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Secret Diary of a Call Girl Paperback – June 18, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (June 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044654082X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446540827
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this entertaining memoir, a 28-year-old British university grad gravitates to London to find a proper job, gets discouraged by temp office work and turns to the lucrative world of the sex trade, where she is asked how she does on her A-levels"not university requirements, but "anals." Anonymous is frank and enterprising, and eager to dish the details of her life as a call girl for an elite London agency that charges £300 per hour""more than 30 times what I would have made doing anything else," she notes briskly. She's had a little experience as a dominatrix and isn't averse to having sex with women; she's open, definitely, to certain procedures such as fisting, rimming and OWO, or Oral Without (a condom). What sets this chronicle apart from being a numbing operations manual is the author's saucy, ironic tone (she loves her Jewish family), her evident intelligence (she studied French and catches clients' literary allusions) and well-placed friends she describes with hilarious precision. With her "straitlaced as a whalebone corset" boyfriend, she actually hopes for true love, and even reveals to him her profession"which she details on her Web site that the Guardian awarded in 2003 "Best Written British Blog." (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'this is a no-holds-barred account of the high-class sex trade, and an insight into the secret life of an extraordinary woman.' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH (11.9.05) 'Belle is wickedly witty and you'll pick up a kinky trick or three on the way.' COSMOPOLITAN (October) **** 'Belle's tamer anecdotes would make Graham Norton choke. But it does possess a raw emotional intimacy, which is surprising given that it started off as an internet blog...it is Belle's portrayal of city-life alienation that is so candid.' -- Isobel Shirlaw TELEGRAPH (24.9.05) 'Insight into life as a high-class hooker. Shocking but funny.' HEAT (1-7 October) **** 'A good diarist draws you in through intrigue or through empathy. Belle does both...Everyday middle-class London is caught with its trousers down.' GOOD BOOK GUIDE (1.1.06) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

It's interesting at times but it got boring towards the end.
Norana Johar
I thought there might be a few more graphic scenes, perhaps as though it would turn into an erotica book, but I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't.
Megan
What you will find are, well written witty funny antidotes which makes the book good read.
Green

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Duma Remiel on September 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
First off, I'd like to offset other reviewers' claims that this book misleadingly refers to prostitution as a safe and thrilling lifestyle. I think its important to say that this is a unique portrayal of ONE woman's life in sex work. She very clearly states that there are many levels of sex work and the vast majority are not safe, enjoyable, or beneficial in anyway. She obviously enjoys much of her work and simply because her experience does not fit the mold, does not mean she should be silenced.

Secondly, there are sex scenes in the book and they are to some degree explicit. Is this too much? Well considering the nature of the book, I think not. Considering the importance of the job to the book, so much so that it is in the very title and also the importance of her pseudonym, I think its quite understandable that sex should be a key element in the book. Isn't that part of the experience we are so intrigued by when it comes to this particular author?

Also, as one reviewer mentioned the previous relationship and friend-circle is not full of an extraordinary amount of depth. What we need to remember is that this is adapted from the author's blog. For some bloggers, myself included, other people's lives are their own to tell. We just tell what relates to us. I felt that Belle's interaction with her friends and ex-lovers were covered meaningfully and naturally.

This is a diary and by definition it's not the type of writing that will be layered with back story or references. Although meant to be read in the fashion that most blogs are nowadays, it is written with immediacy and often with the intent to be brief.
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50 of 58 people found the following review helpful By R. Thomas on July 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I found this book to be sexy, witty, charming and funny. It's an amusing and entertaining read, and gives you a glimpse of a lifestyle you probably know little about.

It's also taken, word for word, from her blog.

I started reading Belle's blog a few years ago and as I quickly got into it, I went back and read every entry from the beginning. This book is taken directly from the blog (minus a few "entries" in the book, and the Being a Call Girl from A to Z dealio at the beginning of each chapter). There is almost no new material, and what is new, is few and far between and not anything earthshattering.

Frankly, I was a little disappointed, being a devoted reader of her blog, to find out the book is just the blog, in hard copy. It for me was not worth what I paid for it, since I'd already read it for free, and can back and read it again, for free, anytime I want. Also, the blog has a lot more content, much of which is not in this book. She posts regularly.

I do recommend reading this book as it's delightful, but you may want to save yourself the $ and just read the blog. I think, personally, you get more out of it (since it's more comprehensive), and it's also current.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A. Phillips on July 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
This was the second memoir of prostitution that I have read (the first being The Scorpion's Sweet Venom), and so far, here is what I've learned:

- The sex scenes will as a rule be explicitly detailed and told with implausible detachment.

- Prostitution will be conveyed as a chic and not an altogether unpleasant profession.

- Flashbacks will abound in pitiful attempts at characterization and a more literary angle.

Belle de Jour was no exception to these rules, but it was a fun if not compelling read. I really enjoyed the author's witty style, even if reading about her friends was utterly boring. By the end of the book, every man in the author's life seemed to merge into one tall-ridiculously-attractive fellow with a proclivity for rough sex and moping over ex-girlfriends.

All in all, I would like to see the genre of prostitution memoirs take a more realistic/gritty turn. But then I have to really ask myself, do I really want to read the tell-all memoir of an Atlanta crack whore? Perhaps publishers choose these high-end prostitute tell-alls for a reason...
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By j.s. on June 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
Compelled by Showtime's ad campaign for their new series "Secret Diary of a Call Girl," I picked up the book (which is based on a real call girl's award-winning blog). While the book was interesting for its (somewhat) candid view of upper-class prostitution, it also kind of fell flat.

The book works in many ways. Each chapter opens with the "ABCs" of a London call girl. These definitions, such as "Z is for Zippers," are quite funny and interesting. The anonymous author also has a knack for finding great humor in her work and interaction with clients.

On the downside, many chapters sound like they belong in a thirteen-year-old's diary. There is way too much time devoted to memories of ex-boyfriends and secret crushes. I wouldn't mind having this information if it were written about with the same attention to detail that the sexual encounters receive. It would also be bearable if the other characters were fleshed out more. Instead, we get letters for names (A1, A2, A3, A4, and N) and virtually nothing else. Why should we care about the author's relationships if she can't describe then in any real way?

If the book were written as a more focused tell-all or if the supporting characters were more fleshed out, it would be highly recommended. It has some funny moments and interesting stories about call girls, but the meaningless babble about wooden characters makes it tedious and less interesting. A good book to skim and read at random.
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