Book book book

So I'm trying out Goodreads to track the books I've read (as well as the ones I'd like to read, apparently a much longer list). I still have a huge backlog of 2010 books I want to log/blog/review, but I just reviewed The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl by Belle de Jour over on Goodreads. Until I can figure out how and whether the great unwashed (that's you guys) can read my Goodreads reviews I'm just going to copy and paste the review here:

I first heard of Belle de Jour when she was interviewed for New Scientist magazine after "coming out". She blogged and published anonymously about her life as a call girl in London for several years before revealing her full identity - in addition to her sex work she was also working as a post-doc in genetic epidemiology. (Hence the New Scientist interview - Google "new scientist belle de jour" for the interview.)

Truth be told, I'm probably more interested in reading about genetic epidemiology than sex (geek!), but I have been watching the TV adaptation of Belle's diaries, largely because it stars Billie Piper, late of Doctor Who (geek!). I'm really enjoying the show, so I thought I might as well read the book to complete the picture.

I didn't find the Belle in the book as likeable as Billie Piper's Belle, but I expect the TV producers did that on purpose - an unrepentant call-girl is a bit of a tough sell as a protagonist, so they needed someone as charming and loveable as Piper to pull it off. I enjoyed seeing London through the perspective of a prostitute, and I enjoyed (I'll be honest) her descriptions of all the sex she had, both professional and social. I read more than my fair share of sex newsgroups as a teenager, so most of the details weren't news to me (except that apparently you can get a dildo shaped like a dolphin's penis - who knew!) but it's been a while since I acquainted myself with the world of the vigorously sexually-active.

Sometimes the book read like a blog - occasionally a chapter (titled with the date in French - why?) would simply relate a casual (non-sexual) encounter with a homeless person or charity campaigner. I didn't see the point of most of those. And there was a lot of pointless boyfriend drama which could have made a whole other book - or enriched this one - if it had dramatized with an arc and character development, but when reported as a succession of events was frustrating and ultimately pointless. (Not unlike actual boyfriend drama in actual real life.)

Those quibbles aside, this was an enjoyable and enlightening read.

Incidentally, I am right now listening to "You Know I'm No Good" by Amy Winehouse, which features an awesome little brass riff in the middle which is used in the Call Girl TV Show. It's all connected.


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