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Whore Stories: A Revealing History of the World's Oldest Profession
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Whore Stories: A Revealing History of the World's Oldest Profession

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3.39  ·  Rating Details ·  154 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Tyler Smith's fascinating and sometimes truly astonishing tales of streetwalkers, call girls, madams, pimps and rent boys are fundamentally true (a few, as he recognizes, fall into the category of cultural myths), and are not only interesting but also funny--often hilarious.

Have you ever wondered how Heidi Fleiss came to be the face of upscale prostitution or if Casanova r
...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 18th 2012 by Adams Media (first published June 18th 2012)
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Mary
Jun 15, 2012 Mary rated it it was amazing

Maybe I'm biased, but I think this book is smart, funny and incredibly empathetic to the peculiar history of sex work.

I couldn't say it better than this Amazon reviewer did: "Tyler Stoddard Smith has fully aroused my interest in becoming a whore-atarian. In this profound, concise and witty book, you can learn about all types of strumpets, trollops, hussies, and harlots from all over the world..from the past to the present... without tedium. It's like a hilarious cliff notes to the Encyclopedia o
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Joanna
Feb 14, 2013 Joanna rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, humor, raunch, 2010s
I don't know why, but when I first picked up this book I thought it was going to be one of those dryish intellectual histories about sex which seem to be like, everywhere. I guess I have been trained by all those times when I pick up something about sex and it's like, "A Serious Look on..." which is understandable if I'm reading about sexual minorities or women's lives but damn, every single time? It's like the camera is panning towards softly blowing curtains, forever. Especially with a subtitl ...more
Caidyn (BW Book Reviews)
Do you want a trashy book about prostitution? This is your best bet.

None of it is PC, so if you're looking for that, run far away. Some of the stuff had me cringing, but I appreciated Smith coming out and saying that I shouldn't look for that. Because, there is nothing PC in here. And, that's not a bad thing, especially when you're ready for it. Besides, what more can you expect from this book?

It's written in a very impersonal way, which is something I don't typically like, but it's not bad. At
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Elizabeth
Jul 03, 2012 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Tyler Stoddard Smith: a humorist who "never tells jokes."



With Tyler Stoddard Smith’s new book about prostitutes, there is no fear of reading any solemn, stodgy accounts of the brazen businesswomen and men the French call “les grandes horizontales.”

Whore Stories: A Revealing History of the World’s Oldest Profession (on sale now, from Adams Media) is a saucy, shocking survey of 100+ whores—as well as public figures we might not have known were once employed in the sex trade.

When it comes to transl
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Julia
Feb 27, 2017 Julia rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-the-eyes, ebook, 2017
Perfect for someone with a horribly short attention span like me.
Enjoyable read, although nothing groundbreaking.
Not so enjoyable is the use of the word "tranny".
Randall
Jun 19, 2012 Randall rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book that has been very poorly represented by the publisher. It is "historical" in the sense that it consists of a hundred or so short, essentially accurate, biographies of prostitutes, madams, pimps and "rent boys," spanning some three thousand years and reflecting a wide variety of cultures, both East and West. But it is also, and primarily, an extremely funny, clever and sophisticated (in a completely unpretentious way) collection of colorful essays about the human conditi ...more
Laura
Sep 05, 2012 Laura rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
*Won through a Goodreads Giveaway*

I stumbled on this book through Goodreads, where the title caught my eye and made me titter. Completely on a whim I entered the Goodreads First Reads contest and, of course, won a copy. I felt obliged to give it a try, especially since the author included a lovely little note and autographed the book and everything. So, blushing madly, I started the read.

The book is composed entirely of little 1 to 2 page mini-biographies of famous ho's. It's completely humorou
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Randall
Jun 19, 2012 Randall rated it it was amazing
Readers should know that this is primarily a humor book, not a "history" one--at least not in the conventional sense. It's a bunch of basically accurate biographies, most of which are funny, and all of which are cleverly written. The title of the book is misleading. It should be something like "Whore Stories: A Humorous Look the World's Oldest Profession." This would clear matters up. The publisher's description of the book on various websites and on the back cover is pretty worthless, but the b ...more
Carter
May 30, 2013 Carter rated it really liked it
This book was a quick read, very entertaining. Tyler Stoddard Smith's writing style is characterized by witty humor and intellect. He is direct and keeps the entries for each person short and to-the-point. But don't think this means the content is lacking. Quite the opposite, Smith made sure to include only the most interesting, fascinating, bizarre, and sometimes squeamish details of each person's story. It was a very enjoyable read and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for something out of th ...more
Cindy
I saw this on my Goodreads timeline and the name drew me in. I figured I would give it a good, take a break from my usual reads. I must say this was an interesting read, I learned a few new things. I would have preferred if the stories were just a little entertaining but overall an interesting read.
Jessica
Jul 24, 2014 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best book I've read all year

Best book I've read all year

not a single dull paragraph. I heart you,Tyler! a book that combines fascinating history and tongue in cheek witty humor? very adult. very risque. very fun. devoured it in afternoon, and want more. bravo.
Marisa Berman
Jul 18, 2013 Marisa Berman rated it really liked it
This is a fun collection of historical antidotes on the not so secret lives of 'whores.' Humorous and entertaining. Well organized bibliography separated by 'whore.' I enjoy writing this review because I can use the term 'whore' and it's appropriate. So thanks for that.
Robert Breeze
Nov 16, 2014 Robert Breeze rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Terrific Storytelling Makes This Enjoyable

