her debut novel. At the center of it all is her unforgettable main character, Bennington Bloom, a 19-year-old who goes to work as a call girl in high-class New York City brothels to put herself through NYU. This is no hooker with a heart of gold. She's better. The arresting combination of her caustic wit and insightful observations make for a wickedly hilarious sense of humor evoking Dorothy Parker. This is keenest when she's in bed with the men who are paying her for sex; to focus her mind elsewhere, she calculates how much money she's making. She's not about to take anything seriously: her dysfunctional family, her ridiculous acting classes, her stress-induced ulcer, her wayward friends, her intensely type-A boyfriend or, least of all, herself. Even in her moments of intense self-pity when she's confessing to her deaf, senile shrink, she can stand far enough away to laugh, or at least smirk. Things do faze her but, true to her restless nature, never for long. With tight prose and precise detail, Belle transforms the perverse into the absurd and tempers it with an empathy that prevents the book from becoming mean or crude. Belle's riotous, vivid debut has the energy and gritty appeal of New York City itself. 50,000 first printing.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Bennington Bloom is a 19-year-old acting student at New York Univeristy in search of a part-time job. Answering an ad in the Village Voice for "coeds" leads her into a life as a high-paid call girl. In a light, no-nonsense, humorous voice, Bennington describes her sexual experiences, her adventures with eccentric friends, and her distant father. She becomes so hooked on the easy money she makes as a prostitute that when she finds a decent man and moves in with him, she can't give it up. Instead, she invents a job for herself as a caterer to explain her frequent evening absences, which leads to heartbreak and humiliation when the truth is discovered. While Belle is clearly a writer to watch, having crafted a first novel that is compulsively readable, her characters are so shallow that in the end the reader is left with nothing substantial to remember. Recommended for adventurous readers.?Patricia Ross, Westerville P.L., Ohio
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Trade; 1st edition (July 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573225541
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573225540
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,693,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

I wish I could find more books like it!!!
"wildchildxxxkc"
It was extremely dull, the characters had no personality or growth, and overall I was just bored.
glo
This book is easy to read and entertaining.
"pixy_in_chicago"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Diane Moore VINE VOICE on July 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
Whenever I like a book, i try to read it as much as possible... at home, waiting for an appointment, in traffic. :) This is one of those books. It was so REAL. I don't know if being a prositute is close to what this character went through, but it was mostly about her, and not what she did for a living.
Bennington was a strange, imperfect, hilarious character that i don't think you have to "like," to enjoy reading about. She took on many jobs as an escort, had a serious commitment problem, tried to raise all of this money to go to NYU, only deciding to quit it not much later. She also made a bad choice with her boyfriend, Adam, who treated her terribly. Of course she would try to do everything he said only to have him find fault with that as well. Obviously this is not a woman I would want to hang out with because she has some serious problems, but seeing her from afar, you can't help but feel sorry for her and be intrigued about what makes her tick.
What I liked best about the book was the style in which it was written. She made observations about people that stick with you or make you laugh out loud, like "she had an unfortunate Pippi Longstocking appearance", or "I was friends with a girl in my building who was emotionally disturbed. She could recite Alice in Wonderland from beginning to end without stopping. Sometimes she would just scream for hours, going up and down in the elevator. I liked her a lot." Its obviously a book I should read more slowly next time, because I'm sure I missed a lot.
I could have done without the Vivian and Lars characters, or at least leave them out of the second half of the book. Other than that, it's great!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By DevJohn01 on February 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
Having read `HIGH MAINTENANCE' I knew to expect the sort of dark and sardonic humor that only Miss Belle can produce. However, while it was easy to read, `GOING DOWN' did not posses the same charm as it successor.
`GOING DOWN' is the story of NYU freshman Bennington Bloom, who turns to working as a call girl to pay her way through college. That is really the most that I can say about this book because there was really nothing else to it. There were virtually no characters to focus on other than Benny, there was no understandable motive for anything that Benny did, and the entire plot consisted of Bennington going from "house" to "house" and her various exploits. The only saving grace for this book was that distinctive Jennifer Belle humor that every once in a while caused me to laugh out loud. I cant wait to read Belle's third novel so that I can compare the three and decide whether or not I would buy a fourth novel by this author, but if you liked `GOING DOWN' you will love `HIGH MAINTENANCE'.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Julia L. Wilkinson on August 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is an extremely "real" and entertaining first-person novel of a young woman, "Bennington Bloom," working as a call girl in Manhattan. It's the second book I read by Jennifer Belle, having read her second novel, "High Maintenance," first.
Both books are very funny, rife with dark humor and sarcastic comments about the wacky kinds of things and people you see when living in the Big Apple.
Bennington is not necessarily the most likeable character you'll encounter (she also lies and steals on a fairly regular basis), but the things she thinks and says can be dead-on and laugh-out-loud funny. She brings a combination of hardness and vulnerability to the situations in which she finds herself.
I thnk most women could identify with at least some of Bennington's tribulations, whether it's having to deal with a disgusting "date," wacky and imperfect friends, failing parents, a condescending boyfriend, and the simple everyday panty-hose-tearing irritations we all confront on a regular basis.
So this may not be a morality tale, but it's as modern (or post-modern, or post-post-modern) as you will get, reflecting the messiness of today's relationships, and a young woman's insouciant approach to making some dough in the world's "oldest profession" in the world's biggest city.
- Julia Wilkinson, author, "My Life at AOL"
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Wise on July 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
Somehow I just cannot sympathize with the lead character in Going Down, a young woman who just HAS to make ends meet by selling her body because, ya know, there's just NO other way...Come on! I purchased this after reading Belle's "High Maintenance" which was just as light as "Going Down" but had a better story going on. "Going Down" did teach me a few tricks, pun intended, about the hooker/call-girl industry. For instance, using a table lamp to check Johns for crabs before any physical contact takes place. Also, how to merge your old hooker job with doing something a little more, uh, legal such as becoming a real estate agent. This is a good one to read in the tub then toss on your yard sale table. I hope that Belle will give us more material in the future because I do believe that she has some promise.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a first person account of a young Manhattan call girl -- and while that may seem a bit depressing, it sort of reads like a grittier version of Sex in the City -- and is about as realistic as Pretty Woman (to give you some idea). This is a light comedy, a well-told story of a young person's misadventures in the "skin trade," a lively book full of short chapters and great humor. The language is also quite simple and direct. It reminds me of the writing of Anita Loos' Gentleman Prefer Blondes. Wacky and vaguely hair-brained. Pick up a copy if you don't mind a light read. You'll have fun, plain and simple! Other Amazon quick picks include: Slaves of Manhattan by Tama Janowitz, The Losers' Club by Richard Perez
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