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3.31  ·  Rating Details ·  741 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
Jeannette Angell was born in France, received the French baccalaureat A and a bachelor's degree from the Universite Catholique de L'ouest. She came to the United States at age 21, where she earned four additional degrees, including a bachelor's in history from Fitchburg State, a Master of Divinity from Yale and a doctorate in anthropology from Boston University, following ...more
Hardcover, 238 pages
Published 2004 by Permanent Press (NY)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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May 03, 2013 MAP rated it did not like it
I learned two things from this book, and neither of them were about the sex industry.

The first one is this:
Jeannette Angell (or the character she plays in this book) thinks -- no, scratch that, she KNOWS -- that she is smarter than you. Than me. Than everyone who's going to pick up this book. She constantly mentions how educated she is (two masters and a difficult PhD!), name drops lecturing at places like MIT and Harvard, and never misses a chance to mention what an AMAZING teacher she is. It's
Jul 02, 2010 Jane-Rebecca rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
When writing a book about being a prostitute, perhaps don't act so superior to OTHER working girls. She came off as a total self-obsessed jerk. Plus, the writing was poor so I'm not so sure why she was teaching anywhere.
Jan 28, 2008 Tommy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Who would have thought that a book about a professor moonlighting as a callgirl could be long and boring. Angel has managed that feat and more. She spends most of the time complaining that all prostitutes are stereotyped as various things (while frequently engaging in these stereotypical behaviors) yet she generalizes the entire male population as one giant stereotype. She's frequently insulting and just plain a poor writer. Go read something else.
Jun 30, 2009 Alie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the idea of this book, but at about the halfway point I really started to dislike her. I can't really put my finger on why, but I think it's how she described her abilities as a teacher despite a borderline coke and booze problem and kind of a lack of self-awareness. IDK, she came across and haughty, even though she was trying to be self-effacing. Strange, strange book.
Nikki Fitzgerald
Boring. Read half. Life's too short for a bad book
Dec 04, 2016 Lydia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, memoirs
So I read this probably when I was far too young to read it but I feel like that's sort of what books are for, in a way.

They allow us to explore avenues or ideas that we wouldn't have access to otherwise.

I remember liking this book and finding it interesting (even though it's been so many years ago since I read it, wow) although I feel like the main narrator was rather pretentious at parts. I remember a lot of pseudonyms and all-knowingness that really affected the way that I read the book. Fo
Jun 15, 2008 britany rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
i read this book when it first came out, and it was just called "callgirl." i even checked the book, which i still have, to confirm this. they later added on the "ivy league lady of pleasure" bit...this pretty aptly demonstrates just how dumb this book is.
Apr 01, 2010 Evan rated it really liked it
Halfway to 100 for 2010; this was the 50th book I've read this year, and a good one at that. So far, it's the most illuminating first-person account of prostitution I've read. In the '90s, Angell turned to working for what she calls a "mid-level escort service" -- something halfway between streewalkers and pimps on the lower rung and the most exclusive escort services for the most wealthy clients at the top level. As adjunct sociology lecturer at a Boston-area college, trying to get her foot in ...more
Karina M
Apr 23, 2014 Karina M rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Extremely disappointed in the quality of the writing given that it was written by a former college professor who uses every chance she gets to tell the reader how intelligent, educated and talented she is. What I expected to be an interesting read ended up being boring and I had to force myself to finish it. I didn't find anything insightful about her book, and find that the subject has been explored far more successfully, ironically, by authors who didn't actually live the life of a call girl. ...more
Janet Windeguth
I found this one while I was tidying the shelves. The Circ person who checked it out for me asked if I was considering a new career. Hah. This is a fascinating look into the world of “pay for sex,” if you can get over Angell’s agonizing page-after-page-after-page justifications and her battering-ram insistence that being a a callgirl is no different than being a waitress, postal worker, or any other delivery type business. She’s simply selling a product. Sex is just sex. Sex with a client is dif ...more
Jan 10, 2008 Shari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
Good book although it was a little bit "preachy" in certain areas. The author states over and over again that not all callgirls are sex-crazed and often are working for financial gain vs. simply fulfilling their sexual needs – which makes me wonder is she trying to convince the reader or herself? It was an enjoyable read and very informative but occasionally it felt as if I was reading a lecture instead of a memoir.
Feb 15, 2010 Tatevik rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
worst ever:(
Apr 01, 2008 SarahG rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm only into the first chapter but Her writing style is irritating, I hope I can get into it.
I finished it but it was...Eh..
Feb 25, 2013 Jenn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved this book. I think the sociology and anthropology of this topic was perfectly told by the author. Anecdotal, real, and humanizing to a subject that has such a biased past.
Claire Sayan
Apr 13, 2015 Claire Sayan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't like her, her self importance or her writing style. I won't be reading Madam
The author brings a fascinating perspective through both her own experience and her background as a social anthropologist. It's a surprising thought-provoking book
Jan 06, 2017 Betsy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read, though the writing was a little awkward. Being a call girl is nothing like the movies, even a "nice" one. Duh.
Jul 21, 2014 Maiesha rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If you are looking for an insightful rendering of a woman's first-hand account of her life as a prostitute, this sure ain't it! I am an open-minded person, and while I disagree with prostitution, I know that it isn't going anywhere anytime soon, and believe that it is healthy to see prostitutes as multi-faceted humans just like everyone else. Angell states her agenda right away: she aims to do no less than dispel the myths that we readers have about prostitutes and prostitution, and convince us ...more
Jul 23, 2014 _speedy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A book about call girls and their lives and how Jeannette Angell will break every stereotype about working girls and their lives, I mean, who wouldn't be interested? On the first page, I realized that no one with a little bit of brain wouldn't like this book. The author is soooooooooooooooooooooo self absorbed, sooooooooooooooo full of herself, sooooooooooo boring, such a hypocrite and one stupid stupid stupid stupid woman. Explanation?
1. She's 34 but thinks that all men are stupid and that they
What started off as a strategic way to cope with financial crisis as her boyfriend had taken off with all her money, became an insightful journey into the world of getting cash for companionship as she delves into the sex industry. As a holder of multiple academic degrees and a doctorate, her inquisitive mind propels her to explore the depths of her new part-time job, which even lead to her teaching a course called The History and Sociology of Prostitution, after which she would head home to get ...more
Feb 15, 2015 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I struggled with this book, and I see that others have the same feedback as I do.

