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

3.6 out of 5 stars 121 customer reviews
Book 1 of 5 in the Belle De Jour Series

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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.
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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: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Interesting light reading if you aren't the blushing type and have a sense of humor. If you are at all familiar with erotic literature nothing in this book will shock you. This book was turned into a popular tv series and lots of other books have been published but almost all the source material was (and perhaps still is) available on her blog, where Belle posted lots of tips and anecdotes. Where the blog was more random, the book tells more of a story.

Good to pick up and read if you like autobiographies or are fascinated by working girls. I really enjoy reading stories about call girls and such, it's a very different lifestyle from my own and I find it interesting like I'm sure a lot of people do. The psychology/mindset of working girls is interesting to me and this book offers a glimpse of that.

Very mildly sexy. This is not going to get you going like traditional erotic literature. Belle is candid about her feelings toward her clients (they're not always so sweet) and leaves out many details that would have turned this into a literotica novel.

I enjoy light reading like this when I take a break after completing a long series or dark or depressing novel so this is perfect for those times when you aren't sure what to read next and want to take a mental break.
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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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