Tyler Stoddard Smith is a funny writer. This highly researched and very long book might have been dull and boring in spite of the subject matter, but the writer's humor makes it a fun read.
Natalia
Sep 03, 2014 Natalia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: womens-issues
I don't find many books funny, so I was super shocked at this one. Super informative while being witty and clever. Nice!
Annette
Apr 29, 2013 Annette rated it it was amazing
loved this book. amazing stories.
Thomas Kuhn
Jan 15, 2013 Thomas Kuhn rated it really liked it

In the mood for something a little different and slightly naughty--with no long term commitment? If so, then Tyler Smith's irreverent and witty look at the history of the world's oldest profession might just be for you. Whore Stories is not a real "history" in the sense that sequences of events are involved. It is more like a quixotic novella with facts and real-life characters. And what characters! Smith takes us on a rapid and extremely lighthearted look at often serious moments in history inv
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Megankellie
Well. It is with great freedom that I learned Jackson Pollock was a monument polisher in New York before becoming a famous painter (not learned in this book). It is with very mixed feelings that I learn certain ladies and gentlemen rented their body parts before they became admirable professionals. Particularly actors and actresses. Particularly Al Pacino and Carey Grant. There is some interesting background on various historical personalities, particularly some of the terrifying ladies in Irela ...more
Vanessa Wolf
Dec 11, 2012 Vanessa Wolf rated it liked it

I enjoyed "Whore Stories," and found myself surprised at enjoying it more for the writing than the stories within. The amusing asides make this an interesting read in what would otherwise be a historical call back to the call girl (boy).
"Whore Stories" isn't precisely about "whores" (male and female), but those who gave it up in exchange, so there are a few mistresses and kept men along with the those who banged for a cause. A lot of work went into the index, and the bibliography, so if you n
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Sara
Jan 15, 2013 Sara rated it it was ok
Written in an attention deficit-friendly style somewhere between a Cracked feature and a Buzzfeed listicle, Whore Stories is a collection of mini-bios of sex workers through history. While the book needn't aspire to intellectualism, its reluctance to be anything but a sniggering litany of prurience makes it fall a bit flat. Or flaccid, as Smith would probably say, familiar as he is with the art of the single entendre.

I'll bet Smith is disappointed he turned in his manuscript before Magic Mike c
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Brittanie
May 30, 2012 Brittanie rated it liked it
Shelves: history, essays
(9/52 — 2012)

Somewhat entertaining book, but if you're looking for serious history, look elsewhere. At first I was pretty put off by the author's writing style — he seemed more interested in cracking jokes than telling the stories of the characters. Eventually his stupid jokes faded into the background and I learned to skim for the interesting details about each person's life. Kind of a shame, because if you're writing a book and how Prostitution is a normal, if not noble, profession, you shoot
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Jessica
Jul 30, 2016 Jessica rated it liked it
After reading some of the reviews for this book I was expecting belly laughs, but instead got a few brief chuckles. It was amusing enough, but it didn't exactly have me rolling in the aisles. There were some surprising tidbits and a lot of revealing stories, but overall this didn't quite live up to my expectations. However, it was entertaining enough to keep me reading so if you have the opportunity to read this, go for it!
Jo
The title of this is rather misleading as there is no way a few short paragraphs on each of the people included can be called revealing. However, a book like this serves as an introduction and makes you want to find fuller biographies of some of those written about. This is not a serious study of sex workers as the author offers up information in a nudge nudge wink wink style.
Briansmom
Aug 17, 2014 Briansmom rated it it was ok
An interesting, if somewhat bizarre, book about those who have been involved in prostitution. Sometimes snarky, sometimes funny, but always revealing, the author explores some of history's famous, and not so famous, whores, hookers, courtesans, male prosties, and pimps. A bit of light summer reading.
Kit
Sep 24, 2015 Kit rated it liked it
I wasn't sure what to expect of this book. Having seen a description noting that it read like a Cracked piece, I was intrigued.
It's not deep thinking material, but it is a very funny, and at times, provocative read.
There were more than a few stories I was previously unaware of, but the sensationalist tone made even the most serious sections less dramatic.
Candice
Jul 17, 2016 Candice rated it really liked it
Quirky and cheeky look into the world's oldest profession. Interesting tidbits throughout.
apparently,
Dec 19, 2015 apparently, rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
The author's morally superior attitude to sex workers throughout the book is insufferable. Hey, if their stories are good enough to use in your book, then you can write about them with respect.
Lisa Kizer
Apr 17, 2015 Lisa Kizer rated it it was ok
Already had read this book. Tells you how memorable it is.
Sara
Mar 15, 2016 Sara added it
Shelves: gave-up-reading
I didn't finish this book so I won't give it a starred review. Suffice it to say that while I found the subject interesting, the author's snarky writing style became irritating very early on.
Mike Cook
Jan 07, 2016 Mike Cook rated it liked it
Shelves: social-science
Short, 1 to 3 page blurbs about famous people, ancient and modern, that were involved in prostitution to some degree.
Izabela
Mar 18, 2013 Izabela rated it really liked it
Funny and informative, Whore Stories is a delightful romp through history.
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Tyler Stoddard Smith’s writing has been featured in: UTNE Reader, McSweeney’s, Esquire, The Best American Fantasy, The Science Creative Quarterly and The Morning News, among others. He is also a regular contributor at The Nervous Breakdown and an associate editor of the online humor site, The Big Jewel. His first book, Whore Stories: A Revealing History of the World’s Oldest Profession was publish ...more
More about Tyler Stoddard Smith...

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“kids keep having sex in those little “Smart” cars—I’ve seen it myself—and I think it spells future spinal trouble.” 1 likes
“Do you believe in destiny? I don’t, especially when good things happen to people I hate. Then again, when good things happen to people I love, I usually end up hating them for their success in the long run anyway. So maybe that’s destiny.” 0 likes
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