First, I faced a roller coaster of emotions that usually had nothing to do with what was actually happening in the book. I'll explain them as I remembered them.. (spoilers)

1. Disgust. That first sex scene made me think I was reading a gross porn, but ok, I got over it, I'm reading a book about sex, ya?

2. Invested. Around page 30ish I was like, this is kinda good, she's self reflecting, etc.

3. MAD. Dirt mad. She act

Well written, entertaining and an easy read. The author held a doctorate in Social Anthropology and was a part-time college lecturer when she found herself in financial hardship and decided to join an escourt service to help pay off her bills. Her account of her experience as an escourt is eye opening and forces one to cast aside (at least some of) one's judgements about prostitution. She has written the book from the perspective of an academic, which I thought elevated the book from a mere desc
Julie Ehlers
I don't really know why I bought this book--it was quite some time ago, so the reasons have slipped my mind. Anyway, this was interesting. It's a memoir by a PhD whose work as an adjunct professor (yes, at Harvard, among other schools) didn't pay the bills (surprise, surprise), so she became a high-priced "escort" on the side.

The book was certainly entertaining, as you can imagine. It provides a good snapshot of what her life was like and discusses a number of pertinent issues related to prosti
Apr 01, 2014 Rita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't say it was the best written book I've read, but as the author said, prostitution is something that has a strange appeal. The story pulls you in and you see different sides of the business- drugs, alcohol and money, but in the case of the main character, I guess she didn't have the worst experience, because she had something to look forward to in life. Although, there are some parts that seem kind of far-fetched, like the fact that a drug user could function as a professor. Don't get me ...more
This book is a memoir wrote by a Boston professor, and it reflects this in the way it is wrote. It shows how a call girl business is run, but I found it slightly emotionally detached and that she glamorizes prostitution and drug use. However it is an interesting read, full of stories of the clients she sees and her job as a lecturer. She teaches a class on prostitution and I couldn't help thinking that the class might be more interesting than this book! It didn't stop me buying the follow up on ...more
Apr 24, 2011 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-story
I started out really liking this and finding it an interesting read. Jen has a way with words that kept me hooked/entertained but I think the book also went on for too long. It's 22 chapters and I think by the 18th it could have finished and I would have felt better about the book overal. This is why I'm only giving it 3 stars instead of 4. If I could give it a 3.5 I would actually do that.

It's just after the 18th chapter things seem a little bit old and stale, actually, it could have done well
Nov 13, 2012 Shawna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's ironic that a woman who complains of the grammar of others has at least 4 typos present in her own book. Yikes. I've read a number of these sociological/anthropological memoirs by former prostitutes or strippers. It was a very interesting read, Angell's tone is slightly more academic than most, but she details enough of her sexual encounters to keep it interesting. Most of the women (and men) who write books on this subject try to show how different they are from the others that do this kin ...more
Steven Allen
A short, but ok read. Does not follow your usual American-influenced stereotype of the street corner hooker. Lots of sex, drugs and other unhealthy things mentioned. The author goes to some length to deglamorize the oldest profession. She sounds jaded in some areas, and hardened but in that line of work I imagine that you have to be. Book is somewhat dated as she talks about using newspapers, pay phones, and small private-label printed advertisement such as the Little Nickel and the Stranger. Th ...more
Oct 04, 2007 Celia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, memoir
This was fascinating - the story of a college teacher's years in the mid-90s spent working as a prostitute, while at the same time teaching a class on the history of prostitution. Intelligently written and thoughtful - I found it really difficult to put down, and her thoughts on the differences in the way men and women approach sex in the context of sex work really struck me. Unfortunately, as the author notes, while she had a relatively good experience as a sex worker, there are many women who ...more
Jan 08, 2008 Frogger_the_mad rated it really liked it
Recommended to Frogger_the_mad by: Xoop
Shelves: read-in-2008
Xoop got this from the library and passed it on to me because he thought I'd find it interesting. This book is a first person account of an educated and intelligent woman who spent 3 years working by day as a college lecturer and by night as a mid-level escort. The book has a nice balance of anecdotal stories and personal insights, and I found it very hard to put down. I read it in a day and a half, and wasn't tempted to put it aside to stitch even once. Having said that, I don't see this as a b ...more
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